Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
MasterCard Faces Antitrust Charges in E.U. European antitrust officials have filed formal charges against MasterCard, accusing the company of harming consumers and retailers by setting artificially high fees for credit card transactions in Europe. The European Commission said MasterCard had prevented some retailers from processing transactions in countries with lower fees. The commission also said that MasterCard’s fees were unfair to tourists traveling in Europe.
FTC exploring Apple rules for streaming music rivals in App Store. U.S. government antitrust regulators are investigating claims that Apple’s treatment of rival streaming music apps is illegal under antitrust law, according to industry sources. Apple recently launched a new music streaming service, Apple Music. It also provides the App Store platform for competing streaming services including Jango, Spotify, Rhapsody and others.
States line up to scrutinize Aetna’s $33 Billion Humana deal. U.S. insurance regulators and state attorneys general are lining up to examine Aetna Inc’s proposed $33 billion takeover of rival Humana Inc. for potential harm to consumers, complicating what was already expected to be a tough review by federal antitrust authorities. Insurance commissioners in 18 states including Texas, Kentucky and Florida will study merger documents provided by Humana to determine whether the deal will harm competition and lead to higher insurance premiums or diminished access to healthcare providers. Moreover, while the U.S. Department of Justice is taking the lead on scrutinizing the transaction, at least three state attorneys general – in Florida, Mississippi and Massachusetts – have stated they will look at the proposed acquisition as well.