Blog o’ Blogs May

Debates surrounding the theory and proper purpose of Antitrust continue around the world, with both debates and temperatures heating up in the Northern hemisphere as summer draws near, and the Antitrust community prepares for a flurry of possibly major developments. From tougher approaches towards individual antitrust violators to questioning common remedies for highly-competitive industries, antitrust authorities new and old have made May a month of exploration, expectation and learning for most areas of the antitrust community…

Discretionalists vs Legalists: the true divide in the competition law community?
The big debates about the soul of competition law/antitrust are back. And with these debates, commentators seek to identify what distinguishes the various stances regarding the purpose and intensity of intervention…
Pablo Ibanez Colomo (Chilling Competition)

Problems With the Theory of Anticompetitive Harm from Common Ownership
The theory of anticompetitive harm holds that small-stakes common ownership causes firms in concentrated industries to compete less vigorously, since each firm’s top shareholders are also invested in that firm’s rivals…
Thom Lambert (Truth on the Market)

Bumble Bee CEO Indicted for Price Fixing
According to a Department of Justice press release, on May 16, 2018 a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Christopher Lischewski, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bumble Bee Foods LLC, for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for packaged seafood sold in the United States.
Robert Connolly (Cartel Capers)

Joint ventures and competition law: when does cooperation create risks for companies?
Companies enter joint ventures in a broad range of circumstances, for example: to share risks, to pool expertise, to increase market presence, reduce costs and realise efficiencies. Such arrangements offer many benefits. Competition authorities on the other hand are sceptical…
(Norton Rose Fulbright)

Class Actions Now Flowing From FTC and DOJ’s No-Poach Enforcement
“Class Actions Now Flowing from FTC and DOJ’s No-Poach Enforcement,” discusses the increase of class action lawsuits brought under Section 1 of the Sherman Act against national franchises for imposing employee no-hire agreements on their franchisees…
Carl Hittinger & Tyson Herrold (Antitrust Advocate)

A preliminary assessment of the relative antitrust risk of a Comcast vs Disney purchase of 21st Century Fox assets
As has been rumored in the press for a few weeks, today Comcast announced it is considering making a renewed bid for a large chunk of Twenty-First Century Fox’s (Fox) assets.
Geoffrey Manne (Truth on the Market)

Sectoral Regulation, Competition Law, and Jurisdictional Overlaps: Tracing the Most Viable Solution in the Indian Context
Indian sectoral regulators were vested with competition-related powers on account of an economic wisdom which favoured regulation, which has started to lose its relevance since the development of the competition law regime.
Paridhi Poddar(Antitrust Alert)

Reaching agreement on employees with competing employers may land you in hot water with competition authorities
Around the world competition authorities are turning their focus to the effects that agreements between employers can have on competition in job markets…
(Norton Rose Fulbright)

Which Is It for Online Taxi Drivers? Employment or Labor Service?
Jiang Chai is an online taxi driver. He became a staff member of Beijing Changxing Traffic Co., Ltd. (hereinafter as “Changxing Company”) in 2014 and fulfilled orders allocated by a taxi-booking mobile application operated by Beijing Cheyun Technology Co., Ltd.
Junlu Jiang and Chenkun Li (China Law Insight/Wood & Mallesons)

Antitrust News: New FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra Calls Out Repeat Offenders for Harsher Penalties
As you may have heard, the Senate recently approved a new slate of FTC Commissioners. Among them is new Commissioner Rohit Chopra, who is a former assistant director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and former advisor to the Secretary of Education.
Jarod Bona (The Antitrust Attorney)

Director disqualification and the CMA: Encouraging a “top down” compliance culture in the UK
In April 2018, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA“) announced that two individuals would be disqualified from acting as directors for 3 and 3.5 years as a result of a company’s infringement of UK domestic competition law…
Bernardine Adkins, Samuel Beighton (Kluwer Competition/Gowling WLG)

Are slot remedies sufficient in airline mergers? The currently hypothetical case of IAG/Norwegian
On the 12 April 2018 the BBC reported that International Airlines Group (IAG) had acquired a 4.6% stake in Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian). IAG (which includes BA, Iberia and its most recent acquisition, Aer Lingus) responded that their “minority investment is intended to establish a position from which to initiate discussions with Norwegian, including the possibility of a full offer for Norwegian”.
Tom Carr (Competition Policy Blog)