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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  April 20, 2020

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

U.S. regulators warn companies against collusion to limit essential workers’ wages.  The two U.S. antitrust enforcers said that they would be keeping a sharp eye on companies to ensure that they do not seek to exploit nurses, doctors, store clerks and others working despite the coronavirus pandemic. The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission said in a joint statement that they were aware that there would be unusual collaborations during the effort to bring the new coronavirus under control, but that they would be watching employers to ensure they do not work together illegally to push down wage rates in violation of antitrust law. “We will not stand for any collusion among employers that would deprive workers of competitive compensation for their hard work,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a statement.

Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats are sued over restaurant prices amid pandemic.  GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats were sued for allegedly exploiting their dominance in restaurant meal deliveries to impose fees that consumers ultimately bear through higher menu prices, including during the coronavirus pandemic. In a proposed class action filed in Manhattan federal court, three consumers said the defendants violated U.S. antitrust law by requiring that restaurants charge delivery customers and dine-in customers the same price, while imposing “exorbitant” fees of 10% to 40% of revenue to process delivery orders. The consumers, all from New York, said this sticks restaurants with a “devil’s choice” of charging everyone higher prices as a condition of using the defendants’ services.

Supreme Court to discuss NFL’s antitrust case April 24th.  The Supreme Court is expected to discuss the NFL’s antitrust case during their conference on April 24th. The 9th Circuit revived it’s antitrust lawsuit regarding the DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package in August of 2019. In response to the situation, the NFL reached out to the Supreme Court to hear and review the case.

Nvidia gets China’s go-ahead for $6.9 billion Mellanox deal.  U.S. chip supplier Nvidia Corp. said on Thursday Chinese authorities had approved its $6.9 billion acquisition of Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies Ltd., overcoming the last obstacle for the deal announced over a year earlier. Many acquisitions between U.S. and international companies with significant operations in China have faced challenges in securing approval from the country’s regulator due to a bitter trade war between the two largest economies of the world that started in January, 2018. Two years ago, U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. had to walk away from a $44 billion deal to buy NXP Semiconductors after failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval.

Edited by Gary Malone

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues,

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