USA Tipline

Mine, baby, mine: The Tipline for 15 July 2020

GCR USA - 15 July 2020

No GCR USA reporters have worked inside a coal mine, but we imagine it makes for quite the noisy working environment. As the Federal Trade Commission’s challenge to the Peabody Energy/Arch Coal joint venture got underway yesterday, the Missouri federal court did its best to recreate the atmosphere inside a mine in the Southern Powder River Basin. “Good luck with this hearing. It’s a nightmare,” said one listener dialling in to the court’s teleconference. “The media line isn’t listen-only and all these people are talking in the background.”

Coal-hearted: The Tipline for 14 July 2020

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.

Alabama all alone: The Tipline for 13 July 2020

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.

Transformers, roll-up: The Tipline for 10 July 2020

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.

Friend of the court: The Tipline for 9 July 2020

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.

Big tech, big hearing: The Tipline for 8 July 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.

Uber finds its mate: The Tipline for 7 July 2020

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.

Extra mile: The Tipline for 6 July 2020

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.

Happy Fourth: The Tipline for 2 July 2020

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.

A different 1984: The Tipline for 1 July 2020

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.