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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  April 22, 2019

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

Apple and Qualcomm Settle All Disputes Worldwide.  For the past two years, Apple and Qualcomm have dueled on three continents over the division of billions of dollars of smartphone profits and even how much consumers pay for their phones. On Tuesday, just as a trial had begun in a federal courtroom in San Diego over a suit Apple had filed against Qualcomm, the two companies said they had essentially made up. The companies, one the maker of iPhones and the other the largest provider of mobile chips, said they had agreed to dismiss all litigation between them worldwide. They added that they had reached a six-year agreement for Apple to pay unspecified royalties on Qualcomm’s patents.

U.S. antitrust scrutiny tests T-Mobile’s $26 billion bet on Sprint.  T-Mobile US Inc.’s $26 billion deal to buy Sprint Inc. banked on changes in wireless technology and media streaming to win U.S. antitrust approval, but the bet now looks precarious. Growing skepticism from the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust staff over the impact of the merger on competition in the market will test the resolve of the companies to complete the deal that would see the top U.S. wireless carriers shrink to three from four. While the Department of Justice has yet to reach a decision on whether to approve the deal, it is pushing Sprint and T-Mobile for evidence that the merger would be in the interest of U.S. consumers, people familiar with the matter said.

White House will not turn over documents on AT&T-Time Warner merger. The White House has told two U.S. House Democrats it will not turn over documents that could show whether Republican President Donald Trump sought to intervene in the regulatory review of AT&T Inc.’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. In March, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Representative David Cicilline, who chairs a panel overseeing antitrust issues, asked the White House and Justice Department to turn over records after The New Yorker magazine reported Trump directed then-National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn to use the Justice Department to block the deal. The pair wrote that if accurate, Trump’s involvement would “constitute a grave abuse of power.” In February, a federal appeals court upheld a lower-court ruling rejecting a Justice Department challenge to the deal filed in November 2017.

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation,

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