GCR USA - 15 November 2019
Both US antitrust agencies are evaluating the role competition plays in national security. A Federal Trade Commission member said yesterday that concentration in the US defence supply chain could threaten national security. This comes following Department of Justice claims that a decision against Qualcomm’s licensing practices could also threaten national security. While assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim is recused from the Qualcomm litigation, he argued in favour of taking a more proactive approach towards maintaining the consumer welfare standard as the crux of US antitrust law.
GCR USA - 14 November 2019
We like to fancy ourselves as competition geeks at GCR USA, spending our days focused on court filings and Congressional debates over whether vertical non-competes should be per se illegal, while the rest of Washington is tuned in to the impeachment hearings. But let’s be honest: the real antitrust nerds are spending today and tomorrow at the Federal Trade Commission’s annual microeconomics conference. Even there, the topics do sound pretty interesting, ranging from algorithmic pricing and corporate disclosures as means of collusion, to beer and Chinese industrial policy.
GCR USA - 13 November 2019
Temperatures dropped in Washington, DC yesterday, though the district did not see the snow and sub-zero temperatures that broke records in some parts of the country. Here in DC, former chief economist of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division Nancy Rose said at GCR Live that antitrust is at a “crisis point” and called for changes to substance and process.
GCR USA - 12 November 2019
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that T-Mobile chief executive John Legere is in talks with office-sharing company WeWork about potentially heading the company. Regulators have noted the competition T-Mobile’s “uncarrier” model has brought under Legere’s lead against larger players like Verizon and AT&T. It is unclear what, if any, impact a change in leadership could have as T-Mobile seeks to defeat a challenge brought by a coalition of states seeking to block its purchase of Sprint. WeWork and Sprint are both controlled by Japanese holding company SoftBank.
GCR USA - 08 November 2019
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates suggested this week that Windows could have dominated the global mobile operating system, but for the Department of Justice’s antitrust “distraction” two decades ago. In less speculative news, we are continuing our coverage of the Akshay Aiyer criminal trial in New York. GCR USA will be off on Monday in honour of Veteran’s Day. But don’t worry, we’ll be back in your inboxes on Tuesday – or as we prefer to call it, GCR Live Women in Antitrust Day.
GCR USA - 07 November 2019
The Federal Trade Commission got to kick it a little old-school with its challenge to Otto Bock's acquisition of Freedom Innovations. Because the deal did not have to be pre-cleared under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976, the agency sued to undo a done deal, as it would have done before the HSR Act. Yesterday, it announced that the commissioners all agreed that the acquisition violates antitrust law – despite the companies not having raised prices since their merger.
GCR USA - 06 November 2019
T-Mobile must “dish” out greater 5G network access to Americans over the next three years now that the Federal Communications Commission has given the T-Mobile/Sprint deal its formal stamp of approval. The FCC claims the transaction will help bolster competition in rural America and advance US leadership in 5G.
GCR USA - 05 November 2019
Remember, remember that the 12th of November – next Tuesday – is GCR Live Women in Antitrust. The list of speakers features top female competition specialists from around the world, but from right here in Washington, DC, we’ll have: a former chief economist of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, an assistant director of the Federal Trade Commission’s new technology enforcement division, a deputy general counsel at Microsoft, two former FTC commissioners and an FTC lawyer who has been seconded to the House of Representatives’ antitrust subcommittee.
GCR USA - 04 November 2019
With Google travelling between different jurisdictions to defend against antitrust investigations, the company seems to be getting its steps in. Now, after acquiring fitness tracker company Fitbit last week, Google should be able to keep track of just how many steps. We have a pair of stories related to the search giant today, including its request that a Texas state court place limits on how much information the state’s attorney general can share with outside consultants.
GCR USA - 01 November 2019
Here’s hoping you won at least a few chuckles for your consumer welfare standard costumes yesterday. GCR USA wanted to dress up as the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, but we had a feeling the US District Court for the Southern District of New York would not appreciate it. The Department of Justice’s trial against a former JPMorgan Chase currency trader also got started yesterday – and it's not a mirror image of last year’s foreign currency exchange trial.
Data courtesy of FTC.gov