Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
EU Accepts Amazon E-book Commitments to Settle Antitrust Case. The European Commission said on Thursday it had accepted commitments by U.S. online retailer Amazon to alter its e-book contracts with publishers to end an EU antitrust investigation. Amazon, the biggest e-book distributor in Europe, proposed to drop some clauses in its contracts so publishers would not be forced to give it terms as good as those for rivals. Such clauses relate to business models, release dates, catalogues of e-books, features of e-books, promotions, agency prices, agency commissions and wholesale prices.
Generic Drugmakers Want Antitrust Lawsuit Dismissed. Six generic drugmakers are asking a federal judge in Connecticut to dismiss a 40-state lawsuit accusing them of artificially inflating and manipulating prices to reduce competition for antibiotic and oral diabetes medication. The companies filed documents Monday citing a variety of reasons including that the states failed to adequately allege deceptive conduct and that the states lack standing to sue on behalf of their citizens. The companies include Heritage Pharmaceuticals of Eatontown, New Jersey; Aurobindo Pharma USA of East Windsor, New Jersey; Citron Pharma of East Brunswick, New Jersey; Mayne Pharma USA of Raleigh, North Carolina; Mylan Pharmaceuticals of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania; and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA of North Wales, Pennsylvania.
EU Regulators to Rule on $38 bln Qualcomm, NXP Deal by June 9. EU antitrust regulators will decide by June 9 whether to clear smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm’s $38 billion bid for NXP Semiconductors NV, which would make it the leading supplier to the fast-growing automotive chips market. Qualcomm, which provides chips to Android smartphone makers and Apple Inc., sought EU approval for the deal on April 28, a filing on the European Commission website showed on Monday. The EU competition enforcer can either approve the deal with or without concessions or it can open an investigation lasting about five months if it has serious concerns.
Dow Merger with DuPont Gets Positive Antitrust Review in Brazil. The planned merger of Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont received a recommendation for a conditional approval by Cade, Brazil’s antitrust regulator, after a finding that proposed asset sales would be enough to address competitive concerns, the regulator said in an emailed statement on Friday. Following the review by the office of Cade’s superintendent, the regulator’s board will vote on the $130 billion merger between the U.S. chemical giants, which clinched approval from the European Union in March after they agreed to sell substantial assets. On Tuesday, China conditionally approved the deal, which is also pending regulatory approval in the United States, Australia and Canada.