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Antitrust Week in Review

Posted  April 27, 2015

Comcast drops Time Warner Cable bid after antitrust pressure.  Comcast has abandoned its $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable after U.S. regulators raised concerns that the deal would give Comcast an unfair advantage in the cable TV and Internet-based services market.  The proposed deal had been attacked by politicians, media company executives and consumer and industry groups, who worried it would create a monolith with too much control over what Americans do online and watch on TV.

In Accusing Russian Energy Giant Gazprom, E.U. Begins a Test of Wills.  European Union antitrust regulators have charged the Russian energy giant Gazprom with abusing its dominance in natural gas markets, a move amounting to a direct challenge to authorities in Moscow.  While the EU’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, described the matter in terms of business markets, Gazprom suggested that it was not subject to the EU’s antitrust jurisdiction because it is a state-controlled company.

EU antitrust case against Google based on 19 complainants-sources.   The European Union’s decision last week to bring antitrust charges against Google stems from official complaints by 19 companies in Europe and the United States, including Microsoft and a number of small firms, according to sources.  The list of complainants, which includes companies not directly involved in the charges around Google’s shopping service, would make it easier for the EU to expand the case beyond its preliminary focus on price-comparison shopping sites.  Being official parties to the case will enable the companies to get a copy of the detailed EU charge sheet and to argue their case at a hearing of competition experts should Google ask for one.

Oil exec Aubrey McClendon faces U.S. antitrust probe: filing.  Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for potential antitrust violations related to leasing oil and gas properties, according to a regulatory filing by American Energy Capital Partners-Energy Recovery Program LP, a new business venture he helps run.  Chesapeake has previously revealed it was cooperating with a government probe into possible antitrust violations.  The investigation has looked at whether buyers of oil and gas properties colluded to avoid bidding up land prices.

Tagged in: Antitrust Litigation,

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