July 25, 2016

The Antitrust Week In Review

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

Price-Fixing Truck Makers Get Record E.U. Fine: $3.2 Billion.  The European Union’s antitrust chief imposed a record fine of 2.9 billion euros, or $3.2 billion, on a group of truck makers on Tuesday, part of a trend toward steeper penalties for competition violations in the 28-nation bloc.  The fine was for price-fixing and operating a secretive system aimed at delaying the installation of pollution-curbing exhaust pipes and engines.  Earlier this month, the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, announced a new round of antitrust charges against Google, on suspicion that some of the company’s advertising products had restricted consumer choice.

U.S. Moves to Block Massive Health Insurer Deals Led by Anthem, Aetna.  U.S. antitrust officials on Thursday moved to block an unprecedented consolidation of the national health insurance market, filing a lawsuit against Anthem Inc.’s proposed purchase of Cigna Corp and Aetna Inc.’s planned acquisition of Humana Inc.  The U.S. Department of Justice said the two multibillion-dollar mergers would reduce competition, raise prices for consumers and stifle innovation if the number of large, national insurers were to fall from five to three.  It was the latest example of the Obama administration challenging massive combinations in major industries, from oilfield services to telecommunications.

Daimler Says It has Made Provisions for 1 Billion Euro Anti-Trust Fine.  German truck maker Daimler has made provisions to cover a billion-euro cartel fine imposed by the European Commission.  EU antitrust regulators handed down a record 2.93-billion-euro ($3.24 billion) fine on truck makers Daimler, Paccar, Volvo/Renault and Iveco for taking part in a cartel related to emissions-reducing technology.  “We can confirm that a settlement has been reached with the EU Commission in the antitrust investigation. The fine that has been imposed (on Daimler) amounts to approximately 1.009 billion euros,” Daimler said in a statement, adding that it had made provisions to cover the fine.

Leave a comment »

Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, International Competition Issues

    July 22, 2016

    Department of Justice Moves Mega Beer Merger One Round Closer

    By Matthew Vaccaro

    U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) antitrust officials have approved Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (“ABI”) $107 billion takeover of SABMiller, on condition that ABI divest substantial assets, agree to prohibitions of certain distribution practices, and submit to ongoing agency oversight of ABI’s future acquisitions of distributors and craft brewers.

    If approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the settlement agreed to by DOJ and ABI will permit consummation of a mega merger of the world’s two largest brewers by revenue, which together account for 70% of beer sales in the U.S.  ABI owns more than 40 major beer brands sold in the U.S., including Budweiser, Busch, and Michelob.  SABMiller is currently the majority shareholder of MillerCoors, which owns all of Miller’s American brands and operations.  In order to gain the U.S. antirust regulators’ approval of the merger, ABI has agreed to sell SABMiller’s entire interest in MillerCoors, including its worldwide Miller brand rights.

    click here for more »

    Leave a comment »

    Categories: Antitrust Enforcement

      July 19, 2016

      The Antitrust Week In Review

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

      Google Faces New Round of Antitrust Charges in Europe.  When it comes to Europe’s lengthy investigations into Google, Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition chief, is hoping that the third time’s a charm.  Ms. Vestager announced on Thursday a new round of antitrust charges against the company — the third set since early 2015 — claiming that some of the company’s advertising products had restricted consumer choice.  The efforts are part of her continuing push to rein in Google’s activities in the European Union, where the Silicon Valley company has captured roughly 90 percent of the region’s online search market.

      Antitrust ruling on big mergers expected soon.  A U.S. Justice Department decision on the proposed mergers of Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc., and Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp., could come as soon as this week.  Hartford, Connecticut-based Aetna met earlier this month with Justice Department officials to make its case for its $37 billion merger with Louisville, Kentucky-based rival Humana, just two weeks after a similar meeting involving the $54 billion merger of Indianapolis-based Anthem and Bloomfield, Connecticut-based Cigna, Bloomberg reported.

      Teva says Allergan deal to close ‘any time’, expects U.S. antitrust clearance.  Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd said on Wednesday it expected its $40 billion deal to buy Allergan Plc’s generics business to close “at any time,” even as the companies extended the deadline for completing the transaction to October to allow more time for the U.S. antitrust review.  The deal was announced more than a year ago and had been expected to wrap up last month, but it has taken longer as the companies have arranged sales of more drugs than anticipated to clear the antitrust regulators.  The deal closing is contingent on clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the antitrust regulator reviewing the deal, which the companies said they expect at any time.

