Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Staples says U.S. regulators’ complaint against merger is “misguided.” Staples is accusing federal regulators of applying antitrust laws in a “misguided” way to try to block its $6.3 billion merger with smaller office supply retailer Office Depot. Staples charged in a court filing that the Federal Trade Commission used “selective documentation” to show that the merger partners were the only companies competing for large, national customers.
British Authorities Accuse 11th Person of Rigging Benchmark Interest Rate. British authorities have begun criminal proceedings against a former Société Générale employee in a continuing investigation into the manipulation of a global benchmark interest rate. Stephane Esper, the former Société Générale employee, is the latest person expected to face criminal charges in an inquiry by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, which investigates financial crime, related to the manipulation of the euro interbank offered rate, or Euribor. The fraud office announced in November that it expected to bring conspiracy to defraud charges against 10 current and former employees of Barclays and Deutsche Bank when they make their first court appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London in January.
Songkick Sues Live Nation, Saying It Abuses Its Market Power. In a case that offers a glimpse into the lucrative but often hidden business of concert tickets, a small company has sued Live Nation Entertainment in federal court, accusing the multibillion-dollar concert giant of abusing its market power to control the sales of tickets through musicians’ websites and fan clubs. Songkick — a concert listings and ticketing company based in New York that has worked with artists like Adele, Paul McCartney, Ellie Goulding, Jackson Browne, Miranda Lambert and Ricky Martin — filed its suit on Tuesday in United States District Court in Los Angeles, accusing Live Nation and its subsidiary, Ticketmaster, of interfering in Songkick’s business in violation of federal antitrust law.