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  • 🧩 FIFA and US Soccer face revived antitrust suit

🧩 FIFA and US Soccer face revived antitrust suit

PLUS: Raising money just to pay taxes, more Twitter legal drama, an acquisition approved over SEC objections...

Lookzy: all your daily legal news in 0.1 billable hours. Plain English coverage of deals, litigation and legal trends trusted by lawyers at Cravath, Latham, Skadden, Gunderson and elsewhere.

Welcome to Lookzy In today's Lookzy:

  • FIFA and US Soccer are back in the antitrust seat

  • More legal drama for Twitter and Elon Musk

  • Stripe raising money just to pay taxes

  • An acquisition approved over the SEC's objections

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Arguing today's litigation news

No goalkeeping.  An antitrust lawsuit against FIFA and the US Soccer Federation was reinstated by the 9th Circuit, when the court found that the plaintiffs sufficiently alleged a violation of the Sherman Act and reversed a lower court’s decision to dismiss the case. The suit claims that FIFA and USSF conspired to create a “closed league” system that bars lower-division soccer clubs and players from competing with Major League Soccer, the only top-tier league in the US. 

Bitcoin ETF.  DC Circuit appellate judges questioned the SEC on its decision to reject a proposed Bitcoin exchange-traded fund when it had earlier approved a similar product based on Bitcoin futures. Grayscale Investments LLC had originally sued the SEC when it originally rejected the plan to convert its $14 billion Bitcoin trust into an EFT.  Donald B. Verrilli Jr. of Munger Tolles argued on behalf of Grayscale.  

FTC v Twitter.  The FTC reportedly demanded that Twitter turn over internal communications related to Elon Musk and provide detailed information about its extensive layoffs.  The FTC is purportedly concerned that the layoffs could compromise Twitter's ability to protect users and comply with a prior consent decree. FTC demands also included providing the names of all journalists with access to company records related to the "Twitter files".  

Suit filed.  As previewed yesterday, the DOJ indeed filed suit yesterday to block JetBlue's acquisition of Spirit Airlines.  Attorney General Merrick Garland said the proposed $3.8 billion merger "will lead to higher fares and fewer seats, harming millions of consumers on hundreds of routes" while the JetBlue CEO countered that the merger "will create a national low-fare, high-quality competitor to the Big Four carriers." Shearman & Sterling is representing JetBlue and Paul Weiss is representing Spirit.  


Wheelin' and dealin' today's corporate news

Paying the taxman.  Stripe Inc. reportedly informed investors that it plans to use approximately $3.5 billion of the funds it is raising in its latest financing round in order to cover extensive tax withholding charges related to employees' options. $2.3 billion will be used to cover Q1 tax withholdings, $500 million will be used for the remainder of 2023 and $700 million will be used in in 2024.  Stripe has encountered serious issues with its equity program as early employees options begin to expire, prompting Stripe to seek liquidity within the next year.  

Consortium sale.  A consortium of investors led by Blackstone Group Inc. and Thomson Reuters Corp. has reportedly launched the sale of its 10% stake in London Stock Exchange Group Plc, worth about $2 billion. The consortium acquired the stake in 2018 as part of LSEG’s purchase of financial data provider Refinitiv, which was jointly owned by Blackstone and Thomson Reuters. The sale is expected to attract interest from sovereign wealth funds and other long-term investors.

Over SEC objections.  A bankruptcy judge approved a proposal from Binance.US, the U.S. affiliate of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance, to acquire Voyager Digital Ltd., a bankrupt Canadian crypto broker, for $1.3 billion.  The judge approved the transaction over the objections of the SEC, which cited concerns over unregistered securities offerings and ongoing investigations into Binance and its affiliates. The judge dismissed the SEC's objections as vague and unsubstantiated.

Expensive coupons.  Quotient Technology Inc., the owner of Coupons.com and other digital marketing platforms, is reportedly exploring a sale that could value it at more than $320 million. The company's collapse of advertising revenue is likely driving the sale.


Lateral Moves: 

Industry News:

  • Adam Hakki will replace David Beveridge as leader of Shearman & Sterling following the firm's announcement that it has called off merger talks with Hogan Lovells.

  • Quinn Emanuel opened an office in Beijing, its second in China.



Alright, back to billing.  That's all, folks!