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’s Vestager says probe into Google AdSense case nearing end. EU regulators are close to wrapping up their third case against Alphabet unit Google involving its AdSense advertising service, Europe’s antitrust chief said on Wednesday, suggesting the company may soon be hit with another hefty fine. The comments by European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager come four months after she levied a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) fine against Google for using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals. That followed a 2.4 billion euro fine imposed on the company last year after it thwarted rivals of shopping comparison websites.
Big investors sue 16 banks in U.S. over currency market rigging. A group of large institutional investors including BlackRock Inc. and Allianz SE’s Pacific Investment Management Co. has sued 16 major banks, accusing them of rigging prices in the roughly $5.1 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan by plaintiffs that decided to “opt out” of similar nationwide litigation that has resulted in $2.31 billion (£1.76 billion) of settlements with 15 of the banks. Those settlements followed worldwide regulatory probes that have led to more than $10 billion of fines for several banks, and the convictions or indictments of some traders.
Exclusive: Takeda to Win EU Approval for $62 Billion Shire Deal-Sources. Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical is set to win conditional EU antitrust approval for its $62-billion bid for London’s Shire, the biggest ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday. Last month, Takeda offered to divest Shire Plc’s pipeline compound SHP647 along with some associated rights after the European Commission voiced concerns about the overlap with its own drug for inflammatory bowel disease called Entyvio. Entyvio, a treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is Takeda’s biggest-selling drug.
U.S. court rules Qualcomm must license technology to rivals. A U.S. federal judge ruled on Tuesday that chip seller Qualcomm Inc. must license some of its technology to competitors such as Intel Corp. The preliminary ruling came in an antitrust lawsuit against Qualcomm brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in early 2017. The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial next year.