Tagged: antitrust

Intel settles antitrust case with FTC

August 4th, 2010 in Technology 0 comments

computer chipIn a “I-never-did-it-and-won’t-do-it-again” deal, Computer chip-making giant Intel agreed with the Federal Trade Commission to step back from business practices — like coercing computer makers not to buy microprosessor chips from rivals — which allegedly stifled competition and deprived consumers of better choices for at least a decade.  The “play nice” settlement comes on the heels of a $1.25 billion settlement last year with competitor AMD and as Intel continues to contest a $1.45 billion antitrust fine in Europe.  Law Professor Keith Hylton, an authority in antitrust law, says the incentives on both sides for a settlement were especially strong in this case.

“The FTC’s claims, which mirrored those of the European Comission, were not well founded in American law.  Intel, in spite of having a strong legal argument, had no interest in spending years in litigation against the FTC (along with the European Commission).  The obvious result of this mixture of incentives is a settlement.”

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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Apple online-music antitrust probe

May 26th, 2010 in Law 0 comments

Department of Justice sealThe Justice Department reportedly is in the early stages of an antitrust investigation against Apple Inc., the largest seller of music online, looking into allegations that it used its dominant market position to try to keep music labels from granting exclusive access to content to Amazon.comLaw Professor Keith Hylton, an authority on antitrust law, says it makes sense for Apple to trim market support for certain songs when gets a smaller share of the profits from their sale — but they’re gotten aggressive about it lately.

“There are details that might indicate that they have gone too far in some instances; that remains to be seen.  Still, in the long run, consumers generally gain from this activity.”

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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SCOTUS slaps down NFL

May 24th, 2010 in Law 0 comments

NFL logoIn a unanimous vote, the Supreme Court denied the National Football League its goal of broad protection from antitrust suits.  The high court ruled on a case involving a license for making souvenir caps and sent to back to a lower court to further consideration allegations by a smaller company that challenged the league’s 10-year exclusive deal with ReebokLaw Professor Keith Hylton, an authority on antitrust law, says it is understandable that the court would be reluctant to expand the “single entity” concept to include the NFL.  Meantime, Sports Journalism Professor Frank Shorr says this could be the “watershed moment.”

Keith Hylton:

“‘Single entity’ status implies exemption from Section 1 of the Sherman Act, and the Court is reluctant to create broad exemptions to Section 1 when the effects may not be entirely clear.”

Contact: Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

Frank Shorr:

“It will be interesting to see if the court now expands it’s view of the National Football League’s long-standing policies.  Today it’s hats. Tomorrow, who knows — uniforms, helmets, wrist bands — anything that they can make a profit on and not have to share.  We could be looking back on this decision in the not-to-distant future and saying, that was the watershed moment.”

Contact: Frank Shorr, 617-353-5163, fshorr@bu.edu

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Google/AdMob deal okayed

May 21st, 2010 in Technology 0 comments

Google on laptopDespite concerns that Google could extend its Internet marketing dominance into the emerging field of wireless devices, federal regulators approved the company’s $750 million purchase of its mobile advertising rival AdMobLaw Professor Keith Hylton, an authority on antitrust law, said it looks like the right decision given rapid changes in the market such as rival Apple buying the third largest mobile ad network, Quattro Wireless.  Besides, he said, Google doesn’t seemed worried about antitrust threats from the Obama administration.

“[Google] appears to have the administration working diligently on its side on the net neutrality issue, and that is probably worth a lot more than these relatively minor antitrust issues.”

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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FTC sniffing Google-AdMob deal

April 7th, 2010 in Law 0 comments

AdMob logoThe Federal Trade Commission is reportedly preparing an antitrust challenge to Google’s proposed acquisition of the mobile-advertising company AdMob, and asked AdMob competitors about what the deal would mean for consumers.  Law Professor Keith Hylton, an authority on antitrust law, says be weary of what the competitors say — even in sworn statements.

“If the FTC asks AdMob’s competitors what they think about an acquisition that might give the firm a competitive advantage by enhancing the efficiency of its service, what will they say? My guess is that they will say that the acquisition is bad for consumers.”

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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Microsoft, Google antitrust sparring

March 1st, 2010 in Law 0 comments

Microsoft logoGoogle logoGoogle says Microsoft is waging a proxy war by hijacking lawsuits brought by third parties to crank up antitrust sentiment against it so that regulators clamp down on Google’s growth.  Law Professor Keith Hylton says legal weapons have become competitive tools among big technology firms.

“I don’t think there are any angels left in the high-tech sector at this stage. The problem is that all of them will suffer if they do not take a firm, public stance against excessively interventionist antitrust regulation.”

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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Senators push EU on antitrust case

November 25th, 2009 in Law 0 comments

justice scalesLed by John Kerry and Orrin Hatch, 59 U.S. senators are urging European antitrust regulators to make a decision on the proposed Oracle merger with Sun Microsystems.   Law Professor Keith Hylton, an antitrust law expert, says the intervention reflects a disproportionate political influence by Sun relative to its importance to the economy.

“This sort of intervention by members of Congress is overdue. There should have been a frank dialogue about competition policy differences several months (or maybe years) ago.”

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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E.U. defends its Intel position

September 21st, 2009 in Law 0 comments

Intel logoThe European Union, which in May fined Intel $1.45 billion for strong-arm sales tactics, has released e-mails showing how Intel pressured chip buyers.  School of Law Professor Keith Hylton, an antitrust law expert, says the unusual move going to the media to make their case is questionable.

The E.C.’s decision to take its case to the newspapers raises questions about the proper ethical constraints that should be placed on a prosecuting authority.

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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Report: DoJ probing telecom industry

July 6th, 2009 in Law 0 comments

The Justice Department reportedly has launched a probe to see if large U.S. telecom companies (AT&T, Verizon) are abusing their recently won market power.  For instance, are wireless carriers locking up popular smart-phones by having exclusive agreements with handset makers?  School of Law Professor Keith Hylton, an expert on antitrust law, can look at the possible ramifications.

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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Text-messaging fee hikes antitrust?

June 17th, 2009 in Law 0 comments

060123_blackberry_hmed_8a_hmediumFederal investigators are being asked if there’s an antitrust problem with a 100% jump in some text-messaging charges by the four companies that control most of the market — Verizon, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and T-Mobile.  School of Law Professor Keith Hylton, an expert in antitrust law, says it might look suspicious, “but the law requires proof of conspiracy, not merely parallel conduct.”

Contact Keith Hylton, 617-353-8959, knhylton@bu.edu

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