Diane's Feed
Nov 12, 2014

U.S. telecoms to battle Obama Internet plan in courts, Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. telecommunications industry plans to fight tooth and nail against President Barack Obama’s call for stricter regulations on Internet service providers, taking its case to regulators, courts and Congress.

Obama on Monday stunned the telecom community by urging the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify ISPs so they could be regulated more like public utilities as a way to preserve “net neutrality.”

Nov 6, 2014

Republican win in Senate breathes life into patent legislation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate has brightened prospects for an effort to fight frivolous patent litigation, although the path to success is far from clear, sources close to the lobbying effort said on Wednesday.

The House of Representatives easily passed a bill in December to cut down on abusive litigation brought by patent assertion entities, or “patent trolls”: companies that buy or license patents, then aggressively pursue licensing fees or file infringement lawsuits.

Nov 4, 2014

Antitrust lawmakers air concerns about AT&T plan to buy DirecTV

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top two lawmakers on the U.S. Senate’s antitrust panel have written to regulators expressing concerns about AT&T Inc’s plans to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion, including the impact on three regional sports networks.

Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, wrote last week to Attorney General Eric Holder and to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to urge that they take several key issues into consideration as they decide if the deal should be allowed.

Nov 3, 2014

U.S. files lawsuit to stop merger of large movie ad companies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said it filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking to block National CineMedia Inc’s (NCMI.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) proposed $375 million acquisition of smaller rival Screenvision LLC, a deal that would significantly concentrate a niche advertising market.

The companies are the big players in the slice of the advertising industry which books commercials to be shown in movie theaters. The companies and theaters share in the revenue, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Oct 29, 2014

Antitrust regulators face clashing missions in U.S. cigarette deal

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Cigarette maker Reynolds
American’s proposal to buy smaller rival Lorillard Inc
presents antitrust regulators with a conundrum: Their
mandate is to prevent higher prices because of mergers, but U.S.
public policy aims to make cigarettes more expensive to
discourage smoking.

Reynolds, the No. 2 U.S. cigarette maker, said in July it
would buy No. 3 Lorillard for $27.4 billion.

Oct 28, 2014

U.S. sues AT&T over data throttling on some phone plans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government filed a lawsuit against AT&T Inc (T.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) on Tuesday, alleging the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier sold consumers unlimited data plans but would reduce their Internet speeds once they exceeded a certain amount of data.

The Federal Trade Commission said that this “throttling” of Internet feeds was deceptive and that in some cases data speeds were slowed by nearly 90 percent.

Oct 20, 2014

U.S. Senators seek antitrust scrutiny of Sysco deal to buy U.S. Foods

WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – The top two lawmakers on the
Senate’s antitrust panel have urged regulators to scrutinize
food distributor Sysco Corp’s planned purchase of rival U.S.
Foods for $3.5 billion.

In a letter obtained exclusively by Reuters, Senators Amy
Klobuchar and Mike Lee, the chairwoman and ranking member of the
Senate’s antitrust subcommittee, said the deal being
investigated by the Federal Trade Commission “raises important
competition issues the commission should carefully review and
closely scrutinize.”

Oct 17, 2014

DEAL TALK: U.S. DOJ digs into Comcast’s Internet reach in merger review

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leverage a bigger Comcast Corp could wield over Internet access nationally is one of the key issues U.S. antitrust regulators are discussing in meetings about the proposed merger with cable rival Time Warner Cable Inc, according to sources who have attended such meetings.

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), who could block the $45 billion merger plan, have held numerous confidential meetings with Comcast’s competitors, partners, interest groups and other stakeholders.

Oct 16, 2014

White House nominates former Google exec Lee to head patent office

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Thursday nominated Michelle Lee to be director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which the former executive with Internet giant Google Inc has led on an acting basis since January.

The USPTO, regarded as the steward of U.S. intellectual property, employs about 12,000 people. It has long been under fire for taking more than two years to consider many patent applications.

Oct 16, 2014

Sysco looks to divestitures to nail down US Foods deal

WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Food distributor Sysco Corp
, fighting to complete a merger with U.S. Foods Inc
, is attempting to craft a package of potential asset
sales weighty enough to convince U.S. antitrust regulators to
approve the deal.

The proposed tie-up is seen as problematic because Sysco and
U.S. Foods are the only companies with the geographic reach to
offer nationwide contracts to deliver a wide range of goods to
customers ranging from hotel chains to fast food restaurants.