August 13, 2018

The Antitrust Week In Review

Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.

Beer drinkers lose U.S. appeal over Anheuser-SABMiller merger.  A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected an antitrust challenge by 23 beer drinkers to Anheuser-Busch InBev SA’s (ABI.BR) $107 billion purchase in 2016 of SABMiller Plc, which they claimed would thwart competition and raise prices in the U.S. beer market. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon said SABMiller’s agreement with antitrust regulators to divest its U.S. beer business, by selling its stake in the MillerCoors joint venture to Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP.N), would prevent increased concentration in the industry. It also rejected as speculative the argument that the merger violated the federal Clayton Act because it gave Molson Coors an incentive to adopt Anheuser’s distribution practices, to combat its rival’s newly increased size.

Appeals Court Rejects Magazine Anti-Trust Lawsuit.  A federal appeals court has rejected an antitrust lawsuit brought against publishers by what was once one of the country’s largest wholesale magazine distributors. In an opinion published Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan agreed with a lower-court judge in rejecting Anderson News LLC’s claims, first brought in 2009. The Knoxville, Tennessee company argued that publishers controlling 80 percent of the nation’s magazines conspired to drive it out of business by rejecting its demand that publishers pay 7-cent surcharges on each magazine distributed. The company said the surcharge was necessary to remain profitable.

Sprint, T-Mobile in early stages of regulatory review, no decisions yet: source.  U.S. antitrust enforcers are in the early stages of reviewing T-Mobile US Inc’s to buy Sprint Corp for $26 billion, and have reached no conclusions on how many wireless carriers the country needs, a source familiar with the situation said. Sprint shares were up 8.7 percent at $6.11 and T-Mobile rose 6.7 percent to $65.65 in late-afternoon trading, after the New York Post reported that U.S. regulators believed that just three national providers were needed, removing an obstacle to the deal. The two companies compete against AT&T and Verizon to provide U.S. wireless service.

Leave a comment »

Categories: Antitrust Litigation, General, Uncategorized

    July 9, 2018

    The Antitrust Week In Review

    Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.

    Tech Giants Win a Battle Over Copyright Rules in Europe.  It’s a fight nearly as old as the internet. On one side are news organizations, broadcasters and music companies that want to control how their content spreads across the web, and to be paid more for it. On the other are tech companies such as Facebook and Google, which argue that they funnel viewers and advertising revenue to media outlets, and free-speech advocates, who say that regulating the internet would set a dangerous precedent and limit access to information. That battle flared up in Europe on Thursday.

    Content-hungry bidders circle ‘Big Brother’ maker Endemol.  Several bidders, including Liberty Global, are preparing offers for TV production company Endemol Shine, maker of classic reality show ‘Big Brother’ and the dystopian ‘Black Mirror’ dramas, before an initial deadline. ITV, RTL Group’s FremantleMedia and Lions Gate Entertainment are also eyeing Netherlands-based Endemol, sources close to the matter said, in a deal that comes as the rise of streaming giants Netflix and Amazon Prime has thrown the industry into turmoil.

    A Record $2.5 Trillion in Mergers Were Announced in the First Half of 2018.  More than $2.5 trillion in mergers were announced during the first half of the year, as fears of Silicon Valley’s growing ambitions helped drive a record run of deal-making. Four of the 10 biggest deals were struck in part to fend off competition from the largest technology companies as the value of acquisitions announced during the first six months of the year increased 61 percent from the same period in 2017, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters. That has put mergers in 2018 on pace to surpass $5 trillion, which would top 2015 as the largest yearly total on record.

    Leave a comment »

    Categories: Antitrust Litigation, Antitrust Policy, General

      September 25, 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.

      Google offers to treat rivals equally via auction –sources.  Google has offered to display rival comparison shopping sites via an auction, as it aims to stave off further EU antitrust fines, four people familiar with the matter said.  Google is under pressure to come up with a big initiative to level the playing field in comparison shopping, but its proposal was roundly criticised by competitors as inadequate, the sources said.  EU enforcers see the antitrust case as a benchmark for investigations of other areas dominated by the U.S. search giant, such as travel and online mapping.

      Walgreens, Rite Aid Trim Store Purchase Deal to $4.38B.  Walgreens and Rite Aid have finally devised a deal between the nation’s largest and third-largest drugstore chains that will get past antitrust regulators.  The companies said Tuesday that they have Federal Trade Commission clearance for a slimmer version of a store-purchase agreement announced in June.  Walgreens will now spend $4.38 billion on 1,932 stores, three distribution centers and inventory.

      Democratic senator lifts hold on Trump antitrust nominee –aide.  U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has lifted her hold on President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, a move that will allow the Senate to vote to confirm Makan Delrahim, a senior Republican aide said on Friday.  Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, had met with Delrahim early in September where she pressed him about her concerns about lobbying and political interference in antitrust.  Delrahim, a veteran of the Justice Department and a lobbyist, has been nominated to be assistant attorney general.

      Bayer dismisses antitrust concerns about digital farming.  Bayer said it was unable to propose the sale of any digital farming assets to allay EU concerns about its planned $66 billion takeover of Monsanto.  The European Commission last month started an in-depth investigation into the German group’s plan to acquire the U.S. seeds maker.  Among its concerns, the regulator took issue with Bayer’s plan to create combined offerings of seeds and pesticides with the help of new digital farming tools, such as connected sensors, software and precision machines.

