Archives: Antitrust Litigation

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“Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More”* — Doctors, Vets, and Lawyers in the Antitrust Crosshairs

Supreme Court Decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission Prompts Legal Challenges to State Professional Boards Earlier this month a Texas federal district court judge granted a motion by Teladoc, Inc. (Teladoc) for a preliminary injunction enjoining the Texas Medical Board (TMB) “from taking any action to implement, enact, … Continue Reading

Collusion Course: The Limits of Hot Documents

Discovery in antitrust cases often involves a search for smoking-gun documents. Those documents can consist of emails proving that competitors conspired to raise prices, removing the difficulties faced by prosecutors or civil plaintiffs in proving actual injury to competition. Such precious nuggets lead inexorably to near-automatic liability for the defendants. But what if the nugget … Continue Reading

FTC Failure to Adopt Section 5 Guidelines Still Hot-Button Issue

Section 5 of the FTC Act gives the Federal Trade Commission the authority to take action against “unfair methods of competition.” The act was enacted over 100 years ago, and its legislative history indicates that it was left to the FTC to provide specific content to this broad and general language. However, there is still … Continue Reading

Product Hopping and Antitrust: Mylan Court Dismisses Claims on Summary Judgment, Citing Need to Avoid Chilling Pharmaceutical Innovation

A recent summary judgment opinion from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania breaks new ground in the developing antitrust law on “product hopping” claims. “Product hopping” refers to the practice of changing the form or dosage of a branded drug without changing its underlying composition. Though drug manufacturers often make such changes for legitimate business reasons, … Continue Reading

‘Actavis’ Still Raising More Questions Than It Answers

Nearly two years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, 133 S. Ct. 2223 (2013), “reverse payment” settlements in patent litigation between brand-name drug manufacturers and potential generic entrants remain a hot topic in the antitrust world. At the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, held in Washington, D.C., … Continue Reading

Oregon Federal Court Weighs In on Disputed Umbrella Theory of Damages

An Oregon federal court recently relied on the so-called umbrella theory of damages to decide that the plaintiffs had an antitrust injury necessary to pursue an injunction. While this decision has garnered attention for enjoining the defendants from completing an acquisition, it also is noteworthy for its reliance on the disputed umbrella theory of damages. … Continue Reading

FTC’s Appellate Win Reflects Focus on Health Care Consolidation

In an important victory for the Federal Trade Commission in the appellate courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed last year’s decision from the District of Idaho in Saint Alphonsus Medical Center v. St. Luke’s Health System, No. 14-35173, in which the FTC successfully sued to undo a 2012 merger … Continue Reading

‘Product-Hopping’ Can Be Snagged Under the Antitrust Laws

The Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, more commonly known as the Hatch-Waxman Act, together with the patent laws, attempt to advance the competing goals of preserving pharmaceutical companies’ incentives to make the staggering investments necessary to bring new, improved drugs to market, as well as fostering lower prices through competition from generic … Continue Reading

The FTC’s Section 5 Authority Discussed in Article by BakerHostetler Antitrust Attorneys

BakerHostetler antitrust attorneys Carl Hittinger and Jeffry Duffy authored the article, “FTC Section 5 in 2014: An Unexpected Attack, A New Frontier,” published in Law360 on December 22. The authors cover the FTC’s push to exercise its Section 5 authority in new areas; ever since Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act was created … Continue Reading

Hitting Below the Belt? MMA Fighters Allege That UFC Has Monopolized the Mixed Martial Arts Game

Throughout their history, professional sports leagues, including the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Hockey League, have generated high-profile antitrust litigation. The nascent sport of mixed martial arts now looks as if it will join that list, as two MMA fighters have brought a putative class action in the Northern District … Continue Reading

FTC Aggressively Pressing ‘Antitrust Trumps IP’ Theme

The Federal Trade Commission has recently brought its considerable institutional weight to bear in two developing areas at the intersection of unfair competition and intellectual property law. Continuing its crusade against “reverse-payment” patent infringement settlements in the pharmaceuticals sector, the FTC is promoting—especially in the Third Circuit—a maximalist interpretation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 … Continue Reading

BakerHostetler Lawyers Publish Chapter on Exemptions and Immunities in Antitrust Litigation

The 2015 Antitrust Review of the Americas features a chapter, “‘United States: Private Antitrust Litigation,” authored by BakerHostetler Antitrust Chair Robert G. Abrams, Partner Gregory J. Commins Jr., and Partner and Editor of Antitrust Advocate Danyll W. Foix.  They wrote: “US law is littered with dozens of immunities and exemptions that limit or preclude the … Continue Reading

