The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Tech Giants Win a Battle Over Copyright Rules in Europe. It’s a fight nearly as old as the internet. On one side are news organizations, broadcasters and music companies that want to control how their content spreads across the web, and to be paid more for it. On the other are tech companies such as Facebook and Google, which argue that they funnel viewers and advertising revenue to media outlets, and free-speech advocates, who say that regulating the internet would set a dangerous precedent and limit access to information. That battle flared up in Europe on Thursday.
Content-hungry bidders circle ‘Big Brother’ maker Endemol. Several bidders, including Liberty Global, are preparing offers for TV production company Endemol Shine, maker of classic reality show ‘Big Brother’ and the dystopian ‘Black Mirror’ dramas, before an initial deadline. ITV, RTL Group’s FremantleMedia and Lions Gate Entertainment are also eyeing Netherlands-based Endemol, sources close to the matter said, in a deal that comes as the rise of streaming giants Netflix and Amazon Prime has thrown the industry into turmoil.
A Record $2.5 Trillion in Mergers Were Announced in the First Half of 2018. More than $2.5 trillion in mergers were announced during the first half of the year, as fears of Silicon Valley’s growing ambitions helped drive a record run of deal-making. Four of the 10 biggest deals were struck in part to fend off competition from the largest technology companies as the value of acquisitions announced during the first six months of the year increased 61 percent from the same period in 2017, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters. That has put mergers in 2018 on pace to surpass $5 trillion, which would top 2015 as the largest yearly total on record.