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The Antitrust Week in Review

Posted  August 20, 2018

Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.

Apple accused of pressuring game rivals in Japan: Nikkei.  Japanese regulators are investigating Apple Inc over allegations it unfairly pressured Yahoo Japan Corp to slow the expansion of its online games platform, which competes with Apple’s App Store, Japanese media reported on Thursday. The Fair Trade Commission is looking at whether Apple interfered in Yahoo Japan’s operations by pressuring it to cut back on developing its Game Plus web-based service which enables users to stream games without downloading apps, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Independent Labels Urge EU to Block Sony’s $2.3 Billion Bid for EMI.  Independent music labels group Impala has called on EU antitrust regulators to block Sony Corp’s bid to become the world’s largest music publisher with its $2.3 billion (£1.8 billion) offer for control of EMI, saying the combination would have too much market power. Sony announced the deal in May, the boldest strategy move by its new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, which would give it rights to 2.1 million songs from artists such as Drake, Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams and Sia. The Japanese conglomerate, which currently owns a 30 percent stake in EMI, wants to buy Mubalada Investment Co’s 60 percent stake.

Sprint partners with LG to launch 5G smartphone in 2019.  Sprint Corp said Tuesday it has partnered with phone manufacturer LG Electronics Inc to launch a 5G smartphone in the first half of next year, marking the first 5G device deal for the No. 4 U.S. wireless carrier. Sprint is working to persuade antitrust regulators to approve its merger with larger rival T-Mobile US Inc in a $26 billion deal, which the companies say will help them more quickly build the next-generation wireless network. That network is expected to eventually pave the way for new technologies like autonomous cars.

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