Antitrust & Trade Regulation

A bail bonds surety company and its chief executive are facing must face a class action lawsuit claiming they conspired to fix the price of  bail bonds in California, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar refused to toss antitrust claims against American Surety Company and its president, CEO and co-owner William Carmichael, despite dismissing nearly all similar claims against 28 bail industry players with leave to amend. American Surety Company and its CEO are both accused of being “ring leaders” in a conspiracy to discourage rival bail bonds companies from offering rebates and to fix premiums–the…
Teeing up an appeal that could either upend or reinforce the NCAA’s model of amateurism for college athletics, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to review a Ninth Circuit decision holding that limits on education-related benefits for student athletes are unreasonable restraints of trade under the Sherman Antitrust Act. In Alston v. NCAA, which the Ninth Circuit decided in May, a three-judge panel affirmed the district court’s finding that non-cash, education-related benefits — such as postgraduate scholarships, tutoring, and educational supplies — could not be confused with a professional athlete’s salary, and that limiting these benefits is anticompetitive. The…
California will join the U.S. Department of Justice’s landmark lawsuit against Google, the state’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Friday. The suit accuses the company of monopolizing competition in search and search advertising markets.The suit, filed in October, follows a congressional report this month that examined digital markets and concluded that Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook dominate major sectors of the economy. Becerra, the first Democratic attorney general to join the suit, says Google’s alleged monopoly takes away other possible choices for consumers and small businesses when it comes to internet search engines. “By using exclusionary agreements to dominate the…
California, along with 45 other states, the District of Columbia, and Guam, filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Facebook on Wednesday, claiming the social media giant maintains a monopoly in the U.S. by purchasing emerging competitors, which degrades the quality and variety of users’ social networking experiences and privacy options. The 48 attorneys general claim in the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, that Facebook has held monopoly power in the U.S. social media market for more than a decade and illegally maintains that power “by deploying a buy-or-bury strategy that thwarts competition and…