The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
T-Mobile must face private antitrust lawsuit over $26 bln Sprint deal – US judge. A federal judge in Chicago has ordered T-Mobile US to face a lawsuit from AT&T and Verizon subscribers who claim the mobile communication giant’s deal for rival Sprint hurt competition and caused them to pay billions of dollars more for wireless service. U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin in a 41-page ruling said the plaintiffs “plausibly” argued that higher prices “flowed directly” from the $26 billion merger. The proposed class action on behalf of tens to hundreds of millions of consumers was filed last year and seeks a range of penalties, including undoing the 2020 T-Mobile-Sprint merger.
NCAA hit with antitrust lawsuit in US court over ‘amateurism’ rules. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has been sued by two brothers who said they were unfairly barred from playing competitive team basketball for allegedly violating U.S. college sports rules that limit compensation and contracts for student athletes. Twins Matthew Bewley and Ryan Bewley, who are 19, sued the NCAA in U.S. district court in Chicago. They are challenging the college sports governing body’s decision denying their request for “amateur” status to play for Chicago State University. The lawsuit said the NCAA blocked the Bewleys from playing college basketball based on compensation they “lawfully received in exchange for the use of their name, image, and likeness” before they enrolled this year at Chicago State.
In Europe, Meta Offers Ad-Free Versions of Facebook and Instagram for First Time. Meta said that it will introduce an advertisement-free subscription option for Facebook and Instagram for the first time beginning next month for users in Europe, a sign of how government pressure is leading large tech companies to change their core products. The social networking company said it was complying with “evolving European regulations” by introducing the subscription option in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Starting in November, users will be able to choose to continue using Facebook or Instagram for free with ads, or to subscribe to stop seeing ads, Meta said.
Edited by Gary J. Malone