October 9, 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.

Qualcomm offers EU concessions over $38 billion NXP takeover bid.  U.S. smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm has offered concessions in an attempt to allay EU antitrust concerns over its $38-billion bid for NXP Semiconductors, the largest ever in the semiconductor industry.  Qualcomm, which supplies chips to Android smartphone makers and Apple, submitted its proposal on Oct. 5, a filing on the European Commission site showed on Monday, without providing details.  The EU competition enforcer, which suspended the deadline for its decision on Aug. 17 for a second time while waiting for information data from Qualcomm, said it would set a new deadline once the company has complied with its request.

Shire sues Allergan in U.S. over dry eye drug.  Allergan Plc has been sued by Shire Plc for allegedly scheming to block doctors from prescribing its new treatment for dry eye disease.  In a complaint filed with the federal court in Newark, New Jersey, Shire accused Allergan of violating antitrust laws to preserve its roughly 90 percent share in Medicare prescription drug plans for its older and “clinically inferior” dry eye drug Restasis, and block prescriptions of Shire’s rival drug Xiidra.  “Quite simply, Allergan has and will continue to use bundled discounts, exclusive dealing, coercion and interference to unlawfully ‘block’ Shire from competing with it, and to maintain its monopoly in the Part D market at all costs,” Shire said, referring to the Medicare drug plans.

Talent Management Group: Dismiss Ex-Football Star’s Lawsuit.  A federal antitrust lawsuit linking a talent management company to alleged improper use of ex-Ohio State athletes’ photos should be tossed out because there’s no evidence the company did anything wrong, according to a court filing.  IMG Worldwide, Inc. and related entities are also backing Ohio State’s request to have the lawsuit dismissed, saying the university is immune from such legal action, an IMG attorney said in the filing Monday.  The lawsuit “does not specifically allege that IMG did anything in connection with any alleged wrongdoing, or is about to do anything wrongful that should be prevented,” said Joseph Castrodale, a Cleveland lawyer representing IMG.

EU conducts inspections over limits to bank account access.  The European Commission said on Friday it had conducted inspections in some EU states into banks’ alleged anti-competitive practices in limiting rival financial firms from gaining legitimate online access to their customers’ data.  The Commission said in a statement it had “concerns” that the companies involved “may have engaged in anti-competitive practices in breach of EU antitrust rules.”  It did not name any company.  It said that banks could have prevented non-bank competitors from gaining online access to account information of their customers to provide financial services, in spite of having obtained prior authorization from the customers.

Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

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