This week’s generally quiet August kicks off with a trial on Monday of the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit challenging Penguin Random House’s pending acquisition of rival Simon & Schuster.
We are also monitoring Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk’s countersuit against Twitter (TWTR), which he filed on Friday as part of his ongoing efforts to walk away from his $44 billion deal to acquire the social media site.
And after more than a year of delay, Boeing (BA) would have approval from the Federal Aviation Administration regarding its plan to repair and resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner. Here’s more on the three legal stories we’re watching this week:
Publishing dominance lawsuit begins
Random penguin housethe world’s largest book publisher, is due to start a trial in Washington, D.C. on Monday defending the federal Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit seeking to end its $2.2 billion deal to acquire rival Simon & Schuster.
The deal, reached in 2020, would reduce the number of US publishers from five to four.
The Justice Department argues the deal would allow Penguin Random House to control nearly half of the market for publishing rights acquisitions, leaving consumers with fewer choices. The ministry also argues that the deal would result in lower compensation paid to authors for their work.
Legendary novelist Stephen King – author of books including ‘The Shining’, ‘Carrie’ and ‘Misery’ – is due to testify on behalf of the government.
Twitter vs. Musk adds Musk vs. Twitter
Musk hit back at Twitter (TWTR) on Friday in a countersuit as part of his ongoing efforts to avoid closing his deal to buy the company for $44 billion. The Tesla (TSLA) The CEO filed the counterclaim confidentially, hiding it from public view. A counterclaim could thwart the case’s already set schedule for trial in October, given that time is usually set for the parties to exchange and review documents.
Last week, the Chief Judge of the Delaware Chancery Court granted Twitter an expedited trial that will take place over five days in October. The judge also granted Musk’s request for an Oct. 17 start date. Twitter is seeking the speedy trial to avoid what it says is irreparable damage from ongoing trade disruptions and stock market volatility.
Twitter argues in its lawsuit that Musk should be required to enter into the deal because his reasons for terminating it fall outside the contract and are merely a cover for buyer’s remorse. Musk, on the other hand, argues that he has the right to walk away from the deal because Twitter supposedly refuses to give him the data it wants on the number of fake accounts operating on its platform. .
Green light for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner
A regulatory heist that frustrated Boeing (BA) commercial jet activity was largely lifted on Friday when the Federal Aviation Authority approved its plans to repair and resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner, according to several reports. The change will allow the company to start making about $10 billion in cash that has been slowed by the halt in deliveries, Bloomberg reported.
The FAA halted deliveries of the Boeing Dreamliner in May 2021 due to safety issues related to the construction of the plane’s fuselage, after Boeing voluntarily stopped delivering the plane in late 2020. On Friday, the agency reportedly granted a preliminary authorization so that Boeing can begin to carry out the proposed repairs, and resume deliveries as early as August.
FAA demands for Dreamliner repairs have compounded Boeing’s existing struggles to get its 737 Max jet back into the skies. Regulators around the world have grounded the plane after two separate crashes in its Model 8 series killed all 346 passengers and crew on board.
Alexis Keenan is a legal reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow Alexis on Twitter @alexiskweed.
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