Judge Richard Leon erred by discrediting regulatory filings made by AT&T and DirecTV in his ruling to allow the AT&T/Time Warner merger, the Federal Communications Commission said in one of several amicus briefs submitted on Monday.
The Federal Communications Commission did little to get in the way of the AT&T/Time Warner tie-up during the merger review process, but the agency has now filed an amicus curiae brief in defence of evidence used by the Department of Justice as the Antitrust Division seeks to block the deal on appeal. FCC chairman Ajit Pai said last year that the agency did not have the authority to review the deal because AT&T was not acquiring any licences from Time Warner. Although the agency said it is not taking an official stance on the litigation, its brief certainly aids the Antitrust Division’s argument.
Attorneys general from several states are calling for further conditions in the Department of Justice’s settlement of its concerns in the Bayer/Monsanto merger, saying that the proposed remedies are not enough to protect competition.
The Department of Justice conditionally cleared Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto in May, but several state attorneys general have said the agreed divestiture remedy is not enough to preserve competition and urged the Antitrust Division to impose further conditions. We have coverage of that, and of Apple’s and Qualcomm’s lawyers pushing back against separate antitrust claims.
The government’s chances of successfully appealing the AT&T/Time Warner ruling are complicated by an apparent concession on efficiencies during the trial. William S Comanor – previously special economic assistant to the assistant attorney general for antitrust and director of the Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of economics – and Donald I Baker – former head of the DOJ’s antitrust division – explain.
White & Case partner Noah Brumfield will speak on the panel “Emerging antitrust issues in high tech” at GCR Live IP & Antitrust in California tomorrow. Here, he previews his thoughts on the Department of Justice’s “drastic and confusing shift” in views on patents and the split between European and US intellectual property enforcement.
It is hard out there for a claim under section 2 of the Sherman Act. Even the Department of Justice’s antitrust division has not tried to bring more than a handful of monopolisation charges in recent years. With all the precedent about antitrust law not protecting competitors, how do the rivals of the defendant win a $315 million jury verdict?
While the recent heatwave may have you inside by the air-conditioning all day, we have collected the hottest docs in antitrust to keep you entertained.
Cormac O'Daly and Frédéric Louis
Martin Sura and Kim Lars Mehrbrey
Gonçalo Machado Borges
Morais Leităo Galvăo Teles Soares da Silva & Associados (Lisbon)