I cover antitrust. Now at Bloomberg. Formerly Politico, MLex, CQ. email me lnylen2 at bloomberg dot net or "Follow" me on https://t.co/TyQdHaqyMF to get all the scoops
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May 20 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
🧵 Almost every story about the infant formula crisis mentions that the industry is highly concentrated. @g0ingmad and I wanted to find out how that happened bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
Today four companies -- Abbott, Nestle, Mead Johnson and Perrigo -- control 90% of the market. And the biggest buyer of formula in the US is WIC, the USDA's program for low-income women and children
May 19 • 7 tweets • 1 min read
Lee ad tech bill is out! Companies with more than $20B in ad revenue cannot own more than one side of the market
Any company with more than $5B in digits ad revenue will now have: a duty to act in their customers’ best interest and seek the most favorable terms; transparency requirements; firewalls on data sharing
May 18 • 24 tweets • 4 min read
Jonathan Kanter is “relentlessly inquisitive,” his former partner Andrew Finch says in introducing him before the annual Handler Lecture for the NYC Bar on #antitrust
“Growing up in a middle class neighborhood in Queens I never imagined…I’d be able to be here,” Kanter says, speaking in honor of a luminary like Milton Handler. “It’s in many respects a dream come true.”
May 18 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
FTC Chair Lina Khan is up before House Appropriations today, asking for a $113M bump in funding to hire an additional 200 employees next year. appropriations.house.gov/events/hearing…
Khan's first question is about the infant formula shortage. "The baby formula shortages we are seeing are deeply concerning and concerning and is something we are watching quite closely. It wasn't inevitable that this one plant being taken off would lead to such outsized effects"
May 17 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
FTC Chair Lina Khan and Dem Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter submitted comments to the ITC yesterday on whether the agency should issue an exclusion order in a case brought by Phillips against France's Thales Group, UK's Telit and China's Quectel
Phillips owns several patents essential to industry standards for LTE communications and the three other companies make IoT devices that use those standards.
May 16 • 11 tweets • 4 min read
Some news on the fight between @FTC and @USChamber: The agency has agreed to release its Procedures Manual that describes, among other things, the FTC's voting rules /🧵 uschamber.com/assets/documen…
Recap: Last fall, after reporting that former FTC Commissioner Chopra left behind a number of motions when he moved on to the CFPB, I filed a FOIA asking for the Procedures Manual. My FOIA was denied. politico.com/news/2021/11/0…
May 13 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
Yesterday, Sen. Mike Lee took to the Senate floor asking for unanimous consent to pass the State AG venue bill (S 1787) c-span.org/video/?c501501…
UC is essentially a voice vote on a bill. If no one objects, the bill goes through. But anyone can object and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the bill's Democratic co-sponsor, did object.
May 12 • 20 tweets • 2 min read
Speaking at Axios event, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) says he is against the tech antitrust legislation because Congress should be focused on tech issues like privacy, data security and content moderation
He also expresses concerns about the security of side loading, and says House Judiciary should have had a hearing with DOJ, FBI, NSA about the cyber aspects. (He doesn’t address that side loading already exists on Google’s Android)
May 11 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Senate votes 51-50 to confirm Democrat Alvaro Bedoya as the FTC's fifth commissioner with VP Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote
Because of some paperwork, Bedoya will likely be sworn in either tomorrow or Friday.
May 11 • 13 tweets • 2 min read
Sen. Wicker, top R on Senate Commerce, says he is concerned about the bill to restore the FTC's ability to seek restitution given the current agency leadership.
But he also raised the interesting possibility that he and Cantwell (Commerce Chair) could reach an agreement to include something on it in the USICA bill.
May 5 • 12 tweets • 3 min read
I’ve gotten a lot of questions today. So, a short primer on mergers and why antitrust reporters write about them at certain times: 🧵
Any company or person engaging in a transaction valued at more than ~$100M is required to notify the antitrust agencies under a law called Hart-Scott-Rodino, HSR for short. (There are some exemptions to this but it generally holds)
Apr 21 • 16 tweets • 3 min read
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) says the Boulder field hearing in Feb 2020 was the turning point for him in the House antitrust probe. “Something has to be done.” #StiglerAntitrust22
“If you control the flow of information in a democracy, you control elections.
To have a monopoly on the flow of information, it threatens us. That’s what liberals and conservatives agree on.”
Apr 21 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Antitrust AAG Jonathan Kanter of @JusticeATR on his approach: “Our job is to ensure a fair game not to choose who wins.” #StiglerAntitrust22
“Law enforcers and courts must respect Congress's core command that the antitrust laws should be applied to protect competition. How we do that must evolve as competitive realities themselves evolve.”
Apr 8 • 35 tweets • 5 min read
Hello from the courtroom* of Judge Amit Mehta where a hearing is about to get underway on @JusticeATR request for sanctions against Google. (I am listening to the conference line so I can live-tweet without violating the DC court's rules against electronics)
DOJ says Google improperly taught its employees to mark internal many discussions as attorney-client privileged to shield documents from discovery. Google says that isn't an accurate representation of its policies and the docs that needed to be turned over largely have.
Apr 8 • 19 tweets • 3 min read
Assistant AG for Antitrust Jonathan Kanter of @JusticeATR says making sure the public is involved in discussions about antitrust is a priority. "We are not being faithful to the goals of the antitrust laws… unless we are reaching out and seeking input"
Highlights the FTC/DOJ listening sessions ahead of the guidelines update as part of the agency's efforts to expand access to justice.
Apr 4 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
CFPB Director Rohit Chopra says he plans to move forward with "unused rulemaking" authority related to open banking and consumer control of data. "That's something I'm going to be looking to implement," Chopra says.
CFPB will also be working with the Justice Department on its review of banking merger guidelines, he says.
Apr 4 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
AAG for Antitrust Jonathan Kanter says @JusticeATR is "more than ever" committed to litigate cases. "The public cannot bear the risk of a divestiture that flops," he says.
The agency will be prioritizing Clayton Act Section 8 cases to challenge "interlocking directorates" -- when a member of a company's board of directors also serves on another company's board or within the company's management.
Mar 31 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
In her keynote, @FTC chair Lina Khan discusses several ways that today's tech giants are different from monopolists of the past. 1) Their economic reach. While they are dominant in one (or sometimes more) areas they are expanding into other sectors: Rx, payment systems, Hollywood
The abundant cash flow of the tech giants lets them finance entry into nascent and emergent markets, where they can monetize operations in a way that is not available to anyone else, Khan says.
Mar 21 • 13 tweets • 2 min read
The @JusticeATR has asked Judge Amit Mehta to sanction Google for training its employees to "camouflage" business documents from discovery in legal disputes, according to a brief filed today
"Google teaches its employees to add an attorney, a privilege label, and a generic 'request' for counsel’s advice to any sensitive business communications the
employees or Google might wish to shield from discovery"
Mar 10 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners -- a group representing the insurance commissions of the US states plus DC and territories -- sent letters to the House & Senate Financial Services committee raising "concerns" about S&P's proposed changes to its methodoloy
Essentially the group does its own analysis of some investments that aren't rated so insurers know whether they are safe to invest in from a regulatory perspective. S&P won't count those in its analysis.
Feb 24 • 12 tweets • 2 min read
. @JusticeATR, New York and Minnesota have sued to block UnitedHealth Group's proposed deal to buy Change. Complaint here: courtlistener.com/docket/6311170…
The complaint alleges that the primary reason UHG wanted Change was for access to the data. United's then-CEO said the "primary question" on whether to acquire Change was about its "data rights"