LVMH to win EU antitrust approval for Tiffany deal: sources

By Foo Yun Chee



a close up of a computer: FILE PHOTO: Tiffany & Co. jewelry is displayed in a store in Paris


© Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes
FILE PHOTO: Tiffany & Co. jewelry is displayed in a store in Paris


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – French luxury goods group LVMH is set to gain EU antitrust approval for its acquisition of U.S. jeweller Tiffany , people familiar with the matter said.

The EU decision comes amid a legal battle between LVMH and Tiffany, with the latter suing the Louis Vuitton owner in a Delaware court, alleging that the French company has deliberately been stalling the completion of the deal.



a sign on a brick building: FILE PHOTO: A LVMH luxury group logo is seen prior to the announcement of their 2019 results in Paris


© Reuters/Christian Hartmann
FILE PHOTO: A LVMH luxury group logo is seen prior to the announcement of their 2019 results in Paris

Tiffany has alleged that LVMH has improperly tried to renegotiate the deal, which was agreed in November last year before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and hit countries and companies worldwide.

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LVMH has countersued Tiffany, alleging that the U.S. company has been mismanaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by Oct. 26, declined to comment. LVMH and Tiffany did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The two companies had several overlaps in some areas but these are not serious enough to trigger competition concerns, the people said.

The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment and antitrust enforcers in Australia, Canada, China and South Korea have already given the green light to the deal.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Silvia Aloisi in Milan and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; editing by David Goodman and Jane Merriman)

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Google Comes Under Fire Abroad as U.S. Prepares Antitrust Case

(Bloomberg) — Google is confronting a growing backlash against its market power in international markets, compounding the company’s regulatory challenges as it girds for an historic antitrust suit from the U.S. Justice Dept.

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In just a matter of weeks, the search giant’s business practices have drawn scrutiny in Australia, South Korea and India. The European Union’s antitrust chief has already threatened to break up Google if it won’t change its ways, while the company pulled out of China a decade ago because of government censorship.

India is a prime example of how Google’s troubles could undercut future growth. More than 200 startup founders have banded together and opened discussions with the government to stop the Alphabet Inc. unit from imposing a 30% fee on smartphone app purchases, its standard levy around the world. While Google delayed implementation for six months after an outcry last week, the country’s tech industry is determined to constrain the colossus.

“As a country, can we afford to give away so much power to one or two monopolistic foreign companies?” said Anupam Mittal, a prominent angel investor and startup founder. “If India wants to create the next Microsoft or Alibaba, the government has to act now.”



map: Google in Cross-Hairs


© Bloomberg
Google in Cross-Hairs

India’s authorities have proven willing to go after the largest corporations and take forceful action — when they see a clear, national interest. Companies such as Apple Inc. were prohibited for years from opening their own retail stores to protect local operators, while TikTok and more than a hundred other Chinese apps were quickly banned this year over security concerns.

“We’ve lots of confidence in the government; they’ve acted decisively in the last few months,” said Mittal, who is part of a group talking with officials. “Google will have to back off.”

The

Antitrust investigation dubs App Store a monopoly, Microsoft adopts ‘app fairness’ rules, pandemic boosts Q3 app revenues

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

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The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

Apple declared monopoly by U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust

Apple was one of the four big tech companies the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust declared as having enjoyed monopoly power in the U.S. The report suggests that Congress make changes to break up their businesses. In Apple’s case, the company was deemed to have market power in the app distribution business, meaning its App Store. The report agrees that while the App Store provides significant benefits to both consumers and developers, Apple has also controlled the App Store in a way that allows it to create barriers to competition and exploits developer data to its advantage.

Apple responded that it “vehemently” disagrees with the report’s conclusions…”with respect to Apple.”:

Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category where we do business. From its beginnings 12 years ago with just 500 apps, we’ve built the App Store to be a safe and trusted place for users to discover and download apps and a supportive way for developers to create and sell apps globally. Hosting close

Amazon antitrust findings; Satya Nadella’s WFH tips; Mysterious $60B woman

Here’s what we’re talking about on the GeekWire Podcast this week:



a drawing of a face: GeekWire Podcast: Amazon antitrust findings; Satya Nadella’s WFH tips; Mysterious $60B woman


© Provided by Geekwire
GeekWire Podcast: Amazon antitrust findings; Satya Nadella’s WFH tips; Mysterious $60B woman

A long-awaited report from a U.S. House antitrust subcommittee landed this week, and it slammed Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple for their alleged monopolistic practices in the online marketplaces they operate. Amazon responded with a scathing blog post that said the report featured “flawed thinking.”

Lots of tech people are working from home due to the pandemic, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has some tips on how to do it and maintain your health and well-being. Schedule some short meetings, he says, and don’t forget your transition times.

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A new story from the Medium business publication Marker paints an extraordinary portrait of the life of one of the richest women in the world, MacKenzie Scott, which is all the more remarkable because she hasn’t given any interviews about her split from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos or her philanthropic pursuits since their divorce.

And the GeekWire Summit is going virtual this year, with sessions from Oct. 13-29, and special guests, including Bill Gates. Most sessions will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check out the event site to register and get a sneak peek at who will be appearing.

Listen above, and subscribe in any podcast app.

With GeekWire’s Todd Bishop and Taylor Soper. Produced by Curt Milton. Theme music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

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