Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Airlines Under Justice Dept. Investigation Over Possible Collusion. Federal prosecutors are investigating possible collusion among airlines to limit seating, two years after the U.S. Department of Justice approved the latest in a wave of airline mergers, saying the combination would benefit consumers. In letters sent to airlines, federal prosecutors have asked for documents from the last two years related to statements and decisions they have made about limiting capacity on flight routes. By making it harder for passengers to find seats, airlines could restrain competition and increase fares.
Apple ‘assessing next steps’ after e-books antitrust ruling. Apple is assessing its next steps after the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirming the district court decision that the iPad maker conspired with five publishers to increase e-book prices. In a statement issued after the appellate court handed down its 2-1 decision, the company maintained that it did not conspire to fix e-book prices, as the U.S. Department of Justice contends.
Study Suggests That Google Has Its Thumb on Scale in Search. A study by top academics at Harvard and Columbia suggests that Google sometimes alters results to play up its own content. The study, which was paid for by Yelp, the online review website that is one of Google’s rivals, could renew calls for government regulators — in particular, the Federal Trade Commission — to reopen an investigation into Google for unfairly promoting its own services. The study may also provide ammunition to antitrust regulators in Europe who have accused the company of antitrust violations.