Blog o’ Blogs October

October brings a month of uncertainty in global markets, with all the attending goodies, insights and breaking decisions we have come to expect. British authorities kick into high gear in anticipation of the 2019 sea-change to come, adding to an already frothing EU business and legal environment. In contrast, a slowdown in cartel cases has some economists scratching their heads, as does the sector’s adjustment to ongoing social, political and economic trends sweeping the world…

What Can/Should be Done To Pick Up the Pace of Cartel Investigations?
In an earlier post I discussed the Fiscal Year 2018 Antitrust Division statistics for criminal cases filed and noted that they were down dramatically. This is not a one year drop off, but a trend since the high water mark of 2015…?
Robert Connolly (Cartel Capers)

Ripples of #MeToo in the M&A world: examining the “Weinstein Clause”
A recent report Bloomberg indicates the increasing relevance of buyers staying away from a “#MeToo company” in M&A transactions – i.e., a company facing sexual misconduct allegations. This does not suggest that buyers are staying away…
Jaray Zhao (Deal Law Wire)

SA Competition Act officially amended – serious consequences for businesses
South Africa has amended its antitrust laws, first introduced to the country in 1998 via its Competition Act.  Parliament ratified the amendments (which still have to be rubber-stamped by the National Council of Provinces, a mere formality)…
Editor (Africa Antitrust)

Q3 review: global M&A volume dropping, despite record highs
Thomson Reuters recently released a report on global mergers and acquisitions in the first nine months of 2018. According to the report, global M&A volume fell 32% in Q3 2018 compared to Q2 2018…
Sean Williamson (Deal Law Wire)

As DOJ Reconsiders Watershed Consent Decrees, Claims of Unlawful “Circuit Dealing” Proceed Against Landmark Theaters
Hollywood and the antitrust laws go way back.  Indeed, antitrust suits have resulted not only some of the most significant cases in the evolution of American antitrust law, but many of the most consequential developments in the history of the movie industry…
Timothy H. Gray and Robert P. LoBue  (Antitrust Update)

Latest (economic) thinking on competitive impact of pricing algorithms – paper by UK’s Competition and Markets Authority
The CMA’s recent “economic working paper” on the use of algorithms to facilitate collusion and personalised pricing follows on the heels of other work in this area…
Grant Murray, Keith Jones (Baker McKenzie)

Antitrust Group Boycotts: My Competitors are Conspiring Against Me
Maybe everyone really is conspiring against you? If they are competitors—that is, they have a horizontal relationship—they may be committing a per se antitrust violation…
Jarod Bona (Antitrust Attorney)

Competition & Markets Authority gets tough on cartels
On 22 October 2018, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it had launched a new “Stop Cartels” campaign to educate businesses about anti-competitive practices and encourage people to come forward if they suspect a business has taken part in cartel behavior…
Robert Bell (Bryan Cave/EU Competition)

The Amazon investigation and Europe’s “Big Tech” Crusade
The dust has barely settled on the European Commission’s record-breaking €4.3 Billion Google Android fine, but already the European Commission is gearing up for its next high-profile case…
Dirk Auer (Truth on the Market)

COMESA News: Uganda gets on board, fields new CCC board chair
For the small but growing segment of COMESA Competition Commission observers in the world, some recent developments relating to a key member state may have gone unnoticed…
Editor (African Antitrust)

In re Asacol: First Circuit Sharply Limits Certification of Antitrust Classes Containing Uninjured Members
In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that Rule 23’s “predominance” requirement barred certification of a class of all indirect purchasers of a prescription drug…
Daniel A. Friedman (Antitrust Update)

Germany publishes report on modernizing the law on abuse of market power in the digital economy
On September 4, 2018, the German Ministry for Economic Affairs has published a report by economic and legal experts analyzing some key issues of abuse of market power in the digital platform economy…
Silke Heinz (Heinz & Zagrosek, Kluwer Competition)

Antitrust Division FY 2018 Criminal Case Filings Reminiscent of 1962 Mets
The first team I can remember rooting for was the 1962 Mets. They went 40–120 (.250) and finished last in the National League, ​60 1⁄2 games behind the NL Champion San Francisco Giants…
Robert Connolly (Cartel Capers)