The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Judge narrows San Diego, Baltimore bond collusion cases against big banks. A federal judge narrowed claims by San Diego and Baltimore in antitrust litigation seeking to hold eight banks liable for driving up interest rates that state and local governments must pay on a popular tax-exempt municipal bond. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan dismissed San Diego’s breach of fiduciary claims against affiliates of Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co, citing the city’s lack of an “agency” relationship with the banks. He dismissed Baltimore’s similar claim against JPMorgan.
Spirit calls off vote on Frontier bid as talks with JetBlue continue. On the eve of a planned shareholder meeting on an acquisition by Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines said that it was putting off the vote and would continue to talk to both Frontier and a rival suitor, JetBlue. The postponement, until July 8, was a stunning turn in a battle that analysts say could reshape the airline sector. The decision is a blow to the leaders of Frontier and Spirit, budget carriers that want to combine so they can more effectively compete with the nation’s four dominant airlines. Either bid would have to get past a review by the Biden administration, which has taken a skeptical view of large corporate mergers.
U.S. sues to block Booz Allen from buying EverWatch. The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit asking a court to stop Booz Allen Hamilton’s planned purchase of rival EverWatch Corp, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland. EverWatch provides software, AI, machine learning and other technological services to national security agencies. The Justice Department said the deal would have threatened competition to provide the National Security Agency with operational modeling and simulation services. The deal, if allowed, would leave just one company to provide these services, the department said.
Edited by Gary J. Malone