(josepqr)

Sen. Al Franken Calls For Federal Investigation Into Apple Music

In response to concerns arising from the recent launch of Apple Music, U.S. Senator Al Franken called on both the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the possibility that the tech giant may be creating an anticompetitive environment in the streaming music market. [More]

Authors, Booksellers Call For Investigation Into Amazon’s Alleged Anti-Competitive Business Practices

Authors, Booksellers Call For Investigation Into Amazon’s Alleged Anti-Competitive Business Practices

Last year, Amazon and book publisher Hachette engaged in a contentious feud that at times saw the online retailer use its considerable clout to make it difficult for consumers to purchase books by Hachette-published authors. Now, eight months after the two companies came to an undisclosed agreement, groups representing thousands of authors and booksellers are pointing to the online book retailer’s actions as reason for the Department of Justice to open an antitrust investigation into Amazon. [More]

Dept. Of Justice Investigating Alleged Collusion By Airlines To Keep Ticket Prices High

Dept. Of Justice Investigating Alleged Collusion By Airlines To Keep Ticket Prices High

Just weeks after a legislator voiced concern that a shrinking airline industry has perpetuated potential anti-competitive behavior aimed at keeping the price of airfare high, the Department of Justice revealed it is looking into the possibility of collusion between airlines.
[More]

Report: AT&T, DirecTV Merger Likely To Be Approved By Justice Dept. With No Conditions

Report: AT&T, DirecTV Merger Likely To Be Approved By Justice Dept. With No Conditions


It’s been over a year since AT&T and DirecTV publicly announced their intention to become one big happy mega-media company, and the two are clearly getting a little restless waiting for their approvals. However, it looks like they are about to get the green light they so badly want. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

Apple Is On The Hook For $450M After Losing Federal Appeal In E-Book Price-Fixing Case

Though Apple’s alleged co-conspirators have long since settled and gone about the process of making good for the price-fixing they did not legally admit to committing, the elecronics company had held out in its fight to clear its name, taking the case to a federal appeals court late last year. It seems the electronics company will have to give up that battle, after the court upheld a 2013 decision that found Apple liable for conspiring with publishers to raise the price of e-books. [More]

(camknows)
(Nicholas Eckhart)

AMC, Regal Theater Chains Targeted In Antitrust Inquiry

Exclusive agreements between large movie theater chains and film studios that are effectively used to prevent independent rivals from showing certain films have caught the watchful eye of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, with investigators now requesting information about the increasingly popular tactic from two of the nation’s largest cinema operators, AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment. [More]

How Baseball Became America’s Favorite Monopoly

(Allan)

In theory, spring has finally sprung. But forget crocuses and breathably warm air; the real sign of seasonal change is baseball, America’s favorite monopoly. Major League Baseball has the dubious distinction not only of being entirely exempt from antitrust law, but also being the only major league sport with such a privilege. With the start of the 2015 season still some days away, we have time to take a look at the history, and the possible future, of this quirk. [More]

American Express To Fight Court Ruling That Would Let Retailers Encourage Use Of Competing Cards

American Express To Fight Court Ruling That Would Let Retailers Encourage Use Of Competing Cards

Back in February, a federal court ruled that American Express merchant agreements violate antitrust laws, resulting in higher costs for consumers, by forbidding retailers that accept AmEx from encouraging customers to use competing cards like those from Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Today, the credit card company’s CEO said the company is asking the court to stay this ruling. [More]

Comcast Will Pay $50M To End 11-Year-Old Class Action That Sought $875M

(honeylamb)

Nearly 11 years after it was first filed — and after a trip that saw it go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — a class action claim brought against Comcast by cable customers here in the Philadelphia area may finally be coming to an end, and for only a small fraction of what the plaintiffs had once hoped to collect. [More]

Antitrust Experts To FCC: Comcast/TWC Merger Is A Terrible Idea

Antitrust Experts To FCC: Comcast/TWC Merger Is A Terrible Idea

A group of antitrust experts spanning the country, from Harvard to Stanford and plenty of places in between, has asked the FCC to block the Comcast and Time Warner Cable union. In a letter, the experts urge the FCC to act to to “protect competition and consumers” by preventing the merger before it happens. [More]