      Bayer Raises Takeover Bid for Monsanto.  The German industrial giant Bayer raised its all-cash takeover bid for Monsanto on Thursday, turning up the heat in its pursuit of the American agricultural company.  In a news release, Bayer said that it had increased its offer to $125 a share from $122 a share.  The German company also proposed a $1.5 billion breakup fee if a merger of the two companies ran afoul of government regulators — a concession to concerns that a transaction could raise opposition from antitrust officials.  Though the two companies operate on separate sides of the agricultural business, regulators may closely scrutinize a merger that could put additional pricing pressure on farmers.

      Leave a comment »

      Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

        July 11, 2016

        The Antitrust Week In Review

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

        Aetna Meets with Justice Department Over Merger with Humana.  Aetna executives met with top antitrust officials of the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday to convince the government that asset sales it proposed would address potential competitive problems that could threaten its deal to buy rival Humana, according to a source.  Aetna’s plan to buy Humana would combine two of the largest providers of Medicare Advantage plans for elderly people, and investors are concerned that antitrust regulators could oppose the deal.  The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division is assessing both Aetna’s $34 billion merger as well as Anthem’s $44 billion deal to buy rival Cigna.

        EU Regulators Accept Antitrust Concessions from Maersk, MSC, Others.  European Union antitrust regulators accepted on Thursday an offer from Maersk , the world’s largest container shipping liner, and 13 competitors to change their pricing practices in order to stave off possible fines.  The case is being closely watched by other sectors such as supermarkets and chemicals companies, concerned that similar pricing methods could lead to charges of price fixing by competition enforcers.  The European Commission opened a case against the container shipping liners in late 2013, following dawn raids two years earlier.

        EU Set to Clear Italian Mobile Telecoms Merger-Sources.  CK Hutchison Holdings and Vimpelcom are set to win EU antitrust approval for their deal to merge their rival Italian mobile network operators after agreeing to concessions to help a new competitor break into the market, according to sources.  Approval of the 21.8-billion-euro deal to merge Hutchison’s 3 Italia with Vimpelcom’s Wind Telecommunicazioni would be welcome news for the industry after the European Commission blocked Hutchison’s similar deal in the UK to merge its Three UK subsidiary with Telefonica’s O2 UK.  European regulators fear that when such deals reduce the number of mobile network operators in a country to just three, competition would be insufficient to keep a lid on prices.

        Leave a comment »

        Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, International Competition Issues

          June 27, 2016

          The Antitrust Week In Review

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

          Merging UK Firms Face More Costs, Bureaucracy with Brexit.  British companies planning mergers with EU peers will face more legal costs and regulatory hassles after Britain leaves the European Union as they will have to deal with two antitrust watchdogs, according to competition experts.  On the other hand, freed from strict EU state aid rules, Britain would have a free hand to prop up ailing companies such as steel producers if it chose to do so.  Britain’s vote to leave the EU could upset the current system, under which British competition rules are modeled on EU laws, and decisions by the country’s courts and tribunals must be consistent with the principles and judgments of the top EU courts in Luxembourg.

          Anthem Faces Showdown with Antitrust Cops in Bid for Cigna.  Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp. are preparing for a showdown with senior Justice Department officials in their effort to persuade the government to allow the health insurers to combine, lest they wind up dueling in court over a $1.85 billion breakup fee, according to sources.  This phase of a merger review can feel like a roller coaster ride, antitrust experts caution, with the outcome difficult to predict as companies jockey with enforcers in last-ditch meetings.

          EU Regulators to Rule on $130 Billion Dow, DuPont Deal by July 28.  EU antitrust authorities will decide by July 28 whether to allow the $130 billion merger of U.S. chemical company Dow Chemical Co and its rival DuPont, one of several large agribusiness deals.  The companies requested approval on Wednesday, according to a filing on the European Commission website.

          Leave a comment »

          Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

            « Previous Entries  






            © 2009-2016 Constantine Cannon LLP. Attorney Advertising. Disclaimer. Privacy Policy.