The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
U.S. sets high bar to settle Facebook antitrust suit -FTC chair. U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, who promised tougher antitrust enforcement, said she would not rule out a settlement with Meta’s Facebook, which the agency sued in 2020, but indicated there was a high bar for any agreement. In an interview on Tuesday, she also criticized what she said was a large number obviously illegal deals and added she was not a fan of agreements to remedy problematic mergers with asset sales. Nor does she like behavioral remedies, when companies pledge a particular policy change for a certain number of years.
Spirit delays vote on merger with Frontier, as bidding war with JetBlue heats up. Spirit Airlines has delayed a shareholder vote on its proposed merger with Frontier Airlines amid an escalating bidding war, with JetBlue Airways trying to muscle in on the deal. The vote, originally scheduled for last Friday, was pushed to June 30. In a statement, Spirit said the extra time would allow its board “to continue discussions with Spirit stockholders, Frontier and JetBlue Airways,” which has offered a rival bid for the airline.
U.S. antitrust lawsuit against American, JetBlue to go forward, judge says. A U.S. judge said that the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against American Airlines Group Inc and JetBlue Airways Corp would go forward. A trial in the case has been set for Sept. 26. In its lawsuit filed in September in Boston, the government asked Judge Leo Sorokin to order the airlines to end their “Northeast Alliance” partnership, saying it would lead to higher fares in busy Northeastern airports.
Edited by Gary J. Malone