The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
EU antitrust regulators to investigate $38 billion Qualcomm, NXP deal. EU antitrust authorities opened an investigation on Friday into Qualcomm’s $38-billion bid for NXP Semiconductors, ratcheting up pressure on the U.S. smartphone chipmaker to offer concessions to address their concerns. Qualcomm, which supplies chips to Android smartphone makers and Apple, is set to become the leading supplier to the fast growing automotive chip market following the deal, the largest-ever in the semiconductor industry. The European Commission listed a raft of concerns about the combined company’s ability and incentives to squeeze out rivals and jack up prices.
Lawsuit in U.S. accuses 12 big banks of credit default swap collusion. A small trading exchange on Thursday filed an antitrust lawsuit accusing Bank of America Corp , Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and nine other banks of conspiring to shut it out of the $9.9 trillion credit default swap market. Tera Group Inc. accused the banks of coordinating a boycott of its seven-year-old TeraExchange platform by refusing both to send it any CDS transactions, and to clear and settle any CDS trades that customers wanted to handle there. It also said the banks used their 95 percent market share to require that trading follow a protocol known as “request for quote,” which Tera described as opaque and inefficient.
French Drugmaker Servier Challenges 331 Million Euro EU Antitrust Fine. French drugmaker Servier urged an EU court on Tuesday to slash a 331 million euro antitrust fine, saying regulators had committed multiple errors when they ruled against the company’s pay-for-delay deals with generic rivals three years ago. Such deals, a typical business practice in the industry, are frowned upon by competition authorities on both sides of the Atlantic, who say they block the entry of cheaper generic medicines into the market as governments grapple with rising healthcare costs.
Johnson & Johnson expects to complete of Actelion offer on June 16. Johnson & Johnson said Friday’s approval of its proposed acquisition of Swiss biotech company Actelion by the European Commission meant all regulatory approvals required to complete the $30 billion deal have been received. The U.S. company said it expects settlement of the all-cash public tender offer by its Swiss subsidiary, Janssen Holding, on June 16. EU antitrust regulators approved on Friday Johnson & Johnson’s planned purchase of Actelion subject to conditions intended to ensure clinical development of insomnia drugs were unaffected.