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. says seven board directors resigned under antitrust pressure. Seven directors on the boards of five companies have resigned because of the U.S. Justice Department’s concerns over the directors holding similar board positions at rival companies, the department said. Three directors resigned from the board of IT management software company SolarWinds Corp, one because the person was on the boards of both SolarWinds and rival Dynatrace as a representative of the private equity company Thoma Bravo. Two others representing Thoma Bravo on the SolarWinds board also resigned, the department said.
Meta accepts UK order to sell Giphy after antitrust battle. Britain’s competition regulator has ordered Facebook-owner Meta to sell animated-images platform Giphy after a tribunal upheld its view that the acquisition could damage its rivals and remove a potential competitor in advertising. Meta said it would accept the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) order to unwind the 2020 deal. “We are disappointed by the CMA’s decision but accept today’s ruling as the final word on the matter,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. “We will work closely with the CMA on divesting Giphy.”
Spirit Airlines Shareholders Back Sale to JetBlue. Investors in Spirit Airlines voted to sell the carrier to JetBlue Airways, a combination that could reshape the airline industry in the United States by creating a more viable competitor to the four dominant carriers. The preliminary vote results represent a victory for JetBlue, which has struggled for years to find a path to rapid expansion and whose surprise bid for Spirit disrupted an earlier offer by Frontier Airlines. The airlines said they expected to close the acquisition, which values Spirit at $3.8 billion, no later than the first half of 2024. But the deal still faces substantial hurdles, including federal antitrust scrutiny.
Edited by Gary J. Malone