The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Facebook’s Marketplace in EU and UK antitrust crosshairs. Europe and Britain launched formal antitrust investigations into Facebook on Friday to determine if the world’s largest social network was using customer data to unfairly compete with advertisers, in a new assault on its business model. The separate moves open new fronts in Europe against the tech giant, whose platforms are used regularly by almost 3 billion people and which is accused of using its vast trove of ad data to better compete with companies from which it also collects data. The European Commission will assess whether Facebook violated EU competition law to unfairly compete in its Marketplace classified business, while the British regulator will also look at whether it is using the same tactic in its dating offering.
European consumer group joins EU antitrust case against Apple. The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) lobby group on Wednesday backed the European Union’s antitrust case against Apple which alleges it distorts competition in the music streaming market. The European Commission filed its first antitrust charges against Apple in April following an initial complaint by the iPhone maker’s rival Spotify. Apple has rejected the EU charges, saying that its App Store enabled Spotify to become the world’s largest music subscription service. It has been given 12 weeks to respond to the charges. BEUC said it has been allowed to join as an interested third party in the antitrust regulator’s case, which could lead to a hefty fine of as much as 10% of Apple’s global turnover and force a change to its business practices.
Microsoft wins U.S. antitrust okay for $16 bln purchase of Nuance. Microsoft Corp has won U.S. antitrust approval for its deal to buy artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance Communications Inc, according to a filing made by Nuance to the government. The $16 billion deal, which was announced in April, came after the companies partnered in 2019 to automate healthcare administrative work, such as documentation. Nuance said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday that the deadline for the U.S. government to object to the deal had expired on June 1.
Edited by Gary J. Malone