August 7, 2017

The Antitrust Week In Review

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

Morgan Stanley, RBC, others settle currency rigging lawsuit in U.S.  Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Canada and three other banks agreed to pay a combined $111.2 million to settle U.S. litigation accusing them of rigging prices in the roughly $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.  The preliminary settlements were detailed in filings late Friday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and require a judge’s approval.  Fourteen of the 16 banks that were sued have settled, for a total payout of $2.12 billion, court papers show.

EU Sends Charge Sheet to Visa Over Inter-Regional Fees.  The European Commission said on Thursday it had sent a charge sheet to credit card group Visa over the fees merchants have to pay when customers from outside the bloc make purchases in the European Union.  In 2014, the Commission ended another investigation into the company’s fee structure when Visa Europe agreed to cap the transaction fees it charged.  The Commission said it was now looking at so-called inter-regional interchange fees, those charged to merchants when accepting Visa cards issued outside the European Economic Area (EEA), for example when tourists make purchases in the EU.

Starz: AT&T’s Time Warner Deal Would Steer Customers Away From Us.  The premium movie channel Starz criticized AT&T’s plan to buy Time Warner on Wednesday, saying the megadeal would give AT&T the clout to steer customers away from Starz and toward its own premium channels.  The $85 billion deal, which was announced in October, would give AT&T control of such Time Warner properties as HBO and CNN, the film studio Warner Bros and other coveted media assets.

BMW reassured top staff about cartel allegations: sources.  Germany’s BMW has told its top managers that regulators probing reports of collusion among German carmakers will find the allegations hard to justify, two sources familiar with the matter said.  German magazine Der Spiegel reported last month that BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen may have used industry committee meetings to fix the size of tanks for AdBlue, a liquid used to treat nitrogen oxide in diesel emissions.

Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

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