      Leave a comment »

      Categories: Antitrust Litigation, Antitrust Policy, General, International Competition Issues

        May 22, 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 Fines Facebook 110 mln euros over WhatsApp deal.  European Union antitrust regulators fined Facebook 110 million euros ($122 million) on Thursday for giving misleading information during a vetting of its deal to acquire messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.  Calling it a “proportionate and deterrent fine,” the European Commission, which acts as the EU’s competition watchdog, said Facebook had said it could not automatically match user accounts on its namesake platform and WhatsApp, but two years later launched a service that did exactly that.

        Tronc in Talks with Wrapports to Acquire Chicago Sun-Times.  Two longtime newspaper rivals in the once highly competitive Chicago market may end with the acquisition of the Chicago Sun-Times by the owner of the Chicago Tribune, which has grabbed the attention of the U.S. Justice Department Monday.  Chicago-based Wrapports LLC announced in a statement it has agreed to enter into discussions with Tronc Inc., owner of several major newspapers, after failing to interest other media companies in acquiring the Sun-Times.

        HSBC Settles Bondholders’ Claims of Libor Manipulation.  HSBC Holdings Plc has settled claims by a group of U.S. bondholders that it conspired with rivals to rig the Libor benchmark interest rate, according to a New York court filing by the bondholders’ attorneys.  The filing did not disclose the terms of the settlement, which it said must be approved by U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan federal court.

        Antitrust: Commission Opens Formal Investigation into Aspen Pharma’s Pricing Practices for Cancer Medicines.  The European Commission has opened a formal investigation into concerns that Aspen Pharma has engaged in excessive pricing concerning five life-saving cancer medicines.  The Commission will investigate whether Aspen has abused a dominant market position in breach of EU antitrust rules.

        Merck, Upsher-Smith to Pay $60 mln in ‘Pay-for-Delay’ Drug Case.  Merck & Co Inc and Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc. have agreed to pay $60.2 million to resolve a lawsuit that said they entered into a deal to unlawfully delay the availability of generic versions of potassium supplement K-Dur.  The settlement, disclosed in papers filed in federal court in Newark, came in a class action filed in 2001 arising out of a settlement in patent litigation between Upsher-Smith and Schering-Plough Corp, now owned by Merck.  That patent deal, plaintiffs in the antitrust class action said, was an example of a “pay-for-delay” settlement, in which brand-name drug makers pay generic companies to keep their products off the market for a longer period.

        Leave a comment »

        Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, General, International Competition Issues

          May 1, 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

          U.S. Appeals Court Blocks Anthem Bid to Merge with Rival Cigna.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday blocked health insurer Anthem Inc.’s bid to merge with Cigna, upholding a lower court’s decision that the $54 billion deal should not be allowed because it would lead to higher prices for healthcare.  The ruling will probably kill the proposed merger, which was opposed by the U.S. Justice Department, 11 states and a District Court judge after consumers, medical professionals and others objected to it.  In the end, Cigna itself tried to back out.  Still, Anthem and Cigna have the option of trying to save the deal by asking the appeals court to re-consider the case or appealing straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

          How Trump’s Pick for Top Antitrust Cop May Shape Competition.  Makan Delrahim, the nominee for chief antitrust cop at the Justice Department, was 10 when his family immigrated to the United States from Iran as Jewish political refugees.  Unable to speak English, he struggled to keep up in school. He worked afternoons and weekends at his father’s gas station near Los Angeles until college.  As a young Senate staff member years later, Mr. Delrahim found those early experiences had laid the foundation for his conservative views.

          Sanofi Files U.S. Antitrust Lawsuit Against Mylan Over EpiPen.  France’s Sanofi SA on Monday sued Mylan NV, accusing the pharmaceutical company of engaging in illegal conduct to squelch competition to its EpiPen allergy treatment, which has been at the center of a public debate over drug prices.  In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, Sanofi said Mylan caused it to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in sales by erecting barriers to U.S. consumers’ access to and use of a rival product, Auvi-Q.  In particular, Sanofi said Mylan offered rebates to insurers, pharmaceutical benefit managers and state Medicaid agencies conditioned on Auvi-Q not being an epinephrine auto-injector device they would reimburse for use by consumers.

          FTC Allows Sycamore to Sell Family Dollar Stores to Dollar General.  The Federal Trade Commission gave a private equity firm approval on Thursday to sell to Dollar General Corp 323 stores that Sycamore purchased as part of a divestiture package two years ago, the agency said on Thursday.  Sycamore Partners II, LP bought the stores in 2015 when Dollar Tree was forced to sell shops in 35 states to win antitrust approval to buy the Family Dollar chain in what was then a $9.2 billion deal.  Sycamore, which had created Dollar Express LLC to run the business, asked the FTC to approve the stores’ transfer to competitor Dollar General (DG.N) in March and said in a document filed with the FTC that the chain could “no longer viably operate as a standalone business.”

          Leave a comment »

          Categories: Antitrust Litigation, Antitrust Policy, General, Uncategorized

            « Previous Entries  






            © 2009-2018 Constantine Cannon LLP. Attorney Advertising. Disclaimer. Privacy Policy.