The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into the $2bn takeover of American book publishing business Simon & Schuster (S&S) by Penguin Random House (PRH). The concern is that the takeover would make PRH the world’s largest bookseller, in turn stamping out competition between UK booksellers.
Between 1992-2008, the fees Mastercard charged businesses for accepting payments from consumers in the UK (interchange fees) were too high. Consequently, UK consumers paid higher prices on purchases from businesses that accepted Mastercard. This breach of competition law could entitle 46.2m eligible Britons up to £300 each, making a potential mass consumer claim against the card provider worth just under £14bn.
The comparison website CompareTheMarket has been fined £17.9m for breaching competition law. It has done so by imposing wide “most favoured nation” clauses on insurers, preventing them from advertising cheaper rates elsewhere, and protecting its own site from being undercut by competitors.
Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, has filed an antitrust probe against Apple for anti-competitive practices in California.
On 19 August 2020, American holiday rental marketplace Airbnb filed papers for its long-awaited Initial Public Offering (IPO). However, the decision to launch IPO proceedings comes as a surprise to analysts after Airbnb cut 25% of its workforce in May in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.