USA Tipline

Couch Surfing: The Tipline for 21 August 2020

GCR USA - 21 August 2020

Assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim announced some shake-ups to the Antitrust Division’s structure on Thursday. The agency has added a section focused on compliance with consent decrees and a task force dedicated to civil conduct. It is unclear if new office space is part of this reorganisation, but perhaps the attorneys can switch couches in the meantime.

Reshuffling: The Tipline for 20 August 2020

GCR USA - 20 August 2020

During a webinar event today, Department of Justice antitrust chief Makan Delrahim is expected to announce the Antitrust Division’s new approach to the financial sector and other reorganisations in his division. We’ll be listening out for any big news. Also in Tipline, US authors, publishers and booksellers join the backlash against Amazon and “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli loses his bid to throw out federal antitrust charges.

Happy birthday Horizontal Merger Guidelines: The Tipline for 19 August 2020

GCR USA - 19 August 2020

It has been a tough year for the horizontal merger guidelines. After hogging the limelight for decades, they were largely overshadowed by Mom’s and Dad’s attention to their vertical sibling. As the (most recent) horizontal guidelines turn 10 today, GCR USA is here to remind both that they are loved equally. Actually, that’s probably not true.

Solo play: The Tipline for 18 August 2020

GCR USA - 18 August 2020

Epic Games has doubled down on its attempt to skirt Apple’s commission rates, asking a California federal court for a preliminary injunction that stops the iPhone maker from delisting the popular video game Fortnite from its App Store. The game developer said a preliminary injunction is needed “to prevent Apple from crushing Epic before this case could ever get to judgment”. Delisting Fortnite will prevent iOS users from updating the game, leaving them stuck with a version they cannot play with friends and family, Epic warned.

Battle Royale: The Tipline for 17 August 2020

GCR USA - 16 August 2020

This may be your best chance to connect with your kids about antitrust law. Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, filed a pair of monopolisation lawsuits against Apple and Google last week. The companies removed Fortnite from their respective mobile device platforms because the game offered players a 20% discount for buying directly from Epic, bypassing the 30% commissions that Google and Apple charge. Will you ever have a better opportunity to teach your child about vertical restraints of trade?

Roll call: The Tipline for 14 August 2020

GCR USA - 14 August 2020

With Federal Trade Commission chair Joseph Simons no longer recused from the agency’s Qualcomm litigation, this set of commissioners may have to take its first definitive step in the case. It is clear that the agency has several options should it decide to appeal against Tuesday’s defeat at the hands of the Ninth Circuit. What is less apparent is what those steps might look like. GCR USA has explored what might come next.

All the cool kids: The Tipline for 13 August 2020

GCR USA - 12 August 2020

With antitrust law apparently cool again, it appears all the federal agencies want in on the fun. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently established new collaborative efforts with the Department of Justice’s antitrust division. The Department of Defense and Department of Energy each weighed in during Qualcomm. Now central bankers – recently declared cool by Lin-Manuel Miranda – have joined the game. Two economists from the Federal Reserve have published a study contending that rising concentration across the US economy is exacerbating income inequality.

Hypercompetition: The Tipline for 12 August 2020

GCR USA - 11 August 2020

The Federal Trade Commission claimed Qualcomm’s licensing behaviour was anticompetitive. The Ninth Circuit found the conduct to be “hypercompetitive”. “Qualcomm asserted its economic muscle with vigour, imagination, devotion and ingenuity,” the three-judge panel wrote in its sweeping reversal of an earlier FTC win.

Tarot cards: The Tipline for 11 August 2020

GCR USA - 10 August 2020

The judge presiding over the proposed joint venture between Peabody Energy and Arch Coal did not bring out Judge Victor Marrero’s patented crystal ball, but she did ask the Federal Trade Commission to help her predict what the coal industry would look like in a world with or without the deal. Perhaps there are other means of fortune-telling Judge Sarah Pitlyk can try. Tarot cards? Reading Stephen Weissman’s palms?

Party like it's 1949: The Tipline for 10 August 2020

GCR USA - 09 August 2020

The Paramount consent decrees are officially off the books, 26,090 days since the Department of Justice entered into the first agreement with Paramount Pictures. In March 1949, President Harry Truman had just begun his second term, a quarter could buy you a gallon of gas and Jackie Robinson was gearing up to be Major League Baseball’s most valuable player.

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