The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
F.T.C. Orders Gene-Sequencing Company Illumina to Divest Acquisition. The Federal Trade Commission ordered Illumina, the leading maker of gene-sequencing machines, to divest Grail, a cancer-test developer. The move by the F.T.C. is the latest development in a case seen by antitrust experts as a test of regulators’ efforts to stop big companies from buying fledgling innovators. The F.T.C. order follows the European Union’s decision last September to block the deal.
NCAA hit with antitrust lawsuit over student-athlete payments. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was sued in California federal court in a proposed class action that alleges thousands of current and former student athletes were denied annual cash payments for academic achievement in violation of U.S. antitrust law. Two former college athletes filed the complaint against the NCAA, which is the governing body for U.S. intercollegiate sports, and a group of its member conferences. The lawsuit alleged an unlawful conspiracy to bar cash awards for academic success.
Pandora loses antitrust fight with comedians over comedy ‘cartel’. A Los Angeles federal judge dismissed Pandora Media’s antitrust case against a group of comedians who earlier sued the internet radio station for copyright infringement, including Lewis Black, members of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and the estates of Robin Williams and George Carlin. Pandora, which is owned by SiriusXM, had claimed the comedians conspired with performing rights organizations Spoken Giants LLC and Word Collections Inc to monopolize comedy copyrights and inflate royalty rates.
Chicago’s $1.1 billion metered parking deal upheld by appeals court. A U.S. appeals court declined to reinstate a lawsuit from Chicago drivers who claimed the city’s costly parking meter rates were derived from a 75-year, $1.1 billion contract with a private company in violation of U.S. antitrust law. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the motorists’ legal challenge in Illinois federal court. The lawsuit sought to compel Chicago to end its long-term contract with Chicago Parking Meters LLC, the defendant in the case.
Edited by Gary J. Malone