Thibault Schrepel on Antitrust and the FTX-Binance Deal

Coinbase – ICLE Academic Affiliate Thibault Schrepel was quoted by Coinbase in a story about the role antitrust could play in the proposed Binance-FTX deal. You can read full piece (behind a subscriber firewall) here.

“Next time, check the compliance of your tweet with antitrust laws before you post,” tweeted Thibault Schrepel, an associate professor at Amsterdam University who specializes in blockchain and antitrust issues, of CZ’s announcement. “At this stage, I wouldn’t be surprised to find this tweet in a forthcoming court document/antitrust litigation.”

…In the U.S., antitrust laws such as the Sherman Act outlaw direct competitors from acting to protect each other. CZ said that he had stepped in to protect users after FTX, faced with a “significant liquidity crunch” had asked for help. That suggests an illegal agreement, Schrepel says – who believes that U.S. laws would apply since the deal affects the entire company, regardless of whether FTX US is part of the deal or not.

Brandon Kressin, a crypto-focused attorney at boutique antitrust law firm Kressin Law Group, seconded Schrepel’s concerns.