The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Exclusive: EU’s Vestager warns Apple to treat all apps equally amid privacy dispute. Europe’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, has warned Apple Inc to give equal treatment to all apps on its platform amid the iPhone maker’s privacy changes that have drawn charges of anti-competitive practices from rival Facebook Inc. Apple will in the spring ask iPhone users for consent to track their data for personalized ads in what it says is a move to protect users’ privacy but which will limit apps’ ability to gather data from people’s phones that can be used for targeted advertising. Facebook has been among the most vocal of the critics which stand to lose a substantial part of their revenue from Apple’s move.
China issues new anti-monopoly rules targeting its tech giants. China’s market regulator released new anti-monopoly guidelines that target internet platforms, tightening existing restrictions faced by the country’s tech giants. The new rules formalize an earlier anti-monopoly draft law released in November and clarify a series of monopolistic practices that regulators plan to crack down on. The guidelines are expected to put new pressure on the country’s leading internet services, including e-commerce sites such as Alibaba Group’s Taobao and Tmall marketplaces or JD.com. They will also cover payment services like Ant Group’s Alipay or Tencent Holding’s WeChat Pay.
EU antitrust regulators accept Aspen offer to cut cancer, ends probe. EU antitrust regulators accepted on Wednesday South African pharmaceutical company Aspen’s offer to cut the prices of six cancer drugs by 73% and to set a 10-year price cap in return for ending a three-year long investigation that could have resulted in a hefty fine. The European Commission said Aspen will also guarantee the supply of the medicines for the next five years, confirming a Reuters report on Feb. 3.
Edited by Gary J. Malone