The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
EU plans more protectionist antitrust rules, data sharing in policy shake-up. The EU plans to adopt more protectionist antitrust rules and encourage businesses to share data as part of an industrial policy overhaul aimed at giving European companies a sharper edge in global markets, a strategy document seen by Reuters shows. Drafted by the European Commission and set to be unveiled in March, the strategy also includes the more aggressive use of trade defense instruments against companies deemed to be benefiting unfairly from foreign subsidies. “Our vision is not about shielding uncompetitive industries or encouraging protectionist policies … At the same time, the EU cannot be complacent about third countries or companies undermining fair competition in the single market on global markets,” the document said.
Index Fund Giants Draw Antitrust Scrutiny in U.S. Mergers. U.S. antitrust officials have begun asking companies about communications with their biggest shareholders as part of merger investigations, according to people familiar with the matter, adding to the growing scrutiny of the power of giant index funds. The Federal Trade Commission wants buyers and sellers to identify their largest shareholders, the extent of their influence over the companies and any communications they’ve had, said the people, who declined to be named because the matter is confidential. The requests represent a new development in U.S. antitrust enforcement and could pose yet another hurdle to companies seeking regulatory approval for mergers.
Judge dismisses defunct startup Sidecar’s 2018 lawsuit against Uber. Uber Technologies Inc. on Tuesday prevailed in a lawsuit accusing it of driving a smaller rival out of business through predatory pricing and other anticompetitive practices. A federal judge in San Francisco dismissed a 2018 lawsuit brought against Uber by defunct startup Sidecar Technologies Inc., which pioneered on-demand ride-hailing. The judge gave Sidecar an opportunity to replead its claims brought under the Sherman Antitrust Act, saying “if Sidecar believes that it can cure the defects in its Sherman Act claims, it may file a second amended complaint no later than Feb. 4, 2020.”