June 19, 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.

GE wins U.S. antitrust approval for Baker Hughes deal.  General Electric Co. has won U.S. antitrust approval to merge its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes Inc. to form a new publicly traded company, the U.S. Justice Department has announced.  GE and Baker Hughes announced the deal in October, months after Halliburton’s effort to buy Baker Hughes collapsed under pressure from the Justice Department.  Under the agreement, GE will combine Baker Hughes with its oil and gas business, creating a company with $23 billion in annual revenue, the companies said.

Google Said to Be Facing Record E.U. Fine by End of August.  European antitrust officials are preparing to hit Google with a potentially record fine by the end of August over some of the Silicon Valley giant’s search services, according to two people with direct knowledge of the case.  Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s competition chief, is in the final stages of ruling on the case, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly.  Any financial penalty is expected to be larger than the fine of 1.06 billion euros, now about $1.2 billion, then about $1.4 billion — at the time the highest ever — that Intel was forced to fork out for antitrust abuses in Europe in 2009.

Dow, DuPont merger wins U.S. antitrust approval with conditions.  DuPont and Dow Chemical Co. have won U.S. antitrust approval to merge on condition that the companies sell certain crop protection products and other assets, according to a court filing on Thursday.  The asset sales required by U.S. antitrust enforcers were similar to what the companies had agreed to give up in a deal they struck with European regulators in March.  The deal is one of several big mergers by farm suppliers, and the antitrust approval was quickly denounced by the head of the National Farmers Union, saying that farmers would face higher costs.  The U.S Justice Department said the asset sales would prevent price hikes or lost innovation.

Deutsche Bank reaches $170 million Euribor-rigging settlement.  Deutsche Bank AG will pay $170 million to settle an investor lawsuit claiming it conspired with other banks to manipulate the benchmark European Interbank Offered Rate and related derivatives.  A preliminary settlement was filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and requires a judge’s approval.  It follows similar settlements with Barclays Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc for a respective $94 million and $45 million, which have won preliminary court approval.

Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, International Competition Issues

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