The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
U.S. regulators approve $5 billion Facebook settlement over privacy issues: source. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a roughly $5 billion settlement with Facebook Inc. this week over its investigation into the social media company’s handling of user data, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday. The FTC has been investigating allegations Facebook inappropriately shared information belonging to 87 million users with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. The probe has focused on whether the data sharing violated a 2011 consent agreement between Facebook and the regulator.
Qualcomm asks appeals court to pause antitrust ruling’s impact. Qualcomm Inc. has asked a U.S. appeals court to pause an antitrust ruling that could drastically alter its business model while it tries to overturn the ruling. The filing with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came after U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh last week declined to put on hold her own ruling in a case brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against the San Diego company, which is the largest supplier of modem chips that connect smartphones to wireless data networks. Koh ruled that Qualcomm had engaged in anticompetitive patent-licensing practices to keep a monopoly on the mobile chip market. Koh ordered Qualcomm to license its technology to rival chipmakers, which include firms like Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc. Qualcomm has been fighting to have the ruling put on hold while it pursues an appeal, which could take more than year.
EU Fines Hello Kitty Owner $7 Million in Antitrust Ruling. European Union authorities on Tuesday fined the Japanese company behind Hello Kitty for restricting cross-border online sales of toys, mugs, bags and other products featuring the cartoon cat girl. The EU’s antitrust commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said that Sanrio Co. was fined 6.2 million euros ($7 million) because the company violated the bloc’s competition rules with licensing agreements that banned traders from selling merchandise in different countries in the bloc. The commission found Sanrio’s illegal practices were in force for 11 years until December.