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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  June 29, 2021

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

Antitrust Overhaul Passes Its First Tests. Now, the Hard Parts.  Six bills that could reshape the tech industry passed an important hurdle in the House. But the outcomes of the votes, and the debates before they took place, also showed divisions among lawmakers — and underscored why final passage of the package is expected to be difficult. In a marathon session of debate and voting that started Wednesday morning and continued into Thursday, the Judiciary Committee advanced the suite of bills, which are meant to weaken the perceived dominance of certain Tech companies. The bills would bulk up antitrust agencies, make it harder to acquire potential rivals and prevent platforms from selling or promoting their own products to disadvantage competitors.

Top Endeavor execs leave Live Nation board under antitrust pressure.  Two top executives of Endeavor Group Holdings, including chief executive Ari Emanuel, have stepped down from the board of directors of entertainment giant Live Nation because of antitrust concerns, the U.S. Justice Department said. Emanuel has been on the Live Nation board of directors since 2007 while Mark Shapiro, president of Endeavor, joined the Live Nation board in 2008, according to the Live Nation website. Both left the Live Nation board this month. The Justice Department said it had expressed concern about the presence of the two men on the board creating “an illegal interlocking directorate,” where two competitors have the same people running them.

National antitrust watchdogs want more say in enforcing EU tech rules.  German and French antitrust watchdogs and their counterparts in the other 25 EU countries on Wednesday argued for a bigger role in enforcing proposed new rules for Alphabet unit Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. The Digital Markets Act (DMA), proposed by the European Commission last year, targets so-called “online gatekeepers” – companies that control data and access to their platforms – which thousands of businesses and millions of Europeans rely on for their work or social interactions. Under the draft legislation, three or more EU countries can ask the EU competition regulator to open an investigation while a digital markets advisory committee made up of national representatives will be consulted on fines and non-compliance.

Edited by Gary J. Malone

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues,