On November 18, 2008, UK’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) cleared InBev N.V/S.A.’s (“InBev”) $52 billion acquisition of Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. (“Anheuser”). The new company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, will own InBev’s Stella Artois and Beck’s lager brands and Anheuser’s Budweiser lager brand.
One November 17, 2008, Andrew Barmakian, the former president of a California-based marine products company, pled guilty and agreed to serve a sentence and pay a criminal fine for his role in a conspiracy to rig bids for contracts for marine products purchased by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other private companies.
On November 14, 2008, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) required Inbev N.V./S.A. (“Inbev”) to divest its subsidiary Labatt USA (“Labatt”) in order for Inbev’s $52 billion acquisition of Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc (“Anheuser-Busch”) to proceed. Along with the divestiture, Inbev must sell its license to brew, market, promote, and sell the Labatt brand of beer for consumption in the United States to a DOJ-approved purchaser.
On November 12, 2008, the European Commission (“EC”) imposed a €1.3 billion criminal fine on four car companies, Asahi, Pilkington, Saint-Gobain, and Soliver for their role in illegal market sharing and participating in the exchange of commercial sensitive information. These practices are prohibited under the Commission EC Treaty's and the European Economic Area Agreement's ban on cartels.
On November 10, 2008, Val M. Northcutt, an executive at Manuli Rubber Industries SpA (“Manuli”) and Francesco Scaglia, , an Italian National employed as a product manager for marine hoses for Manuli’s factory, were each found not guilty by a twelve member jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
On November 5, 2008, Yahoo! Inc. (“Yahoo!”) and Google Inc. (“Google”) ended their advertising agreement after the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) said that it would file an antitrust lawsuit to block the implementation of the agreement. According to the DOJ, both companies account for 90 percent of the Internet search advertising and Internet search syndication. As such, the agreement would harm competition in each of the relevant markets.