The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Justice Dept. Explores Google Antitrust Case. The Justice Department is exploring whether to open a case against Google for potential antitrust violations, three people with knowledge of the deliberations said Friday. In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission investigated how Google arranges search results. The five F.T.C. commissioners voted unanimously at the time against bringing charges against the company.
Qualcomm asks U.S. judge to put anti-trust ruling on hold while chipmaker appeals. Qualcomm Inc. on Tuesday asked a federal judge not to enforce her decision that it illegally squeezed out rivals in the smartphone chips market as it plans to file an appeal that could take more than a year to wind through the courts. In a filing in federal court in San Jose, California, Qualcomm said that it believes it can succeed in appealing the May 21 decision by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in an antitrust case brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in January 2017. The company has not yet filed that appeal; Tuesday’s filing only concerns whether the ruling’s provisions will be put on hold temporarily as it plays out.
Duke University to Pay $54M to End Lawsuit Over Hiring Limit. Duke University is agreeing to pay $54.5 million to settle claims that it and nearby University of North Carolina conspired to hold down salaries of medical professors by agreeing not to hire staff away from each other. Lawyers for the former Duke radiology professor who filed the class-action lawsuit called the average $10,000 projected for more than 5,400 current and former workers one of the largest for employees claiming violations of federal anti-trust laws.
Apple defends App Store amid mounting criticism. Apple Inc. on Wednesday publicly defended its App Store from mounting criticism over its treatment of rivals in a new blog post detailing its functions and guidelines. Companies like music streaming leader Spotify Technology SA have criticized the iPhone maker’s practices, describing it as anti-competitive behavior in a complaint to the European Union’s antitrust regulators. Central to Spotify’s complaint is a 30% fee Apple charges content-based service providers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system (IAP). In a section called “Principles and Practices,” Apple defended its practices, saying developers decide what they want to charge from a set of price tiers.