The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
FTC antitrust victory on Qualcomm questioned by appeals court. The U.S. government’s antitrust victory over chip supplier Qualcomm Inc. drew tough questions for the Federal Trade Commission from a panel of three appellate judges in San Francisco on Thursday. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a closely watched case the regulator brought against Qualcomm in early 2017. San Diego, California-based Qualcomm supplies modem chips that connect phones and other devices to wireless data networks, but patent licensing drives most of its profits. The company is fighting a May 2019 decision by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.
Britain to Create Regulator for Internet Content. Britain on Wednesday introduced a plan that would give the government more latitude to regulate internet content, as part of an effort to force Facebook, YouTube and other internet giants to do more to police their platforms. The government said the country’s media regulator, known as Ofcom, would take on new responsibilities monitoring internet content, and would have the power to issue penalties against companies that did not do enough to combat “harmful and illegal terrorist and child abuse content.” Left unanswered were many details, including what penalties the new regulator would have at its disposal or how it would keep tabs on the billions of pieces of user-generated content that are posted on the social media platforms.
T-Mobile-Sprint merger wins approval from U.S. judge. T-Mobile US Inc.’s edged closer to a takeover of Sprint Corp. after a federal judge on Tuesday approved the deal, rejecting a claim by a group of states that said the proposed transaction would violate antitrust laws and raise prices. During a two-week trial in December, T-Mobile and Sprint argued the merger will better equip the new company to compete with top players Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc as the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, creating a more efficient company with low prices and faster internet speeds.