The rumor mill yesterday has been borne out today, as the Department of Justice has officially filed a pair of lawsuits to block the mega-mergers of health insurers Anthem and Cigna.
We closed out 2015 with the health insurance market poised to get a lot smaller, as Anthem proposed to by Cigna and Aetna said it would buy Humana. If both mergers go through, the number of large nationwide health insurance carriers would drop to just three… a big challenge in a U.S. that’s seen the market for health insurance expand since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. And if reports are true, the Justice Department may feel that’s just too much contraction.
A month after Anheuser-Busch InBev cleared one huge regulatory hurdle in gaining approval for its $107 billion SABMiller merger with the sale of SABMiller’s half of China’s largest brewer, the beer behemoth is looking to appease regulators on other continents. This time it happens to be the European Union and the sale of premium brands Peroni and Grolsch. [More]
Is Amazon a valid competitor to Staples and Office Depot for the business of corporate office supply customers? In a hearing in the federal lawsuit that the Federal Trade Commission has filed against the two retailers, the government argues that it isn’t yet, and the two stores argue that it is, or soon will be. Yesterday, an attorney for Staples accused the FTC of telling an Amazon executive what to say in his testimony about his company’s plans for office supply domination, earning criticism from the judge. [More]
Just because the Federal Trade Commission went to court in an effort to block the pending merger of Staples and Office Depot, doesn’t mean the companies are putting the mega-deal behind them. In fact, the office-supply chains have extend the contract for their proposed $6.3 billion merger to allow more time to placate antitrust regulators. [More]
You know how it’s almost impossible to ever see one of those big blockbuster films showing at the little movie theater down the street? That issue is largely the result of exclusive agreements between large theater chains and film studios that effectively prevent independent rivals from showing certain films. While these deals might be great for the bigger companies, they aren’t so awesome for consumers. And so, 10 state attorneys general are looking into whether or not the contracts used by Regal Cinemas, AMC Entertainment, and Cinemark constitute antitrust violations. [More]
Providing office supplies for commercial businesses could be the final nail in the coffin of the would-be formation of the $6.3 billion StaplesMaxDepot Voltron, with regulators reportedly poised to block the mega-merger next week. [More]
You know when you’re watching national prime-time TV and, after a bunch of ads for big-name brands you’ll suddenly be treated with a commercial for some local car dealer? Those are called “spot” ads and Comcast is being investigated for possibly having too much control over their sales. [More]
With a $104.2 billion merger agreed to in principle, beer giants Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller could be walking down the aisle soon, creating a company that provides nearly 70% of the beer sold in the U.S. While such a mega-merger might be beneficial to the companies as far as increasing market share and cutting costs, the deal could have some very real consequences for consumers – and other beer producers. [More]
The $6.3 billion merger between the top two office supply chains has hit yet another bump: the European Union opened an “extensive” investigation into the would-be union of Staples and rival Office Depot. [More]
Three months after a federal appeals court upheld a 2013 decision that found Apple liable for conspiring with publisher to raise the price of e-books, the company is taking the fight to clear its name to the country’s highest legal authority: the Supreme Court. [More]
In an effort to gain approval for their $6.3 billion proposed marriage to Staples, Office Depot announced last month it would close about 400 stores. While that move could certainly help the merger process, it appears that federal regulators are less worried about retail sales at physical stores, and more concerned about their contracts to provide supplies to large corporations and businesses. [More]
From time to time, the Federal Trade Commission is known to take on companies it believes create an environment of unfair competition. Over the years, some have seen the agency’s actions to be a bit arbitrary and wide-ranging. But that could soon change as officials are expected to unveil a policy statement this week specifying how it pursues antitrust cases. [More]
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.
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.