The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
E.U. Commission Opens Antitrust Inquiry Into E-Commerce Sector. European antitrust officials have opened an investigation into whether large technology companies are impeding competition in online shopping, the latest in a string of inquiries in Europe focused on the web’s biggest players. According to Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s antitrust chief, the review will focus on how electronics, clothing, shoes and online content are bought and sold online, and whether e-commerce companies have created artificial barriers that prevent Europeans from buying goods across national borders.
Top California court revives Cipro antitrust case. The California Supreme Court has revived an antitrust class action accusing a drugmaker of paying to keep a generic version of Bayer AG’s antibiotic Cipro off the market. The unanimous opinion marks the first time an appellate court has tackled so-called “pay for delay” deals since a landmark 2013 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court held that such deals may be illegal. The plaintiffs in the antitrust class action – a group of non-profits and individuals in California who bought Cipro – claim that Bayer (which settled the claims in 2013) violated California antitrust law by paying Barr Pharmaceuticals, (since bought by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries) $398 million to refrain from marketing a generic version of Cipro until Bayer’s patent on the drug expired.
Sysco Urges Judge to Save US Foods Deal in Antitrust Duel. Sysco Corp.’s takeover of US Foods Inc. would create an industry “behemoth” in food distribution, eliminating intense head-to-head competition between the companies, a U.S. lawyer argued at the start of a courtroom battle over the merger. The FTC is asking a federal judge to block the $3.5 billion deal, arguing the merger would give Sysco a dominant share in an industry where it’s the biggest player, and lead to higher prices for restaurants, hotels, school cafeterias and other customers.
SandRidge is target of antitrust grand jury probe: filing. SandRidge Energy is the target of a federal grand jury investigation into violations of antitrust law related to the leasing of oil and gas properties, according to a regulatory filing by the company. The Oklahoma-based company said in an SEC filing that the transactions subject to the government’s inquiry date from 2012 and prior years.
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