Region: United States of America

The competitors of tomorrow: The Tipline for 1 December 2020

We’re taking bets on the antitrust buzzwords of 2021 and “nascent” could be in the running. Or maybe not. The word appeared nine times in the Department of Justice’s complaint against the Visa/Plaid transaction but did not appear at all in Visa’s answer to the agency’s allegations.

01 December 2020

Visa defends merger with Plaid, slams DOJ’s “potential competition” theory of harm

Visa has said its acquisition of Plaid would result in significant benefits “that simply dwarf the highly remote and speculative risk of anticompetitive effects” that the Department of Justice has alleged will stem from the transaction.

01 December 2020

Taxation without consolidation: The Tipline for 30 November 2020

The Department of Justice’s antitrust division often claims that its actions are designed to protect the American taxpayer. The agency’s conditional approval of Intuit/Credit Karma last week signalled a more direct approach to upholding that virtue, requiring the merging companies to sell Credit Karma’s free do-it-yourself tax preparation kit to Square. Unfortunately for readers in Washington, DC, the DOJ’s consent decree is not accompanied by any meaningful representation in Congress. Also in Tipline, two of the largest US book publishers announce plans to merge and the US Supreme Court prepares for oral arguments in a trio of antitrust-relevant cases.

30 November 2020

Penguin Random House/Simon & Schuster likely to receive antitrust scrutiny

Penguin Random House’s proposed $2 billion merger with rival book publisher Simon & Schuster is likely to be closely scrutinised for antitrust concerns.

30 November 2020

California judge says it is “too early” to cancel trial in capacitors litigation

A California federal judge presiding over price-fixing litigation against capacitor manufacturers has said he is “not quite ready to pull the plug” on a rescheduled trial because of the coronavirus pandemic.

24 November 2020

Home alone: The Tipline for 20 November 2020

Buying a home comes with several uncertainties. Is it big enough? Does the world’s worst death metal band rehearse next door? Did Macaulay Culkin leave rigged booby traps behind? The Department of Justice cannot help you with those questions, but it did reach a settlement with the largest US real estate trade association on Thursday to make the home-buying process a bit more transparent. Also in Tipline, the head of the Senate antitrust subcommittee seeks to eliminate the Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of competition as FTC commissioner Christine Wilson hints at how Democratic leadership at the agency may look.

20 November 2020

The Long Night: The Tipline for 19 November 2020

Winter is coming so it might be best to stock up resources while you still can. Perhaps some more attorneys and coffee? In Washington, DC, it certainly looks as though antitrust reinforcements are assembling on the other side of the wall. In a report published this morning, a group of competition enforcers from the Obama administration recommended nearly tripling the budgets of the two US antitrust agencies and doubling the enforcement actions they bring. Also in Tipline, an update from GCR Interactive: Women in Antitrust and discovery squabbles in USA v Google.

19 November 2020

Facebook official criticises Democratic legislative proposals

Proposed legislation intended to address perceived competition issues by lowering burdens of proof is unlikely to be positive for antitrust, Facebook’s director and associate general counsel for competition has said.

19 November 2020

Breaking barriers: The Tipline for 18 November 2020

Federal Trade Commission member Rebecca Kelly Slaughter kicked off GCR Interactive: Women in Antitrust yesterday with the tidbit that Senator Kamala Harris completed a summer internship at the FTC while studying at Howard University. “So she has been part of our community of women in antitrust for quite some time,” Slaughter said. Earlier this month, Harris made history as the first female, first black and first Asian-American US vice-president-elect. “We have to take time to celebrate when barriers are broken,” Slaughter said.

18 November 2020

Slaughter: FTC uses "far too many" resources on clearly illegal mergers

Federal Trade Commission member Rebecca Kelly Slaughter has said the agency spends “far too many of our enforcement dollars on mergers that are clearly illegal”, demonstrating that enforcement is failing to deter competitive harm.

18 November 2020

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