Diane's Feed
Feb 17, 2015

Comcast fight with upstart Spanish station is grist for merger foes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A fight between an upstart Spanish
language TV network and Comcast Corp has provided more
ammunition for critics who fear Comcast would gain too much
market power if its buyout of Time Warner Cable Inc goes
ahead, antitrust attorneys said.

Formed by the son of a Mexican immigrant in 2009, Estrella
TV currently is distributed by Comcast in 16 markets on an
unreimbursed, “must carry” basis under a contract that ends
Thursday in Houston, Denver and Salt Lake City. The channel
competes for viewers with Comcast’s Telemundo.

Feb 12, 2015

Online travel agency Expedia to buy rival Orbitz for $1.33 billion

By Jeffrey Dastin and Diane Bartz

(Reuters) – Online travel company Expedia Inc said on Thursday that it would buy Orbitz Worldwide Inc for about $1.33 billion in cash to bring on the rival’s programmers and widen its customer base.

While Expedia and larger rival Priceline Group, have embarked on acquisitions sprees to dominate the online travel business, three antitrust experts say the Orbitz deal is likely to get U.S. regulatory approval.

Feb 10, 2015

Patent licenser Helferich wins court round against New York Times, others

WASHINGTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – The New York Times Co
, J.C. Penney Corp and CBS Corp lost a round
Tuesday in a patent fight with Helferich Patent Licensing, LLC,
which had accused them of infringing on patents for looking at
websites on mobile telephones.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned
a lower court decision which had said that because the mobile
phone makers had licensed the patents there was no need for
content providers to do so.

Feb 5, 2015

U.S. House takes up bill aimed at fighting ‘patent trolls’

WASHINGTON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Key Republicans in the U.S.
House of Representatives joined with a smattering of Democrats
to introduce a bill on Thursday aimed at reducing frivolous
patent litigation.

The bill is identical to a measure that passed the House
overwhelmingly in December 2013 but stalled in the Senate
because of objections from Senator Harry Reid, who set the
chamber’s agenda. With the Senate now in Republican hands, the
bill’s chance of becoming law has improved.

Feb 4, 2015

Staples, Office Depot expect second time a charm in merger

By Yashaswini Swamynathan and Diane Bartz

(Reuters) – Staples Inc (SPLS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Office Depot (ODP.O: Quote, Profile, Research) should find the second time is a charm as the top two U.S. office supply chains once again test the views of antitrust regulators in the rapidly changing retail landscape, experts said on Wednesday.

Staples, the No. 1 U.S. office supplies retailer, and No. 2 Office Depot Inc announced on Wednesday a $6.3 billion plan to join forces to compete against big box stores and online rivals.

Feb 2, 2015

Sysco would sell 11 US Foods centers to win deal approval

Feb 2 (Reuters) – Food distributor Sysco Corp said
it would sell 11 distribution centers run by takeover target US
Foods Inc to far smaller rival Performance Food Group
if skeptical antitrust regulators approve the merger with US
Foods.

Sysco’s $3.5 billion offer for US Foods has been pending
approval from the Federal Trade Commission for over a year but
is viewed as problematic given the dominance of both companies
as suppliers to hospitals, hotel chains and restaurants.

Jan 31, 2015

Exclusive: Sysco, US Foods offer to divest 11 facilities to win FTC deal approval

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Food distributor Sysco Corp (SYY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and its biggest rival, US Foods Inc USFOO.UL, have offered to sell a smaller competitor 11 facilities in order to convince skeptical antitrust regulators to approve their $3.5 billion merger, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The deal, proposed in December 2013, is seen as problematic because Sysco and US 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 hospitals to fast food chains and fine restaurants.

Jan 30, 2015

Sysco, US Foods offer to divest 11 facilities to win FTC deal approval

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Food distributor Sysco Corp
and its biggest rival, US Foods Inc, have offered to
sell a smaller competitor 11 facilities in order to convince
skeptical antitrust regulators to approve their $3.5 billion
merger, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The deal, proposed in December 2013, is seen as problematic
because Sysco and US 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
hospitals to fast food chains and fine restaurants.

Jan 29, 2015

Revenge porn website permanently barred by FTC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The owner of a “revenge porn site,” IsAnybodyDown.com, has agreed to not publish any nude pictures without the consent of the subject and to destroy his collection, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

Craig Brittain, who opened his website in 2011 and closed it in 2013 after a blast of publicity, had solicited pictures of women he met on sites such as Craigslist, the FTC said in its complaint. Men also gave him photos of naked women, presumably as a way to take revenge for being spurned.

Jan 29, 2015

U.S. net neutrality rules expected to cover interconnection deals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New U.S. “net neutrality” rules are expected to regulate for the first time deals in which content companies such as Netflix Inc pay broadband providers to connect with their networks for smooth downloads, according to people familiar with the plan.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler next week will reveal the latest draft of new rules that would guide how Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast Corp manage traffic on their networks, aiming to ensure all web content is treated equally.