The US Department of Justice’s antitrust division may be at the end of the life cycle for some major cartel probes but still has “over 90” investigations open, the agency’s special counsel for criminal policy has said.
A former engineering executive has been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for his role in a bid-rigging cartel that targeted public works projects in Quebec.
The US Department of Transportation has reversed course and preliminarily granted antitrust immunity to a proposed joint venture between American Airlines and Qantas, on the condition that they give new entrants access to feeder flights.
Even without the Department of Justice in the room, the hearing on Friday on states’ challenge to T-Mobile/Sprint displayed a concentration of antitrust minds. The litigation in Manhattan federal court now features 14 state attorneys general and counsel from eight different law firms. Judge Victor Marrero noted that the proceedings pit opposing forces of nature against each other, as Keker & Van Nest partner Paula Blizzard argued for the state plaintiffs against defence counsel Steven Sunshine at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Sunshine said a settlement between the merging companies and the DOJ is imminent, and that all parties should be ready to go for a 7 October trial. Blizzard said the terms of that settlement – specifically whether the agency finds a need for fourth major competitor – could put the agreed-upon schedule in flux.
Congress should play an active role in antitrust enforcement and competition policy, the chairman of the House of Representatives’ antitrust subcommittee said on Thursday.
The head of Germany’s Monopolies Commission has praised Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon for investing in innovation, but said they need to grant greater access to rivals.
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