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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  May 31, 2022

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

The commodities giant Glencore will pay $1.1 billion to settle bribery and price-fixing charges.  Glencore, the mining and commodity-trading giant, has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle charges that two of its units bribed officials in several countries and manipulated oil prices. The settlement, announced by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, followed months of negotiations between the company and prosecutors in the United States, Britain and Brazil over Glencore’s operations in the U.S., the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela and Nigeria dating back to 2018. The announcement comes as gas prices have soared, in large part because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and as the Biden administration, concerned with how high prices might affect Democrats during the midterm elections in November, has struggled to find effective ways to bring Americans relief at the pump.

EU court to rule July 13 on Illumina challenge of EU review of Grail -sources.  A European court will decide on July 13 whether U.S. life sciences company Illumina’s $8 billion cash-and-stock takeover of Grail should be scrutinised by EU antitrust regulators, people familiar with the matter said. The case coincides with the European Commission seeking to expand its power to examine big companies’ acquisitions of start-ups aimed at shutting down nascent rivals, with the focus on tech and pharma deals. Critics call it a power grab that has even worried some national competition agencies.

Exclusive: Oracle to win unconditional EU nod for $28.3 billion Cerner deal.  U.S. business software maker Oracle Corp is set to gain unconditional EU antitrust clearance for its $28.3 billion acquisition of U.S. healthcare IT company Cerner Corp, three people familiar with the matter said. Oracle announced the deal, its biggest ever, in December last year. It will give it access to a trove of data and could attract more healthcare clients to its cloud platform. Cerner’s data can help Oracle train and improve the software maker’s artificial intelligence-based cloud services.