Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Banks to Settle With Investors in Suit Over Financial Crisis. Twelve of the largest banks in the world are apparently on the verge of paying $1.865 billion to settle accusations that they illegally conspired to control a derivatives market that stood at the center of the financial crisis. The banks have faced public criticism since the financial crisis for the opaque manner in which their traders bought and sold credit default swaps, a type of financial contract that allows investors to speculate and hedge against losses and that figured prominently in the crisis.
U.S. doctors group says planned health mergers are anti-competitive. The American Medical Association, the leading U.S. physicians’ organization, is arguing that two proposed mergers of U.S. health insurers worth tens of billions of dollars could lead to higher prices in 17 states for companies that buy insurance for their workers or people who buy their own insurance. Aetna announced plans to buy smaller rival Humana in early July, and Anthem agreed to buy Cigna later that month. Both mergers are being reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice and state insurance officials.
EU regulators to rule on $16.7 billion Intel, Altera deal by October 14. European Union antitrust regulators will decide by Oct. 14 whether to clear U.S. chipmaker Intel’s $16.7 billion bid for Altera Corp, its largest ever deal. The EU competition authority can either clear the deal with or without conditions in a preliminary review or open a full-scale investigation.