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politics

The Biden administration is preparing a big change in big business in 2024

“I think we’re going to see more new actions in terms of investigations and litigation than any previous year under the administration,” said Ryan Sandrock, an antitrust attorney at Shook, Hardy and Bacon and a former DOJ attorney. . “The volume of antitrust activity has never been higher since I started practicing in 2003.”

Spokespeople for the DOJ and FTC declined to comment.

With Democrats potentially a year away from losing the White House, time is running out on the myriad of potential cases remaining unresolved. Here’s a look at what could happen in 2024.

To the Ministry of Justice:

Living nation: The concert promotion giant and parent company of Ticketmaster has been under scrutiny since the two companies merged in 2010. The DOJ’s current investigation into the company’s dominant role in the live music industry has begun the investigation in earnest. last summer and is a top priority for the department. conclude in the new year.

Apple: This investigation into the iPhone maker dates back to the Trump administration and a trial has been ongoing since last year. The question is whether the company’s tight control over its mobile operating system, including the app store, harms developers and customers who use the platform by raising prices.

Actual page: Although it’s not a household name, the nation’s top residential landlords rely on the company’s software to set prices for apartment listings. The District of Columbia Attorney General’s Office recently accused RealPage of conspiring with property owners and managers to fix prices, and the company is a defendant in several similar class action lawsuits. The Justice Department is conducting its own investigation, which could conclude next year.

Visa: The credit card giant has been under DOJ investigation for several years over whether the company illegally competes with competing payment processing networks. A lawsuit could reshape the payments industry. In 2010, it settled an antitrust investigation with the department over limits on merchants that steered customers to cheaper payment alternatives.

UnitedHealthcare and Amedisys: America’s largest health insurer has been in a slump in recent years, buying up at least four companies outside the traditional insurance sector. It fended off a DOJ lawsuit seeking to block its takeover of technology company Change Healthcare and finalized its deal with home health giant LHC Group, after a lengthy FTC investigation. It also acquired New York medical provider Crystal Run earlier this year. The DOJ is now investigating United’s purchase of another major home care company, Amedisys, its second major transaction in the sector in less than a year.

To the FTC:

Amazon and iRobot: The FTC has been reviewing Amazon’s $1.4 billion purchase of Roomba maker iRobot for nearly a year and a half, and the agency’s lawyers fear Amazon favors Roomba parts and products over to competing brands like Samsung. The EU is also delaying the deal and a decision from the FTC is expected early next year.

Kroger and Albertsons: The agency is expected to make a decision early next year on whether to intervene in the mega-merger that would create the nation’s largest grocery chain. The $24.6 billion deal has drawn broad opposition from unions and lawmakers who fear it will lead to lower wages and higher consumer prices.

Oil mergers: The FTC this month opened in-depth reviews of Exxon Mobil’s $60 billion deal for Pioneer Natural Resources and Chevron’s $53 billion takeover of Hess Corp. consolidation. The exams are in their early stages, but decisions will be made next year.

Metro: The sandwich chain giant is under investigation for its roughly $10 billion buyout by private equity firm Roark Capital, which already owns rivals Jimmy John’s and Arbey’s. The review is in its early stages and a decision is expected next year.

Qualcomm and Autotalks: Chipmaker Qualcomm is seeking to expand its offering of assisted and autonomous vehicles with the acquisition of Israeli company Autotalks. The deal faced scrutiny at the FTC and in Europe this summer and a decision is expected in the coming months.

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