The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Tesla hit with ‘right to repair’ antitrust class actions. Tesla Inc has been sued in a pair of proposed antitrust class actions accusing the company of unlawfully curbing competition for maintenance and replacement parts for its electric vehicles, forcing owners to pay more and wait longer for repair services. The lawsuits, filed in federal court in San Francisco, allege that Tesla designed its electric vehicles, warranties and repair policies to discourage owners and lessees from using independent shops outside of Tesla’s control. The proposed class in both cases would include anyone who has paid Tesla for repairs or parts since March 2019, a potential class that could include hundreds of thousands of Tesla owners and lessees.
EBay slams ‘alarming’ Meta subpoena in FTC monopoly case. E-commerce platform eBay Inc asked a U.S. judge to block a bid by Meta Platforms Inc for testimony from an eBay corporate official as the social media giant seeks rivals’ information to counter a Federal Trade Commission antitrust lawsuit. EBay’s lawyers said in a filing in San Francisco federal court that Meta is demanding confidential business information about eBay’s privacy policies, data retention and other topics that are not relevant to the FTC’s monopoly claims. The subpoena fight is the latest flashpoint in Meta’s campaign to squeeze information from other technology and social media companies in advance of a possible trial next year against the FTC.
American Airlines loses fight over Delta airport slots. American Airlines, which gave up rights to two airport slots to Delta Air Lines’ in 2013, lost a court appeal to have the European Union cancel them for lack of use. American gave up the takeoff and landing rights at Heathrow and Philadelphia airports to get antitrust approval for its merger with US Airway. Airlines may keep a slot in perpetuity provided they use it regularly. The European Commission picked Delta to take up the slots.
Microsoft offers EU remedies seeking OK on Activision deal. Microsoft Corp has offered remedies in an attempt to gain EU antitrust approval for its $69 billion acquisition of Activision, a European Commission filing showed. The EU competition enforcer, which did not provide details in line with its policy, will now seek feedback from rivals and customers before making its decision by May 22. Microsoft President Brad Smith has said the U.S. software company was prepared to offer rivals licensing deals to ease competition concerns but not to selling Activision’s lucrative “Call of Duty” franchise.
Edited by Gary J. Malone