Anti-trust Regulators Swoop on Google

The Australian reports that investigations of anti-trust allegations against Google has gained momentum, with raids being conducted on the company’s head office in South Korea. It is reportedly alleged that Google’s Android operating system blocks competing services being used on smart phones. Google’s anti-competitive conduct is reportedly also being investigated by the US Department of Justice and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The Australian: Google rivals start their engines as anti-trust regulators clamp down (15 September 2011)
(Source: The Australian)

Site Blocking: Piracy Prevention or Unfair Censorship?

Gulf News reports that Google has hit back at the UK Government’s attempt to force the company to remove file sharing websites from its search results, describing the requirement as “unworkable”. UK culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has reportedly called on search engines to make it “more and more difficult” for people to access piracy sites that “deliberately facilitate infringements”. Google has reportedly argued that it already removes links, but to remove access to entire sites would be an unacceptable infringement on free speech and would open the door for companies to engage in uncompetitive behaviour.
Gulf News: Google fights British move to force site blocking (15 September 2011)
(Source: Gulf News)

DOJ Seeks to Prevent H&R Block Acquisition for Antitrust Concerns

A bid by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prevent H&R Block Inc. from acquiring TaxAct began last week in federal court. This will be the first time the DOJ has gone to trial in an antitrust case since it attempted to block the 2004 merger of Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft Inc. Typically, when the government challenges an acquisition, companies will either make concession to receive the government’s approval or drop the bid entirely. The H&R Block trial is sure to be closely watched, as it raises issues similar to those presented in the DOJ’s recent block of AT&T’s $39 billion deal with T-Mobile USA.
Morning Star: Disputed Tax Merger Leads To Rare Antitrust Court Battle (2 September 2011)
(Source: Dow Jones)

Dialysis Co Must Sell Services to Acquire Rival: FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it requires dialysis services company DaVita Inc (DaVita) to sell 29 outpatient dialysis clinics to resolve anti-competitive concerns in relation to its planned acquisition of rival company, CDSI I Holding Company Inc. The FTC allege that the proposed acquisition would either give DaVita a monopoly, or reduce the number of dialysis providers from three to two in 16 local markets, potentially leading to higher prices and lower quality for outpatient dialysis services.
FTC’s media release (2 September 2011)
(Source: FTC)

Justice Department Opposes Proposed AT&T and T-Mobile Merger

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) moved to block the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA. The DOJ argued in the lawsuit filed last Wednesday that the potential deal would result in higher prices for consumers and less innovation within the wireless industry. By preventing the proposed merger, the DOJ is hoping to preserve both competition and jobs for American workers in the industry. AT&T has stated it will contest the DOJ lawsuit.
New York Times: U.S. Moves to Block Merger Between AT&T and T-Mobile (31 August 2011)
(Source: New York Times)