Mushroom Court Ruling Sprouts Controversy on Whether Reliance on Lawyer Advice Maintains Affirmative Defense to Antitrust Claims

A federal district court recently ruled that claims of “good faith reliance on counsel” were not sufficient to maintain a Capper-Volstead affirmative defense to the antitrust laws – a result that may soon collide with rulings by other courts considering the same issue. Several years ago, a Pennsylvania mushroom cooperative, its members, and various other … Continue Reading

Leave My Employees Alone! You Promised You Wouldn’t Hire/Solicit Them

With the antitrust class action against Google, Apple, Intel and other Silicon Valley heavyweights nearly in the books ($300 million plus in settlements and millions more in defense fees later), it is time once again to ask what this settlement means for the continued use of clauses in merger and other types of agreements like … Continue Reading

How Direct Is Direct? Judge Posner Clarifies the Extraterritorial Scope of the Antitrust Laws via the “Direct” Effects Test under the FTAIA

A recent decision from Judge Posner in the Seventh Circuit, Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics, offers the latest insight into the extraterritorial reach of the Sherman Act.  In dismissing Motorola’s price-fixing claims of more than $3.5 billion, Judge Posner continued the clarification of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (“FTAIA”), by narrowing the conduct that constitutes … Continue Reading

FTC Victory in Idaho Hospital-Physician Acquisition Case Should be a Wake-Up Call for Future and Past Deals

The ink is still drying on the Idaho federal district court’s order requiring St. Luke’s Health System (“St. Luke’s”) to unwind its acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group (“Saltzer”) – a for-profit, physician-owned, multi-specialty group comprising approximately 44 physicians located in Nampa, Idaho.  But hospitals considering future acquisitions of physician groups, and those that the FTC … Continue Reading

Past as Prologue: Rebirth of the Merger Trial and the Bazaarvoice Case

For many years after its implementation, the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 seemed to sound the death knell of post-consummation merger trials.  By establishing a file-and-wait system rather than the old catch-me-if-you-can non-system, the Act enabled the antitrust enforcement agencies to prevent the consummation of potentially anticompetitive mergers until they completed their investigation, and … Continue Reading

Patent Trolls, Anti-Trolls, and Antitrust Law Collide in Patent Licensing Dispute

We previously wrote that regulators are considering using antitrust laws to reign in perceived abuses by non-practicing entities or, more familiarly, “patent trolls” – entities that purchase the rights to patents not to practice the patents but to enforce them through licensing or litigation.  In a recent case, antitrust laws are taking center stage in … Continue Reading

Give It Back! Disgorgement – Another FTC Arrow against Reverse-Payment Settlements that Delay Generic Entry

If the uncertainty that the Supreme Court’s Actavis decision injected into the world of reverse-payment settlement litigation wasn’t enough to get your attention, then the FTC’s recent effort to obtain disgorgement from Cephalon in a reverse-payment case should do so. Cephalon is arguing that the federal district court should dismiss the FTC’s near six-year-old complaint … Continue Reading

Could an Idaho Healthcare Merger Impact Other Mergers, Including the American/US Airways Merger?

With the trial over, post-trial briefs due November 1, and closing arguments scheduled for November 7, a lot more is at stake than whether St. Luke’s Health System (“St. Luke’s”) can keep Saltzer Medical Group (“Saltzer”) – a for-profit, physician-owned, multi-specialty group comprising approximately 44 physicians located in Nampa, Idaho.  St. Luke’s closed its acquisition … Continue Reading

Update: Where (and What) is the Harm?

Court denies antitrust plaintiffs’ request to amend complaint in LIBOR manipulation case We previously wrote about Judge Buchwald of the Southern District of New York dismissing plaintiffs’ antitrust claims arising from the LIBOR manipulation scandal.  Recently, the Court denied plaintiffs’ request to cure the defects in its claims by filing a second amended complaint. In re LIBOR-Based … Continue Reading

Court Tackles Product Market Definition for NFL-Licensed Apparel Case

Beginning in 1922 with the Supreme Court’s decision in Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore v. National League of Professional Baseball, professional sports leagues have been involved in antitrust litigation.  In those cases, the parties often disagree about the relevant product market, and particularly whether the relevant product is the league as a whole that competes against other … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules That “Pay for Delay” Generic Drug Patent Settlements Are Not Shielded From Antitrust Liability

The Supreme Court has held that the antitrust laws may forbid patent settlements that delay the market entry of generic drugs in return for large payments from manufacturers of competing branded drugs.  The Court’s ruling rewarded the dogged efforts of the Federal Trade Commission to expose those settlements—which the FTC labels “pay for delay”—to antitrust … Continue Reading
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