Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
With AT&T and Time Warner, Battle Lines Form for an Epic Antitrust Case. If the government goes to court to block the merger of AT&T and Time Warner, as seems increasingly likely, it may well be the antitrust case of the decade, even without the claims of presidential meddling that have already engulfed the deal in partisan controversy. A lawsuit by the Justice Department, along with its earlier, widely reported demands that AT&T sell either DirecTV or Turner Broadcasting to gain approval for the deal, would mark a radical departure from decades of antitrust enforcement policy, both in defining what is an unlawful anticompetitive merger and in fashioning a remedy to cure the problems.
Qualcomm-NXP ruling may be in 2018: EU competition commissioner. A ruling on Qualcomm Inc.’s proposed $38 billion acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV may come in 2018, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said on Wednesday. People familiar with the matter told Reuters in October that Qualcomm has offered to buy NXP without some of its patents in a bid to win EU antitrust regulatory approval.
Missouri Opens Antitrust Investigation Into Google. Missouri’s attorney general has opened an investigation into whether Google’s business practices violate its consumer protection and antitrust laws amid growing concern over the influence of powerful technology companies. Josh Hawley, Missouri’s attorney general, said on Monday that his office had issued a subpoena to Google to seek information into the collection and use of users’ private information, the use of other content providers’ information on its sites and potential bias in search engine results.
Japanese regulators raid Airbnb over suspected antitrust practices. Japanese fair trade regulators raided last month the offices of Airbnb Inc over suspected violations of antitrust laws, the home rental site said on Friday, denying any wrongdoing. The Japan Fair Trade Commission carried out an on-site inspection of Airbnb and the company is cooperating with the regulators’ investigation, Airbnb Japan said.