The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Uber, Postmates deal would dominate Los Angeles, Miami markets. Uber Technologies Inc.’s plan to buy Postmates Inc. could pose problems in Miami and Los Angeles where the two dominate the food delivery market, according to antitrust experts who said it would be difficult to set up an asset sale to resolve the issue. Uber, the No. 3 in restaurant food delivery, said it would buy No. 4 Postmates for $2.65 billion after its plan to buy Grubhub Inc. fell apart. “Historically, the agencies have not paid much attention to labor,” said Henry Su, formerly with the FTC and now with Constantine Cannon LLP. “This may be a good test case to look at the driver side of things. At a minimum, you can’t ignore that this is an issue.”.
Sutter Health’s Request to Delay $575 Million Settlement Is Denied. Despite citing the surge in coronavirus cases and economic fallout from the pandemic in California, Sutter Health failed to persuade a state judge on Thursday to delay the $575 million settlement it reached last December over accusations of price gouging and monopolistic practices. Sutter, which has already received hundreds of millions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid, argued it needed three more months to decide whether it should try to abandon the settlement terms. The sprawling health system in Northern California warned that the costs of the pandemic might force it to raise rates for patient care beyond caps set by the proposed settlement. But Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo was not swayed.
Infineon fine cut by 7%, EU court faults antitrust regulators’ ruling. Europe’s second top court on Wednesday cut Infineon Technologies’ cartel fine by 7% to 76.87 million euros ($86.7 million), saying that the German chipmaker had fewer anti-competitive contacts with other cartel members than EU antitrust regulators had said. The European Commission had in 2014 imposed a total fine of 138 million euros on Infineon, Philips and Samsung Electronics for taking part in a cartel between 2003 and 2005. Infineon’s penalty at 82.78 million euro ($93.3 million was the biggest. Japanese chipmaker Renesas escaped a fine because it alerted the cartel to the EU competition enforcer.
EU antitrust regulators extend Fiat, Peugeot investigation to Nov. 13. EU antitrust regulators have extended their investigation into Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA’s proposed merger to Nov. 13, the European Commission said on Tuesday. “The Commission extended the deadline in agreement with the parties,” a spokeswoman for the EU competition enforcer said. The Commission launched a four-month long probe last month, concerned that the deal to create the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker may hurt competition in small vans in 14 EU countries and Britain.
Edited by Gary J. Malone