The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Anthem Makes $47 Billion Offer for Rival Cigna. One of the biggest health insurers in the United States, Anthem, has revealed that it is offering to buy rival Cigna for more than $47 billion in cash and stock. The move is the latest step toward an expected consolidation among health insurance companies. Last month, Humana, another competing health insurer, was reported to be exploring a sale of itself.
European Regulators Lay Out Demands and Fines in Google Antitrust Case. European Union antitrust regulators are threatening to impose significant fines on Google’s operations in Europe if the company does not give rivals greater prominence in some search results across the 28-member bloc. The move — outlined in a statement of objections that was sent to Google in April and on Thursday to a number of companies that have balked at Google’s activities in Europe — is the latest step in the five-year antitrust case brought by European officials.
Senators reintroduce bill to protect antitrust whistleblowers. The ranking Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have joined forces to reintroduce a bill aimed at protecting whistleblowers who aid the U.S. Department of Justice in investigating criminal antitrust cases. A similar bill passed the Senate in late 2013, but was not taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives.
News Corp must face Dial, Heinz ad monopoly class action – judge. U.S. District Judge William Pauley has ordered News Corp to face a class action lawsuit accusing it of monopolizing the market for in-store promotions at some 52,500 retail stores in the United States. The federal judge in Manhattan said consumer packaged goods companies such as Dial Corp, H.J. Heinz Co and Smithfield Foods Inc may pursue their antitrust claims as a group, potentially boosting overall damages.