The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Hospital sues data analytics company MultiPlan in US court antitrust case. Nonprofit hospital system AdventHealth has sued data analytics company MultiPlan in U.S. court, accusing it of leading a price-fixing conspiracy that underpaid healthcare providers billions of dollars for out-of-network reimbursements from major insurers. Florida-based AdventHealth, which operates 50 hospitals across the U.S. and says it is the country’s largest Protestant hospital system, filed its antitrust lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against MultiPlan, the lone defendant. New York-based MultiPlan markets itself as a cost-management technology provider for commercial health insurers that saves members billions of dollars. AdventHealth’s lawsuit claimed that “virtually every commercial healthcare payor” has agreed to use MultiPlan pricing tools that “suppress out-of-network reimbursements paid to healthcare providers.”
US Supreme Court refuses Epic bid to let App Store order take effect in Apple case. The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday dealt a setback to Epic Games, maker of the popular video game “Fortnite,” in its legal battle against Apple, declining to let a federal judge’s injunction take effect that could force the iPhone maker to change payment practices in its lucrative App Store. Justice Elena Kagan, acting for the Supreme Court, denied Epic’s request to lift a decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that effectively delayed implementing an injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers barring certain App Store rules, while Apple pursues a Supreme Court appeal. The 9th Circuit in April had upheld the injunction but in July put that decision on hold.
US FTC agrees to dismiss case against ICE’s $11.7 bln Black Knight deal. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) told a federal court it wanted to drop its lawsuit against a proposed $11.7 billion proposed acquisition of data vendor Black Knight by NYSE-owner Intercontinental Exchange, as the sides try to negotiate a settlement to close the deal. The companies and the FTC filed a joint request to a federal court seeking dismissal of an FTC lawsuit aimed at stopping the deal. The case had been set to go to trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Aug. 14. In March, the FTC said it wanted to stop the deal, citing concern ICE would gain so much power in the mortgage data market that costs would rise for consumers and innovation would suffer.
Canadian publishers seek antitrust probe of Meta blocking news. Canadian news industry groups asked the country’s antitrust regulator to investigate Meta Platforms’ decision to block news on its platforms in the country, accusing the Facebook parent of abusing its dominant position. Meta started blocking news on its Facebook and Instagram platforms for all users in Canada last week in response to a law requiring internet giants to pay for news articles. Canada’s Online News Act, part of a global trend to make tech firms pay for news, became law in June but has not yet come into effect. The government is finalizing rules that would require the platforms to share some advertising revenue when the law is implemented by the end of this year.
Edited by Gary J. Malone