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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  January 25, 2021

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

U.S. FTC names Rebecca Slaughter acting chair of the agency.  The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday that Rebecca Kelly Slaughter had been designated the acting chair of the agency. The outgoing chairman, Joseph Simons, said on Tuesday that he would resign effective Jan. 29, along with members of his senior staff. The five-member FTC is also losing Commissioner Rohit Chopra, who has been nominated to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is not immediately clear when he will leave the FTC.

Exclusive: Biden administration considers creating White House antitrust czar – sources.  The incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is considering creating a White House position focused on competition policy and issues relating to antitrust, two sources familiar with internal deliberations said. The idea remains under consideration and the Biden White House may not ultimately make the move, one of the sources said. “It is yet to be determined if this will be more of a coordinator kind of a role or if this person will really sit at the White House,” said another source. The role could focus on moving information back and forth between agencies and coordinating, the source added.

Chinese regulator approves Cisco’s $4.5 billion Acacia deal.  Cisco Systems Inc’s purchase of Acacia Communications Inc has been approved by China’s antitrust regulator on condition that the companies ensure fair competition, the watchdog said on Tuesday. The State Administration for Market Regulation’s green light brings the $4.5 billion dollar deal to a close after approval from other countries including the United States. Network gear maker Cisco first announced its intention to acquire optical components manufacturer Acacia in 2019, looking to capture more business from telecoms companies. China’s approval was the only remaining closing condition for the deal, Cisco said in July last year.

Edited by Gary J. Malone

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, International Competition Issues,