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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  May 12, 2022

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

U.S. Senate committee passes antitrust bill pressuring OPEC.  A U.S. Senate committee passed a bill that could expose the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and partners to lawsuits for collusion on boosting crude oil prices. The No Oil Producing or Exporting Cartels (NOPEC) bill sponsored by senators, including Republican Chuck Grassley and Democrat Amy Klobuchar, passed 17-4 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the administration has concerns about the “potential implications and unintended consequences” of the legislation, particularly amid the Ukraine crisis. She said the White House is still studying the bill.

Musk’s $44 bln buyout of Twitter faces U.S. antitrust review -report.  The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is reviewing Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter Inc, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person familiar with the deal. The FTC declined to comment, while Musk could not be reached for comment. The agency will decide in the next month whether it will do an in-depth antitrust probe of the proposed transaction, the person told Bloomberg. Such a probe would delay the deal’s closing by months.

Apple faces E.U. antitrust charges over Apple Pay.  European Union regulators said that Apple had broken antitrust laws by unfairly undercutting companies whose payment services competed with Apple Pay, in the latest crackdown by European authorities on the world’s largest tech companies. Apple has abused its dominance in consumer electronics by not giving PayPal and others access technology in the iPhone and Apple Watch that lets people make a purchase with a quick tap, according to a preliminary judgment announced by the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body. The commission argues that Apple blocks rival services from gaining access to the hardware and software on its devices that enable the interaction with payment terminals in stores, known as near-field communication technology, or NFC.


Edited by Gary J. Malone