October 17, 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.

Microsoft Seeks EU Approval for LinkedIn Buy.  Microsoft sought EU antitrust approval on Friday for its $26 billion bid for social network LinkedIn, a spokesman said on Friday, kicking off a month-long review by regulators of its largest deal.  U.S. software company Salesforce has criticized the takeover, saying it threatens innovation and competition.  Antitrust regulators in the United States, Canada and Brazil have already cleared the deal.

Google Gets Second Extension to Reply to EU Charge on Shopping.  Alphabet unit Google has been given about three more weeks to counter EU antitrust charges that it unfairly demotes rival shopping services in internet search results, a move that could further delay regulators’ decision on the six-year-old case.  The U.S. technology giant was due to respond to the accusations on Thursday, but requested more time to prepare its defense.  The company now has until Nov. 7, a European Commission spokesman said.

South Korea Regulator Says to Examine Google’s Android Agreements.  The head of South Korea’s antitrust regulator says the agency will closely examine whether Google’s agreements with handset manufacturers on the U.S. firm’s Android mobile operating system limits market competition.  Jeong Jae-chan, chairman of the Korea Fair Trade Commission, said the agency will re-examine anti-competition issues over Google’s policies on the Android platform, but did not elaborate on specifics.  The agency said in August it was looking into whether the U.S. firm, whose corporate parent is Alphabet Inc., has violated South Korean anti-competition laws but did not elaborate on what potential charges might be brought against Google.

EU’s Vestager Does Not Rule Out Action Over Google Scraping Complaint.  The EU’s antitrust regulator, who has accused Alphabet unit Google of stifling competition in three separate cases, left open the possibility of further action against the U.S. technology giant.  Complaints have been made about Google’s practice of copying content from websites without payment in what is known as scraping.  Complainants include News Corp, Getty Images and German publishers.

Leave a comment »

Categories: Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

    October 10, 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.

    Supreme Court Rejects NCAA Appeal of O’Bannon Case.  The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the NCAA’s appeal of the Ed O’Bannon case, leaving in place lower court rulings that found amateurism rules for big-time college sports violated federal antitrust law but prohibited payments to student-athletes.  The justices on Monday rejected the appeal in a class-action lawsuit originally filed by O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball star, and later joined by other athletes.  The court also rejected O’Bannon’s separate appeal that called on the justices to reinstate a plan for schools to pay football and basketball players for the uses of their names, images and likenesses.

    Amazon Seeks to Settle EU Antitrust E-Book Investigation – Source.  Amazon is talking to European Union antitrust regulators about settling a year-long investigation into its e-book deals with publishers without a fine, according to a source.  The move comes as Amazon is also under scrutiny over its tax deal with Luxembourg, which may result in the U.S. online retailer paying millions of euros in back taxes.  “Amazon is in talks to settle the e-book case but it is too early to say whether it will reach an agreement,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Google Has Until October 31 to Reply to EU’s Android Antitrust Charges.  Alphabet’s Google has been given until the end of October, the fourth extension, to rebut EU antitrust charges that it uses its dominant Android mobile operating system to block competitors, according to the European Commission.  The Commission in April said the U.S. technology giant’s demand that mobile phone makers pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps harms consumers and competition.

    Banks Must Face U.S. Gold Rigging Lawsuit; UBS is Dismissed.  A U.S. judge said gold investors may pursue much of their lawsuit accusing four major banks of conspiring for a decade to fix prices and exploit distortions at the expense of investors in global markets for the precious metal.  Antitrust and manipulation claims can move forward against Barclays Plc, Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings Plc and Societe Generale, U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan said in a decision made public on Tuesday.  Investors allege that the banks conspired from 2004 to 2013 to fix prices.

    Leave a comment »

    Categories: Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

      October 3, 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.

      American Express Can Stop Merchants From Steering Clients to Other Cards.  American Express will be able to prevent businesses from pushing customers toward competing credit cards after all.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that American Express could stop merchants that accept its cards from encouraging customers to use rival payment cards that charge the stores lower transaction fees.  The decision reversed a lower court’s 2015 ruling that such restrictions violated federal antitrust law.

      Salesforce Urges EU to Probe Microsoft, Linkedin Antitrust Issues.  U.S. software company Salesforce called on EU regulators on Thursday to investigate antitrust issues related to Microsoft’s $26 billion bid for social network LinkedIn.  Microsoft is expected to seek EU antitrust approval in the coming weeks for its largest ever deal.  Salesforce, which lost out on the bidding for LinkedIn, urged competition authorities to go beyond a simple review, saying the deal threatens innovation and competition.

      Qualcomm to Fight EU Antitrust Charge at November 10 Hearing: Sources.  U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm will attempt to fend off EU antitrust charges at a hearing on Nov. 10 that it used anticompetitive methods to squeeze out a rival, sources  said on Friday.  The European Commission may take Qualcomm’s arguments at the hearing into account in the case, which could delay the Commission’s decision and possible fine against the company if it is found to have infringed EU antitrust rules.  Qualcomm requested the closed-door hearing nine months after the European Commission accused it of forcing British phone software maker Icera out of the market by selling certain baseband chipsets below cost between 2009 and 2011.

      Judge Dismisses Scouts’ Lawsuit Against Major League Baseball.  A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit accusing Major League Baseball’s 30 teams of conspiring not to poach each other’s scouts and refusing to pay them overtime.  Citing baseball’s longstanding antitrust exemption, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan dismissed class action claims by Jordan Wyckoff and Darwin Cox, former scouts for the Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies, respectively.  According to the complaint, the teams colluded to reduce competition by agreeing not to cold-call or otherwise recruit each other’s scouts without their employers’ permission, and misclassifying scouts as exempt from federal wage-and-hour laws.

      Leave a comment »

      Categories: Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

        September 26, 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.

        China Vitamin C Price-Fixing Verdict Voided by U.S. Appeals Court.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday threw out a $147.8 million price-fixing verdict against two Chinese companies that were accused of conspiring to raise prices and lower supply of vitamin C sold to U.S. purchasers.  The Court of Appeals said the case should not have gone to trial after China, in a “historic act,” formally advised that its laws required the vitamin C makers to violate the Sherman Act, a U.S. antitrust law.  Writing for a 3-0 panel, Circuit Judge Peter Hall said the Brooklyn judge who presided over the March 2013 jury verdict should have deferred to China’s interpretation of its own laws, regardless of the country’s motives.

        35 US States Sue British Drugmaker Over Marketing of Opioid.  Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia filed an antitrust lawsuit Thursday alleging that British drugmaker Indivior tried to keep cheaper, generic versions of Suboxone off the market, California’s attorney general announced.  The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania also names New Jersey’s MonoSol Rx, a pharmaceutical dissolving-film company, for conspiring to corner the market on the popular medication used to treat people hooked on heroin and other painkillers.

        Exclusive: Japan’s Antitrust Watchdog Considers Action Against Apple, Carriers – Sources.  Japanese regulators are considering taking action against Apple Inc. over possible antitrust violations that may have helped it dominate the nation’s smartphone sales, government sources said, a move that could hit the company’s profit margins in one of its most profitable markets.  In a report published last month, Japan’s Fair Trade Commission said that NTT Docomo, KDDI Corp and Softbank Group were refusing to sell older surplus iPhone models to third party retailers, thereby hobbling smaller competitors.  Apple was not named in that report, but two senior government sources told Reuters that regulators were also focusing on Apple’s supply agreements with all three carriers.

        Google Gets More Time to Counter EU Antitrust Charge on Android.  Alphabet’s Google has been given an extra three weeks to respond to EU antitrust charges that it abused its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals, the European Commission said on Tuesday.  The U.S. tech giant had been due to file a response by Tuesday, but said it needed more time and will now reply by Oct. 7, a Commission spokesman said, the third extension of the deadline.  The Commission in April accused Google of harming consumers because it required mobile phone makers to pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps.

        Leave a comment »

        Categories: Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

          September 12, 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.

          New York Attorney General Launches Antitrust Probe of Mylan’s EpiPen Contracts.  New York state’s attorney general on Tuesday opened an investigation into pharmaceuticals giant Mylan, focused on its contracts with local school systems to buy its lifesaving EpiPens.  The skyrocketing price of those auto-injection devices, used to counteract potentially fatal allergic reactions, has drawn intense criticism of the company this summer.  The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said it launched its probe after a preliminary review revealed Mylan might have inserted anti-competitive terms into its deals to sell EpiPens.

          Mastercard Sued for 14 Billion Pounds in Britain’s Biggest Damages Claim.  About 46 million people in Britain could potentially benefit from a legal case brought against Mastercard demanding 14 billion pounds ($19 billion) in damages for allegedly charging excessive fees, according to court documents filed in London.  The case brought by a former chief financial services ombudsman alleges the payments company set unlawfully high fees charged to stores when shoppers swipe their debit or credit cards that were passed on to consumers in higher prices.  Mastercard was accused of doing this for 16 years between 1992 and 2008, according to the documents filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal on Thursday.

          Google Given More Time to Reply to EU Antitrust Charge on Android.  Alphabet’s Google has been given two more weeks to counter EU antitrust charges that it uses its dominant Android mobile operating system to block competitors, the European Commission said on Thursday.  The EU competition enforcer in April accused the U.S. technology giant of harming consumers because of its demand that mobile phone makers pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps.  Google was initially given until July 27 to respond to the charges but asked for an extension to Sept. 7.

          As US Puts Breaks on Megadeals, Walgreens Prepares to Unload.  Walgreens believes that it will probably have to unload more stores than expected to ease antitrust concerns over its pending, $9.41 billion acquisition of Rite Aid, a deal that would make the nation’s largest drugstore chain even larger.  While it still expects to complete the acquisition this year, the Deerfield, Illinois, company said Thursday that it will probably have to divest more than 500 stores.  The company previously said that it expected to divest 500 or fewer.

          Leave a comment »

          Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

            « Previous Entries   Next Entries »






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