GCR USA - 14 July 2020
Those hoping to spend their Monday listening to the Federal Trade Commission’s quest to block a joint venture between Peabody Energy and Arch Coal found themselves heartbroken. A 10-day preliminary injunction hearing was scheduled to start yesterday, but the federal courthouse in St Louis, Missouri, was closed after a security officer tested positive for covid-19. The litigating parties are set to resume in-person today while GCR USA tunes in live from its home office.
GCR USA - 13 July 2020
California is the nation’s most populous state and home to some of its largest companies – and now also reportedly one of the many states investigating Google for potential antitrust violations. It is going its own way, however, probing separately from the 48-state group led by Texas that launched its investigation last year. That leaves Alabama as the only state not investigating the tech company. In today’s Tipline we have updates on the Texas-led investigation, plus Tim Wu’s views on using antitrust law to counter market concentration, and much of Oklahoma’s new pharmacy benefit manager rules surviving a preliminary injunction request.
GCR USA - 10 July 2020
The antitrust agencies’ annual report to Congress on the Hart-Scott-Rodino deal-notification programme typically isn’t much of an occasion. This year things got interesting on two fronts: the report gave insight into whistleblower allegations that the Department of Justice investigated marijuana deals for non-competition reasons and Commissioner Rohit Chopra of the Federal Trade Commission issued a statement on the report saying anticompetitive “roll-up” deals are flying under the radar. There’s more on the HSR report in today’s Tipline, plus updates on bellwether trials for allegations of price-fixing by generic drugmakers and DOJ amicus participation in a utilities monopolisation case.
GCR USA - 09 July 2020
The Antitrust Division has been busy making its views known under Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, opposing its sister agency’s case against Qualcomm and intervening in matters as far away as the UK. Yesterday, Delrahim joined the action himself as he argued for both federal antitrust agencies on a challenge to Alabama’s dental regulations. Also in today’s Tipline, the US agencies clear Just Eat Takeaway’s purchase of Grubhub and the Federal Trade Commission reflects on the first six months of 2020.
GCR USA - 08 July 2020
The top executives at four of the world’s five largest companies will testify before the House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee later this month. House judiciary committee chair Jerrold Nadler and antitrust subcommittee chair David Cicilline said the testimony of chief executives at Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is critical to the House’s investigation of potential antitrust violations by large technology companies. The executives may be able to testify on their home turf, as the subcommittee said that current House rules allow for virtual testimony. We have more on the hearing in today’s Tipline, plus a merger of two residential solar companies to challenge Tesla.
GCR USA - 07 July 2020
As covid-19 forces restaurants across the US to rely on food delivery services to keep afloat, ride-hailing app Uber has announced its plans to purchase rival delivery app Postmates for $2.65 billion. Uber missed out on its opportunity to acquire fellow food delivery service Grubhub after Dutch company Just Eat Takeaway beat it to the punch last month. We have more on Uber’s purchase, plus news of a civil penalty settlement over violations of a divestiture order and two Amazon-related moves.
GCR USA - 06 July 2020
Count this among things you did not expect to see four months ago: NASCAR’s Brickyard 400 auto race was officially named the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 this year, after Tennessee vodka company Big Machine’s latest product venture. Could a marijuana sponsorship be next? We have an update on allegations that the Department of Justice improperly reviewed cannabis deals, plus a back-and-forth between telescope makers over a damages award and a procurement collusion charge.
GCR USA - 02 July 2020
GCR USA would like to wish you a happy Fourth of July this weekend. For those in the nation’s capital, the Department of the Interior will put on its annual fireworks show – visible throughout the district – and Air Force and Navy flight teams will celebrate with flyovers. We are off tomorrow for the holiday but back in your inbox on Monday morning.
GCR USA - 01 July 2020
The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission finalised their joint vertical merger guidelines yesterday in their first public statement on vertical deals since the DOJ issued guidance in 1984. Democratic commissioner Rohit Chopra argued in a dissent that the new document does not adequately address the harms of vertical deals in technology markets. It isn’t surprising that the 1984 guidelines had not already covered that ground – as that was the year that Apple introduced the first Macintosh computer.
GCR USA - 30 June 2020
The Federal Trade Commission’s five members can rest easier this coming holiday weekend after the Supreme Court declined to revisit precedents protecting them from at-will removal by the president. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Kathy Kraninger, on the other hand, will no longer enjoy that same protection, with the high court ruling that Congress unconstitutionally vested too much power in the director of the agency.
Data courtesy of FTC.gov