The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Exclusive: Google faces hefty EU fine in shopping case by August – sources. EU antitrust regulators aim to slap a hefty fine on Alphabet unit Google over its shopping service before the summer break in August, two people familiar with the matter said, setting the stage for two other cases involving the U.S. company. The European Commission’s decision will come after a seven-year investigation into the world’s most popular internet search engine triggered by scores of complaints from both U.S. and European rivals. The EU competition authority accused Google in April 2015 of distorting internet search results to favor its shopping service, harming both rivals and consumers.
Qualcomm hits at FTC over ‘deficient’ antitrust suit. The back and forth goes on in the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust suit against Qualcomm, the world’s largest maker of mobile chips. Late Friday night, Qualcomm fired the latest salvo in the case, filing documents in which it says, for a second time, that the FTC’s suit should be dismissed because it doesn’t back up the agency’s claims that Qualcomm’s practices hampered competition.
Dollar Express sues Dollar Tree for driving it out of business. U.S. discount retailer Dollar Express has filed a lawsuit accusing rival Family Dollar and its parent company Dollar Tree Inc of driving it out of business, the third government-required divestiture to fail in recent years. Dollar Express was formed in 2015 when private equity group Sycamore Partners II LP bought some 330 stores in 35 states from Family Dollar and Dollar Tree. Family Dollar had to sell the stores in order to win antitrust approval to merge with Dollar Tree. In the lawsuit filed Thursday, Dollar Express accuses Dollar Tree of using confidential information to open new shops near the divested stores to drive them out of business.
EU regulators say Qualcomm has not offered concessions in NXP bid. U.S. smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm has not offered any concessions so far in its $38-billion bid for NXP Semiconductors, EU antitrust regulators said on Friday, increasing the risk of a lengthy investigation into the deal. Qualcomm, which supplies chips to Android smartphone makers and Apple, had until June 1 to propose concessions to allay possible competition concerns over the biggest-ever deal in the semiconductor industry.