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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  March 18, 2019

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

British Panel Calls for Stricter Antitrust Rules on Tech Giants.  The expanding power of technology companies has become a talking point in the United States presidential race, a subject of debate in India and a top focus of regulators in the European Union. Now, Britain is adding its voice to the worldwide backlash. Big Tech is reducing consumer choice and harming innovation, according to a British government report released on Wednesday. The government, as a result, needs to overhaul its antitrust policies. The 150-page report, ordered by the chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, the country’s top treasury official, said the country needed stricter rules on acquisitions in the technology industry and stronger oversight to make sure that new rivals cannot be squashed.

EU antitrust watchdog considering Apple probe: Vestager.  The European Union’s competition watchdog is considering opening a probe of Apple over allegations that it uses its app store to gain an advantage on its own services over rivals’, the authority’s chief said on Thursday. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, told German newspaper Tagesspiegel her watchdog would “have to examine the role of Apple and Apple’s app store.” The EU’s consideration of a possible probe of Apple comes after music streaming service Spotify filed a complaint against the iPhone maker, saying it was unfairly limiting rivals to its own Apple Music streaming service.

U.S. judge assessing CVS merger with Aetna orders hearing.  A U.S. judge who has been asked to sign off on a government agreement that allowed CVS Health Corp to buy health insurer Aetna ordered a hearing for April 5. Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the order on Thursday, saying that he wanted the hearing to discuss which witnesses, if any, should testify before he decides whether to approve the government’s deal with the companies.



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