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. appeals court revives aluminum antitrust cases vs Goldman, JPMorgan, Glencore. A federal appeals court revived lawsuits by aluminum purchasers that accused Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, mining company Glencore and other companies of conspiring to drive up prices for the metal by reducing supply. In a 3-0 decision, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said a federal judge erred in dismissing antitrust claims by “direct” purchasers of aluminum such as Novelis, and by other purchasers including Eastman Kodak, Fujifilm and Reynolds Consumer Products. Purchasers accused banks and commodity trading, mining and metals warehousing companies of conspiring to hoard aluminum inventory earlier this decade, after prices had declined because industrial activity fell during the global financial crisis. The purchasers said the alleged conspiracy led to delays in processing orders and higher storage costs, ultimately inflating the cost to produce cabinets, flashlights, soft drink cans, strollers and other goods containing aluminum.
Senators Ask for Antitrust Probe in Concert Ticketing. Can the government play a stronger role in regulating the business of online tickets for concerts and other events? When lawmakers and federal agencies have considered that question, they have tended to focus on fairness to consumers. In June, for example, the Federal Trade Commission held an industry conference looking at topics like the surcharges tacked on by companies like Ticketmaster and StubHub. Last week, two United States senators went further by asking the Justice Department to investigate the state of competition in the ticketing business, and to extend a regulatory agreement with Live Nation Entertainment, the industry behemoth that owns Ticketmaster.
Third Point, U.S. settle over antitrust filing in DowDuPont stake. Third Point LLC has agreed to pay more than $600,000 to settle allegations the hedge fund failed to properly file for antitrust clearance when it bought DowDuPont stock two years ago, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday. Third Point, which invests roughly $15 billion in securities around the world and is run by billionaire investor Daniel Loeb, will pay a civil fine of $609,810, the department said. Two years ago the hedge fund allegedly bought too much DowDuPont stock too quickly, failing to make the required Hart-Scott-Rodino filings or observe a required waiting period.