The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Exclusive: Antitrust probers in Congress ask Spotify to detail alleged Apple abuses – sources. U.S. lawmakers have requested information from Apple critic Spotify as part of an antitrust probe, according to two sources briefed on the investigation into allegations the iPhone maker engages in anti-competitive behavior to support its own apps. The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee reached out to the music streaming service with broad requests for information, according to one source, who added the request to the company was narrowed in follow up telephone calls. Spotify Technology SA filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in the European Union in March, but the contact with the committee marks its first known participation in congressional inquiries into the iPhone maker, whose Apple Music streaming service is Spotify’s biggest rival.
US Gives Limited Approval to Hawaiian-Japan Airlines Venture. The Trump administration rejected a bid by Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines for antitrust immunity to let them expand a partnership. The Transportation Department said Thursday it plans to let the airlines sell each other’s flights and coordinate marketing and frequent-flyer programs for service between Hawaii and Japan, but without antitrust immunity they won’t be able to coordinate prices and schedules. Hawaiian Airlines said it was disappointed by the decision.
EU antitrust regulators to probe Boeing, Embraer deal. EU antitrust regulators opened on Friday a full-scale investigation into Boeing’s bid for a controlling stake in Embraer’s (EMBR3.SA) commercial aircraft arm, saying the deal may reduce competition and push up prices. The European Commission said the deal would remove world No. 3 player Embraer from the commercial aircraft industry while potential rivals from China, Japan and Russia would be unable to fill the gap in the next decade because of the high barriers to entry. The EU competition enforcer said both companies engage in head-to-head competition in terms of price and other parameters worldwide and in Europe. The deal would also remove Embraer from the overall single aisle plane market.
Banks win dismissal of U.S. lawsuit alleging rigged Mexico bond sales. A U.S. judge dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit against several large banks for allegedly rigging the market for Mexican government bonds, according to a court filing. JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are among 10 financial companies that had been accused in the lawsuit of benefiting from manipulating the market for Mexican government bonds. U.S. District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan said in his opinion he was dismissing the lawsuit because the plaintiffs – eight pension funds – failed to allege a direct link between each defendant and a conspiracy.