Consumer Advocates Urge Justice Dept. To Block Comcast/TWC Merger

Consumer Advocates Urge Justice Dept. To Block Comcast/TWC Merger

The FCC isn’t the only agency reviewing the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger; the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is all over it, too. And while the full public doesn’t get to have its riotous say with the DoJ the same way we did with the FCC, businesses and consumer advocates can file in opposition (or support). Our colleagues down the hall at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, have now officially chimed in to ask the DoJ to watch out for the interests of consumers, and block the merger. [More]

Contact Lens Makers Work Together To Make Sure You Pay More

Contact Lens Makers Work Together To Make Sure You Pay More

As anyone with bad eyesight could probably tell you, having options when it comes to the cost of contact lenses is extremely important. Just ask my fiance, because apparently I have “very expensive eyes.” I’ll take that as a compliment, but the idea that I won’t have the opportunity to find the best priced lenses next time I fill my prescription is a very real possibility, and one that’s already hurting some of the 35 million consumers who wear contacts. [More]

27 Companies Plead Guilty In Massive International Auto Parts Price-Fixing Conspiracy

27 Companies Plead Guilty In Massive International Auto Parts Price-Fixing Conspiracy

The largest criminal antitrust investigation in the history of the Justice Department just got larger. It has nothing to do with telecommunications or giant mergers or any exotic items, though; it’s all about auto parts. A worldwide price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy related to those auto parts has resulted in 27 guilty pleas and over $2.3 billion in fines — and the investigation is still underway. [More]

Here’s Why the Justice Dept. Should Block the Comcast and Time Warner Cable Merger

Here’s Why the Justice Dept. Should Block the Comcast and Time Warner Cable Merger

Comcast and Time Warner Cable have done their parade in front of the House and Senate to state their case publicly for why they should be allowed to merger into a truly massive mega-company. But now, it’s time for the investigation that really matters, as regulators at the FCC and the Department of Justice start looking into whether or not this deal is good for the public interest… or violates antitrust law. [More]

(afagen)

FTC To Google: Hang On A Minute While We Investigate This Waze Deal

Google might want to start trying to pour the bubbly it poured over its $1.1 billion acquisition of social mapping company Waze back into the bottle, at least until the Federal Trade Commission is done with its antitrust review of the deal. The company confirmed that it’s been contacted by antitrust lawyers from the FTC, which isn’t a surprise. You take one huge company and have it buy up another smaller one, and the FTC will be there. [More]

(bclinesmith)

Consumer Advocates To Senators: American Airlines & US Airways Merger Would Hurt Fliers

Today American Airlines and its betrothed, US Airways had to defend their proposed merger in front of a Senate hearing and several consumer advocates. Citing higher fares, reduced service to smaller communities in the U.S. and a loss of competition among carriers, opponents of the impending nuptials testified at a Judiciary Committee hearing that such a joint venture would hurt consumers. [More]

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Budget Airline Ryan Air Appeals Third Blocked Bid To Buy Rival Aer Lingus

Budget airline Ryanair, of the standing room-only cabins idea, has big plans for its Irish rival Aer Lingus. But it can’t get down to that happy future of slashing customer comfort and stripping the flying experience down to bare bones just yet because the European Union has blocked its third attempt to acquire its competitor. [More]

Prisons Get Big Kickbacks For Phone Contracts, Prisoners' Families Pay The Price

Prisons Get Big Kickbacks For Phone Contracts, Prisoners' Families Pay The Price

A investigation by Prison Legal News exposes how prisons are getting fat kickbacks from telephone companies in order to land exclusive service contracts, which they then use to charge sky-high calling rates. There’s usually a connection charge of $3.00 or more and it can cost upwards of $.89 a minute. That means a 15-minute collect call can end up costing $10-$17. Compare that to the $.05 or $.10 most customers pay. Because the calls are often collect, it’s the prisoners’ families that end up paying the price. [More]