The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
In rare bipartisan move, 31 states ask SCOTUS to undo ban on consumer antitrust claims. America’s gaping political divide turns out to be bridgeable – at least when state politicians decide to rally around the cause of overturning U.S. Supreme Court precedent that protects monopolists from consumer suits. Attorneys general representing 31 states from across the political spectrum united in an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn its 1977 precedent in Illinois Brick v. Illinois, which blocks downstream purchasers from asserting antitrust claims under federal law. The state AGs – including GOP stalwarts from Texas and Florida as well as activist Democratic AGs from New York, California and Massachusetts – argue that the Supreme Court’s Illinois Brick doctrine was ill-advised, judge-made policy that has been repudiated by decades of antitrust litigation under state laws passed in its wake.
Google Appeals $5 Billion EU Fine in Android Antitrust Case. Google is appealing a record $5 billion antitrust fine by European Union authorities, who say the tech giant abused the dominance of its Android operating system to stifle competitors. A company spokesman, Al Verney, confirmed Wednesday that the company has filed its legal challenge with the General Court of the EU , the bloc’s second highest court. The EU’s executive Commission issued the fine in July after it found Google forced smartphone makers using Android to install the company’s search and browser apps.
Broadcom gets EU antitrust nod for CA Technologies deal. Chipmaker Broadcom Inc said on Friday it has obtained antitrust clearance from the European Union for its $19-billion deal to acquire software company CA Technologies Inc. Broadcom had on Wednesday said a memo, purportedly signed by the U.S. Department of Defense and circulated among lawmakers calling for a review of the deal, was likely fake.
Macron to Campaign for Tougher Anti-Monopoly Rules in EU Elections. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday he would campaign to toughen European antitrust rules in European parliament elections next year, amid fears in Europe of dominating U.S. and Chinese digital giants. “I need a stronger antitrust arsenal,” the French president told an audience of business founders in a large start-up incubator that has become a flagship for his administration’s ambitions to reinvent France as a plugged-in “start-up nation.”