Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
EU Antitrust Regulators Want More Power for National Watchdogs. EU antitrust regulators outlined a proposal on Wednesday aimed at giving national watchdogs in the 28-country bloc more power to crack down on anti-competitive practices and also to ward off political interference. The move by the European Commission came after a study it commissioned found shortcomings in the way competition agencies were equipped and structured, preventing them from doing their work effectively. Antitrust experts say the EU antitrust authority was also concerned about the ousting of several high level officials at some national agencies by their governments in the last two years.
Preliminary Approval Given to $208.7 Million NCAA Settlement. About 40,000 college football and basketball players will not need to submit a claim to receive a portion of the $208.7 million the NCAA will pay to settle a federal class-action lawsuit that claimed the value of their athletic scholarships was illegally capped. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in California gave preliminary approval Tuesday to the settlement that was agreed upon by the NCAA and plaintiffs in February.
DirecTV Settles U.S. Antitrust Lawsuit Over Dodgers Channel. DirecTV settled a U.S. antitrust lawsuit that accused the satellite-television provider of colluding with its competitors during a 2014 standoff with Time Warner Cable Inc. over a channel devoted to the Los Angeles Dodgers. DirecTV won’t share competitively sensitive information with rivals and agreed to a compliance program to make sure it abides by the settlement, according to an agreement filed Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles.
Container Shipping Lines Ordered to Testify in U.S. Sector Probe. The U.S. Justice Department has ordered top executives from several container shipping lines to testify in an antitrust investigation over practices by an industry that is the backbone of world trade, the companies said on Wednesday. The world’s biggest container group, Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, together with second largest line MSC of Switzerland, Germany’s Hapag Lloyd, Taiwan-based Evergreen and Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line said their executives were among those who had been subpoenaed.