The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Microsoft faces EU antitrust warning over Activision deal – sources. Microsoft is likely to receive an EU antitrust warning about its $69 billion bid for “Call of Duty” maker Activision Blizzard, people familiar with the matter said, that could pose another challenge to completing the deal. The European Commission is readying a charge sheet known as a statement of objections setting out its concerns about the deal which will be sent to Microsoft in the coming weeks, the people said. U.S. and UK regulators have voiced concerns about the deal, with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission going to court to block the deal.
U.S. court denies Sandoz challenge to Sanofi MS drug exclusivity. A Washington, D.C. appeals court rejected a lawsuit by Novartis AG’s Sandoz Inc that could have given it the sole right to make a generic version of Sanofi S.A.’s blockbuster multiple-sclerosis drug Aubagio for several months. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s initial decision to deny a challenge by Sandoz and grant Sanofi the exclusive right to market Aubagio.
Qualcomm must face consumer antitrust lawsuit over chip monopoly. Qualcomm Inc has lost an early bid to dismiss all claims in a civil consumer lawsuit in federal court alleging the chipmaker’s business conduct caused millions of mobile phone and tablet owners to artificially pay more for their devices. In a 37-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in San Jose, California, declined to throw out claims that Qualcomm violated California state antitrust law through “exclusive dealing” relationships with Apple Inc and other part suppliers and device makers to maintain a monopoly in the modem chip market. But the judge dismissed an allegation that Qualcomm unlawfully tied together the sale of its chips and patent licensing.
Actors’ union fights ex-Broadway impresario’s antitrust claims. The Actors’ Equity Association has asked a U.S. judge to dismiss as “baseless” an antitrust lawsuit from a veteran theater producer who is tangled up in a labor dispute over his production of the “Paradise Square” musical that had a short run on Broadway. In a court filing, lawyers for the union of more than 50,000 live-theater actors and stage managers said it was immune under federal law from producer Garth Drabinsky’s antitrust claims. The union’s attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield to throw out the case.
Edited by Gary J. Malone