Region: United States of America

New York, New York: The Tipline for 6 August 2020

“We’re in the midst of a pandemic” is an excuse that many of us have likely used over the past few months, but one generic drugmaker targeted in the Department of Justice’s price-fixing probe has cited the crisis as a reason for not settling with the agency. Teva Pharmaceuticals chief executive Kare Schultz told Bloomberg yesterday that his company would not sign a deferred prosecution agreement that might “cripple” its ability to supply drugs in the US during covid-19. Also in today’s Tipline, we have a proposed amendment to New York antitrust law that its sponsor says is intended to rein in titans of the technology business, plus the DOJ suing to block a hospital deal and a cartel defence lawyer moving firms.

06 August 2020

Foreign press fight: The Tipline for 5 August 2020

Hollywood foreign reporting might not sound like the most cutthroat business, but a new lawsuit claims that members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will go to great lengths to keep rivals out of their cushy organisation. We have more on those antitrust claims in today’s Tipline, plus a new paper on common ownership and Uber surviving a challenge to an earlier arbitration win.

05 August 2020

Fill up on gas: The Tipline for 4 August 2020

7-Eleven is best known for its Big Gulp soft drinks and hot dogs, but it expanded its business significantly yesterday by agreeing to purchase rival Speedway. The deal follows the gas station and convenience store chain's smaller purchase of gas stations in 2017, which the Federal Trade Commission approved with divestitures. Also in today’s Tipline, the FTC reportedly joins with New York and California to probe Amazon, health insurance purchasers suing California health insurer Sutter Health score class certification and a cancer treatment deal sets Siemens Healthineers on track to become a global leader in cancer care.

04 August 2020

There’s a theory of harm for that: The Tipline for 3 August 2020

Apple chief executive Tim Cook spent large chunks of Wednesday’s Congressional antitrust hearing watching like the rest of us. A tally from the New York Times found Cook faced at least 24 fewer questions than chief execs from Facebook, Google and Amazon. But there was plenty of love to go around during the almost six-hour hearing as lawmakers questioned the iPhone-maker's 30% commission rate and challenged the App Store’s rules as arbitrary and opaque.

03 August 2020

King of the Court: The Tipline for 31 July 2020

In a letter to the House of Representatives antitrust committee this month, EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager likened the dual role played by some digital platforms to a sporting match in which an athlete is also the referee, giving GCR USA flashbacks to the grade school game of “four square”. In the recess classic, four players are each assigned a box in the descending hierarchy of ace, king, queen and jack. Participants slap a gym ball into their opponents’ square, ideally in a manner that it is too difficult to hit back. On the blacktop, though, the ace sets the rules and often customises them in an arbitrary manner to retain power. Befuddled by the ace’s ability to now catch and dribble the ball indefinitely, the competition remain forever stuck in their squares.

31 July 2020

All Rise: The Tipline for 30 July 2020

The executives of Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple appeared (virtually) in the US Capitol yesterday for Congressional oversight. Instead, they received more than five hours of cross-examination from the House antitrust subcommittee as both Democratic and Republican lawmakers made their cases against the platforms. In the process, the lawmakers cast sunlight on government probes being conducted behind closed doors.

30 July 2020

Get your tokens ready: The Tipline for 29 July 2020

GCR USA cannot promise you that today’s hearing before the House antitrust subcommittee will have any significance beyond the 24-hour news cycle. But we can promise to dwell on every word of the testimony from the heads of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple as if it is the response to a marriage proposal. In the spirit of the holiday, country music star Leann Rimes got a headstart on going after the platforms during a DOJ-hosted workshop.

29 July 2020

All eyes on us: The Tipline for 28 July 2020

What do merging parties actually think of their past rivalry? Antitrust enforcers typically need to scavenge through millions of internal company documents to find the answer. The two largest US providers of Lasik eye surgery made things a bit easier for the Federal Trade Commission, which has opened “a non-public inquiry” into their proposed merger. Vision Group Holdings filed an unfair methods of competition lawsuit against its future acquiring party last year, telling a federal district court that the two companies are the largest US Lasik providers “by a significant margin” and that they compete in a “two-player market”. GCR USA is trying to think of another name for a one-player market.

28 July 2020

We’re halfway there: The Tipline for 27 July 2020

“You cannot be in two places at once,” they said. GCR USA is not about that kind of pessimism. Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, Tim Cook and Jon Bon Jovi are all scheduled to speak about US antitrust law at the same time on Wednesday. We’re not sure if this actually qualifies competition law as cool, but we will gladly enjoy our lunch at the popular kids’ cafeteria table.

27 July 2020

Taro admits collusion to end DOJ probe

Taro Pharmaceuticals has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Antitrust Division, but it is costing the generic drugmaker $419 million and an admission that its price-fixing conspiracy impacted more than $500 million worth of commerce.

24 July 2020

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