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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  November 19, 2018

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

U.S. Justice Department to curb bid-rigging in government purchases. The U.S. Justice Department plans to be more aggressive in pressing antitrust charges against companies that have rigged bids for government contracts, the agency’s antitrust chief said on Thursday.  Makan Delrahim, head of the antitrust division, made the remarks in a speech a day after the department settled bid-rigging charges with three South Korean companies which supplied fuel to U.S. military in that country. SK Energy Co Ltd SKENGG.UL; GS Caltex Corp GSCAL.UL, 50 percent owned by Chevron CVX.N; and Hanjin Transportation Co Ltd agreed to pay $236 million in civil damages and criminal fines, the department said on Wednesday.

U.S. Lawmaker Says Facebook Cannot Be Trusted to Regulate Itself. Democratic U.S. Representative David Cicilline, expected to become the next chairman of House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, said on Wednesday that Facebook Inc cannot be trusted to regulate itself and Congress should take action. Cicilline, citing a report in the New York Times on Facebook’s efforts to deal with a series of crises, said on Twitter: “This staggering report makes clear that @Facebook executives will always put their massive profits ahead of the interests of their customers.”

U.S. antitrust chief says evidence, not tweets, drives decision-making. The Department of Justice’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said on Tuesday that evidence drove the division’s decision-making rather than pressure from the president, who recently tweeted that he supported an antitrust probe of Comcast Corp. Speaking on CNBC, Delrahim, the assistant attorney general for antitrust, was asked about President Donald Trump’s attacks on companies like Comcast and Amazon.com Inc, alleging that they break antitrust law. “As far as what we do in our enforcement — we need the evidence, we need the economics, (before) we go to court. Politics that goes on between various aspects of the government don’t affect our decisions to make these cases,” Delrahim said.

U.S. settles antitrust charges with six broadcast companies. The U.S. Justice Department has settled antitrust charges with Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Media Co and four other broadcast companies accused of sharing competitively sensitive information with rivals, the department said on Tuesday. The companies also include Raycom Media Inc, Meredith Corp, Griffin Communications and Dreamcatcher Broadcasting LLC. The information involved how stations were performing, giving insight to rivals about whether they would raise, lower or maintain spot advertising prices, the agency said in a statement.

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation,

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