The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
U.S. lawmakers say decision in Apple/Epic fight shows need to update laws. U.S. lawmakers determined to tighten antitrust laws said on Friday that a judge’s decision giving only a partial victory to “Fortnite” creator Epic Games in its fight with Apple Inc was further evidence of the need for new laws to limit Big Tech. Earlier on Friday, a U.S. federal judge struck down Apple’s App Store rules that forbid developers from sending their users to other payment systems but otherwise left the Apple’s App Store restraints intact, finding that the trial record did not adequately support Epic’s antitrust claims. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, said the ruling addressed only some of her concerns about app stores. “We need to pass federal legislation on app store conduct to protect consumers, promote competition, and foster innovation,” she said in a statement.
U.S. FTC meeting will scrutinize Big Tech’s small deals. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission will hold its next open meeting on Sept. 15 to hear staff findings on deals that Big Tech firms like Facebook and Apple make which are sometimes too small to spark antitrust scrutiny, the agency said on Wednesday. The agency began holding open meetings after Chair Lina Khan was sworn in June. Next week, the five commissioners will also consider whether to scrap guidelines put in place during the Trump administration regarding deals that combine a company with one of its suppliers. The staff report will include Big Tech acquisitions from 2010 to 2019, some of which were not reported to antitrust enforcers because of their small size.
Bausch to pay $300 mln in antitrust suit over diabetes drug. Bausch Health Companies Inc has agreed to pay $300 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit accusing it of illegally maintaining a monopoly on the diabetes drug Glumetza, enabling a nearly 800% price hike in 2015. Lawyers for companies that bought Glumetza and filed the class action against Bausch disclosed the deal in a court filing Wednesday, asking U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco to approve it. The case had been scheduled to go to trial next month.
Edited by Gary J. Malone