The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Trump’s Policies May Bring Fresh Wave of Deals. With a man who is co-author of “The Art of the Deal” as president-elect, deal making can be expected to increase. This rise will be determined by whether a Trump administration can govern with stability. And then there is the biggest factor these days in deals — antitrust. It all means that the long-term forces now pushing companies toward making deals are likely to continue, but with some big caveats, namely whether Mr. Trump can govern from a position of stability and consistency.
Google Lawyer Says Android Helps Rather Than Harms Competition. Google’s Android mobile operating system boosts competition rather than hurts it, the company’s general counsel said on Thursday, in a rebuttal of EU antitrust charges that it uses the platform to crush rivals. The comments by Google general counsel Kent Walker on a blog came a week after the U.S. technology group rejected two other EU accusations of unfairly promoting its shopping service and blocking competitors in online search advertising. The Android case could potentially be the most damaging for Google.
U.S. Senate Panel Urges FTC to Launch Antitrust Probe of Mylan. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee urged federal antitrust regulators on Monday to launch a probe into whether EpiPen maker Mylan broke the law by preventing schools from purchasing competing allergy treatments. The bipartisan request to the Federal Trade Commission by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy comes just a few weeks before the committee is slated to convene a hearing to scrutinize a pending $465 million settlement that Mylan has said will resolve claims it underpaid rebates to state and federal Medicaid programs.
U.S. Urges Court to Overturn AmEx Antitrust Decision. The U.S. government on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to reconsider a recent antitrust decision allowing American Express to stop merchants from encouraging customers to use rival cards that charge lower fees. In its Sept. 26 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a lower court ruling that had struck down AmEx’s “anti-steering” rules. At issue are the more than $50 billion of fees that merchants pay annually to process transactions.