AT&T’s merger with Time Warner hits major roadblock


AT&T logo
U.S. government says AT&T/Time Warner merger would hurt customers
Photo: Luismt94/Wikipedia CC

The U.S. Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit to block a planned AT&T and Time Warner deal — marking the first time in several decades the government has tried to block a merger between two companies that don’t directly compete with each other.

The AT&T chief says the suit, “defies logic and is unprecedented,” but the Justice Department claims that AT&T’s $85.4 billion bid to buy Time Warner would mean higher fees and fewer choices for customers.

Qualcomm’s massive antitrust fine is good news for Apple


Apple and Qualcomm have been battling throughout 2017.
Photo: Qualcomm

Qualcomm has suffered another blow in its battle with Apple after being fined a record $773 million by Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission for alleged antitrust violations over a period of at least seven years.

Specifically, the fine involves Qualcomm’s collection of NT$400 billion ($13.2 billion) in licensing fees from local companies. The Taiwanese regulator hammered Qualcomm’s monopolistic market status for not providing products to clients who won’t agree to its terms and conditions.

Trump administration will weigh in on Apple antitrust case


App Store
The Supreme Court's ruling could have a huge impact on the App Store.
Photo: Apple

Possible Apple antitrust complaint being investigated in China


Apple Store
The mural outside the Hengzhou Apple store in China.
Photo: Apple

China has confirmed that it is reviewing a possible antitrust complaint against Apple for allegedly abusing its market position in the country.

The complaint, from 28 Chinese developers, claims Apple charged excessive fees (the company’s usual 30 percent) and also removed apps from its App Store without providing a full explanation.

App Store’s walled garden could bring antitrust suit


App Store
Does Apple have a monopoly on apps?
Photo: Apple

Authors ask Supreme Court to overturn e-book ruling against Apple


Did antitrust investigators target the wrong company?
Photo: Apple

A group of authors and booksellers are standing by Apple in its decision to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling stating that Apple conspired to fix eBook prices when it launched its iBook store way back in January 2010.

The Authors Guild, Authors United, the American Booksellers Association, and Barnes & Noble have all banded together to file an “amicus brief” in the United States, arguing that the belief that Apple was taking place in “anti-competitive activities” was “misplaced.”

Apple must wait until 2016 for tax break verdict


Yep, Apple's pretty darn valuable.
Apple could have to pay back billions as a result of tax probe.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Having previously said that he expected to receive the European Commission’s verdict on Apple’s Irish tax arrangements by Christmas, Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan now claims that an announcement is likely to be delayed util next year.

The delay in the long-running investigation is the result of regulators asking for additional information from the Irish government, which will take several weeks to gather.

Germany investigating Apple’s audiobook deal with Amazon


Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
Apple has another antitrust investigation underway.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s just gotten to the end of its long and convoluted eBooks antitrust case, and now Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is reportedly investigating the company’s agreement with Amazon for purchasing audiobooks.

Apple and Amazon are said to have a long-term agreement in place for purchasing audio books from Amazon’s Audible company to distribute via the iTunes store. The terms of the deal haven’t been made clear.

Free at last! Apple finally ditches controversial antitrust monitor


Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Apple has finally parted ways with Michael Bromwich.
Photo: Apple

Apple has finally ditched its controversial antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich after two years of what Apple acknowledges has been a “rocky relationship.”

Bromwich was first installed in Cupertino back in October 2013, after Apple was found to have illegally colluded with five book publishers to raise e-book prices in a way that was deemed to have hurt Apple’s competition.