The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
FTC likely to file lawsuit to block Microsoft bid for Activision -Politico. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is likely to file an antitrust lawsuit to block Microsoft Corp’s $69 billion takeover bid for video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc, Politico reported, citing people familiar with the matter. A lawsuit challenging the deal is not guaranteed, and the FTC’s four commissioners have yet to vote out a complaint or meet with lawyers for the companies, the report said, adding that the FTC staff reviewing the deal are skeptical of the companies’ arguments.
Penguin Random House scraps $2.2 bln deal to merge with Simon & Schuster. Penguin Random House, the world’s largest book publisher, and smaller U.S. rival Simon & Schuster have scrapped a $2.2 billion deal to merge, Penguin owner Bertelsmann announced. Bertelsmann, a German media group which owns Penguin, initially said it would appeal a U.S. judge’s decision that said its purchase of Simon & Schuster would be illegal because it would hit authors’ pay. The U.S. Justice Department “is pleased that Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster have opted not to appeal,” Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter said in a statement.
American Airlines lawyers, after $1 antitrust win, seek ‘very substantial’ fees. American Airlines Group Inc is vying to recoup more than a decade of “substantial” legal fees from Sabre Corp after winning a $1 antitrust verdict at trial in May against the flight booking service. Lawyers for American argued in a filing in Manhattan federal court that the Fort Worth, Texas-based air carrier should be awarded fees after 11 years of litigation.
Exclusive: EU antitrust regulators ramp up Microsoft scrutiny, probe likely – sources. Microsoft is likely to face an EU antitrust investigation as regulators intensify their scrutiny into its practices in a case triggered by Salesforce.com’s workspace messaging app Slack, people familiar with the matter said. Last year, Slack complained to the European Commission, saying that Microsoft has unfairly integrated its workplace chat and video app Teams into its Office product. Microsoft introduced Teams in 2017, seeking a slice of the fast-growing and lucrative workplace collaboration market.
Edited by Gary J. Malone