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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  February 10, 2020

Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.

Administration Ends Antitrust Probe of 4 Automakers, Calif.  The Trump administration has ended its antitrust probe into a deal between California and four of the world’s biggest automakers, after failing to find that the companies’ conduct violated the law. The Justice Department’s investigation, which started last fall, had aimed to determine whether antitrust laws were violated by Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW in reaching the July deal with California. Under the deal, the automakers planned to comply with pollution and related mileage requirements established by California that are tougher than the federal standards sought by President Donald Trump. The Justice Department didn’t find conduct violating the law and has closed the investigation, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Friday.

Exclusive: iPhone app makers questioned in U.S. antitrust probe of Apple – sources.  The U.S. Justice Department has reached out to app developers as part of its investigation into Apple Inc. (AAPL.O), one of the four big tech companies being probed for alleged anti-competitive behavior, according one of the developers and another person familiar with the investigation. The chief executive of developer Mobicip, Suren Ramasubbu, told Reuters he was interviewed in November by a U.S. investigator who asked about the company’s interactions with Apple. The app, which has nearly a million users worldwide, allows parents to control what their children see on their iPhones.

EU antitrust regulator stresses fair rules as Germany, France call for overhaul.  Europe’s future must be based on fair competition rules, EU antitrust regulators said on Monday, after Germany and France reiterated calls for a speedy overhaul of the bloc’s rules to help EU companies better compete with U.S. and Chinese rivals. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, Italian Industry Minister Stefano Patuanelli and Poland’s Development Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz in a joint letter to EU competition and digital chief Margrethe Vestager called for proposals by the end of June. Le Maire and Altmaier kicked off the debate more than a year ago after Vestager vetoed Siemens and Alstom’s bid to merge their rail operations to face off Chinese competitors.

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, International Competition Issues,

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