April 24, 2017

The Antitrust Week In Review

Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.

Anthem Denies Report of Talks with Justice Dept.Regarding Merger.  Health insurer Anthem Inc. denied a report on Thursday that it was in negotiations with the Justice Department in an effort to save its merger with smaller rival Cigna Corp.  The companies are awaiting a decision from a federal appeals court, which had been asked to rule on whether the Justice Department could stop the $54 billion merger on antitrust grounds.  The lawsuit was originally brought by the Obama administration and a federal judge agreed that the deal should be stopped.

AT&T’s Words on Time Warner Deal Say ‘Underdog.’  Its Actions Speak Otherwise.  In the nation’s capital, AT&T has painted itself as an underdog that needs to merge with Time Warner in a blockbuster $85 billion deal to compete with powerful cable companies.  But in several cities and states, AT&T has positioned itself as the incumbent telecommunications juggernaut that has acted to hamper competitors locally.  With its giant deal with Time Warner under review at the Justice Department, AT&T’s contrasting federal and local actions are glaring.

Appeals Court Skeptical of Piercing MLB Antitrust Exemption.  A three-court panel of federal appeals judges was skeptical of a lawyer for minor league baseball players who wants to pierce the sport’s antitrust exemption.  Sergio Miranda, an infielder drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2007, sued Major League Baseball, then-Commissioner Bud Selig and the 30 clubs in 2014 along with several other minor leaguers, alleging the sport’s minor league reserve system violates federal antitrust law. The suit was dismissed on Sept. 24, 2015, by U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr., and the minor leaguers wants the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate the action.

Fed Fines Deutsche Bank $156.6 Million for Forex Violations.  The U.S. Federal Reserve on Thursday fined Deutsche Bank AG $156.6 million for violating foreign exchange rules and running afoul of the Volcker Rule.  The German bank failed to detect and halt its traders from using chat rooms to communicate with competitors, the Fed said in a statement.  Central bank officials are “requiring the firm to cooperate in any investigation of the individuals involved in the conduct underlying the FX enforcement,” according to the statement.

Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, General, International Competition Issues

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