May 30, 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.

EU to Conclude Google Antitrust Cases in Next Few Months.  EU antitrust regulators will rule in the “next few months” whether Alphabet’s Google abused its dominance of internet searches and other areas, according to a senior European Commission official, an outcome that could lead to a hefty fine.  The world’s most popular internet search engine has been in the Commission’s crosshairs since 2010 over the promotion of its own shopping service in internet searches at the expense of the services of rivals.

Judge Tosses Suit Against NFL Over Cheerleader Wages.  A lawsuit accusing the NFL and team owners of conspiring to suppress wages for cheerleaders lacks evidence to support that claim, a federal judge said.  U.S. District Judge William Alsup dismissed the lawsuit by a former San Francisco 49ers cheerleader. The lawsuit sought class action status on behalf of all NFL cheerleaders.

EU Antitrust Regulators to Scrutinize Syndicated Loans.  European Union antitrust regulators are to put major financial services firms under the microscope by examining the impact of syndicated loans on credit markets.  “The fact that the (European) Commission commissions a study in a specific market does not in any way imply that there is anti-competitive behavior taking place or that the Commission would open an investigation into that market,” spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an email.  In Europe, bank loans traditionally accounted for around 70 percent of lending to companies and other borrowers.  This contrasts with the United States where the credit markets have made up some 70-80 percent of where companies borrow.

Gazprom Executive to Meet EU Antitrust Chief, May Have to Improve Concessions.  Gazprom’s deputy chief executive will meet EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager on Monday who may ask the Russian gas giant to improve its concessions aimed at ending a six-year-long investigation, a source close to the matter said on Sunday.  State-controlled Gazprom, which supplies a third of the EU’s gas, offered in March to scrap business practices and a pricing policy seen by the European Commission as anti-competitive in a bid to stave off a possible fine.

Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

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