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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  February 20, 2024

Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.


On the Ground of Biden’s Antitrust Agenda.  Big deals are waiting on the tarmac as Wall Street and the business world anticipate how the presidential election will change antitrust enforcement. President Biden has taken an aggressive approach to policing deals that some have called overreaching and others have lauded as a necessary return to scrutiny on the power wielded by big business. Dealmakers say they are holding some deals back in hope of a more lenient approach in the next administration.


Facebook must face $3.8 bln UK mass action over market dominance, tribunal rules.  Facebook must face a collective lawsuit valued at around 3 billion pounds ($3.77 billion) over allegations the social media giant abused its dominant position to monetise users’ personal data, a London tribunal ruled. Legal academic Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, who is bringing the case on behalf of around 45 million Facebook users in the UK, says they were not properly compensated for the value of personal data they had to provide. Her lawyers argue users should get compensation for the economic value they would have received if Facebook was not in a dominant position in the market for social networks. Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms Inc, however, says the lawsuit is “entirely without merit” and its lawyers argue the claimed losses ignore the economic value Facebook provides to its users.


Pfizer agrees to pay $93 mln to settle Lipitor antitrust lawsuit.  Pfizer has agreed to pay $93 million to settle antitrust claims by wholesale drug distributors that accused it of conspiring with India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories to delay sales of less expensive, generic versions of the cholesterol drug Lipitor. Attorneys for Lipitor purchasers including Rochester Drug Co-Operative Inc and Puerto Rico’s Drogueria Betances LLC disclosed the agreement in a filing on Wednesday in U.S. court in Trenton, New Jersey. The proposed settlement, which requires a judge’s approval, comes after more than a decade of litigation. Pfizer did not admit liability.


‘Call of Duty’ gamers sue Activision for monopolizing leagues, tournaments.  Video game maker Activision Blizzard has been hit with a U.S. lawsuit claiming it restricts competition for organized gaming involving its flagship franchise “Call of Duty.” Professional gamers Hector Rodriguez and Seth Abner said in an antitrust lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court on Thursday that Activision is unlawfully monopolizing the lucrative market for Call of Duty leagues and tournaments. Call of Duty, a first-person-shooter game first introduced in 2003, is one of the industry’s all-time best sellers and helped propel Activision to billions of dollars in annual revenue, the lawsuit said.


Edited by Gary J. Malone