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, Activision ask judge for speedy schedule in FTC challenge. Time is running out on a deadline for Microsoft to complete its $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, compelling the companies to ask a U.S. judge to quickly get the ball rolling on the Federal Trade Commission’s legal bid to block the deal. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila had set a June 22-23 evidentiary hearing in San Francisco and temporarily blocked the companies from completing the deal pending a decision by another judge on the same court on whether to grant a preliminary injunction. The hearing will focus on whether to put the deal on hold while an administrative judge considers the case. But the companies said if a temporary hold is granted they would have to drop the deal altogether because the “glacial” pace of the FTC review would make waiting impractical.
Britain’s antitrust head: competition is key to innovation. Competition is key to innovation, the head of Britain’s antitrust authority told conference delegates, a day after the watchdog said it would review a deal announced this week to create Britain’s biggest mobile operator. Vodafone and CK Hutchison agreed the $19 billion tie-up, which will be subject to scrutiny from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA faced criticism from Microsoft earlier this year after vetoing the U.S tech giant’s acquisition of “Call of Duty” maker Activision, the world’s biggest ever gaming deal.
US House Judiciary leader subpoenas documents from climate groups. A U.S. congressional leader on Wednesday issued a subpoena seeking information from climate activists over antitrust issues, joining other Republicans who have criticized companies’ growing concern for environmental, social and governance matters. Jim Jordan, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote in a letter to a lawyer for Boston-based sustainability nonprofit Ceres that it “appears to facilitate collusion” in potential violation of antitrust law through its work with the Climate Action 100+. Ceres is a sponsor of the latter, an investor coalition aiming to convince companies to address climate change by cutting emissions or disclosing transition details.