Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Beer drinkers lose U.S. appeal over Anheuser-SABMiller merger. A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected an antitrust challenge by 23 beer drinkers to Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s (ABI.BR) $107 billion purchase in 2016 of SABMiller Plc, which they claimed would thwart competition and raise prices in the U.S. beer market. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon said SABMiller’s agreement with antitrust regulators to divest its U.S. beer business, by selling its stake in the MillerCoors joint venture to Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP.N), would prevent increased concentration in the industry. It also rejected as speculative the argument that the merger violated the federal Clayton Act because it gave Molson Coors an incentive to adopt Anheuser’s distribution practices, to combat its rival’s newly increased size.
Appeals Court Rejects Magazine Anti-Trust Lawsuit. A federal appeals court has rejected an antitrust lawsuit brought against publishers by what was once one of the country’s largest wholesale magazine distributors. In an opinion published Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan agreed with a lower-court judge in rejecting Anderson News LLC’s claims, first brought in 2009. The Knoxville, Tennessee company argued that publishers controlling 80 percent of the nation’s magazines conspired to drive it out of business by rejecting its demand that publishers pay 7-cent surcharges on each magazine distributed. The company said the surcharge was necessary to remain profitable.
Sprint, T-Mobile in early stages of regulatory review, no decisions yet: source. U.S. antitrust enforcers are in the early stages of reviewing T-Mobile US Inc’s to buy Sprint Corp for $26 billion, and have reached no conclusions on how many wireless carriers the country needs, a source familiar with the situation said. Sprint shares were up 8.7 percent at $6.11 and T-Mobile rose 6.7 percent to $65.65 in late-afternoon trading, after the New York Post reported that U.S. regulators believed that just three national providers were needed, removing an obstacle to the deal. The two companies compete against AT&T and Verizon to provide U.S. wireless service.