Archives: Government Investigations

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‘Tryin’ to Loosen My Load’ – FTC’s New CID Process May Reduce Your Antitrust Investigation Burden*

In April we reviewed several new initiatives within the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) focused on eliminating “wasteful, legacy regulations and processes that have outlived their usefulness,” in the words of FTC Acting Chair Maureen K. Ohlhausen. As part of these initiatives, the FTC recently announced that its Bureau of Consumer Protection will be implementing “process … Continue Reading

Case Closed! FTC Announces New Processes for Potentially Ending Investigations

Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission’s Acting Chair, Maureen K. Ohlhausen, announced new and potentially meaningful processes to be implemented by the agency for reviewing and ending some investigations. Responding to President Trump’s directives aimed at eliminating wasteful and unnecessary regulations, Ohlhausen stated that the FTC would be “focusing our resources where they will … Continue Reading

What to Expect From FTC during Trump Administration: New Leader Illuminates

On Jan. 25, President Trump named Maureen Ohlhausen as the Federal Trade Commission’s acting chairwoman. A recent speech by Ohlhausen, who has served as a commissioner for the FTC since 2012, shed some light on the role the FTC may have under her leadership during the new administration. Ohlhausen briefly summarized a “few areas in … Continue Reading

BakerHostetler Antitrust Lawyer Reviews Unusual Incentive Payment/Failing Firm Defense Remedy in Recent Hospital Merger

Antitrust Partner Danyll W. Foix wrote an article, published November 17, 2016 by Law360, reviewing the Federal Trade Commission’s acceptance of an unusual settlement for a challenged hospital merger, explaining that “the settlement ends the FTC’s challenge of a transaction that was too small to be reportable under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and the settlement is … Continue Reading

FTC Addresses Sharing Economy Following June Workshop

Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez recently made statements regarding regulation of the developing “sharing economy” exemplified by on-demand apps and websites such as Uber and Airbnb that connect sellers of a service with buyers nearly instantaneously and without traditional middlemen. Last week, in a speech at Fordham University Law School, Chairwoman Ramirez recognized that, … Continue Reading

Google Faces European Antitrust Investigation

It’s official: on Wednesday, in a formal Statement of Objections, the European Union’s antitrust chief formally accused Google of abusing its dominant position in the web search arena. The European Commission is focused on Google’s alleged practice of skewing search results to divert users of Google’s search engine to other Google-owned websites, products, and services, particularly … Continue Reading

To Report or Not to Report, That Is the CFIUS Question

With the complexities inherent in many cross-border transactions – from cultural differences to the growing number of competition authorities demanding paperwork – the last thing one may want to think about is whether to submit a voluntary report of a transaction to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The recent decision … Continue Reading

“Oh help me, please doctor, I’m damaged”*—What does the Future Hold for Hospital-Physician Acquisitions?

With the ink still drying on the Ninth Circuit’s opinion affirming the Idaho federal district court’s order requiring St. Luke’s Health System to unwind its acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group—a for-profit, physician-owned, multi-specialty group comprising approximately 44 physicians located in Nampa, Idaho—you may ask what the decision means for other providers?  Hospitals considering future acquisitions of … Continue Reading

The Beat Goes On: Antitrust Enforcement and Healthcare*

In one form or another, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been banging the drum that there is no inconsistency between antitrust enforcement and healthcare. The latest to pick-up the drumbeat is the chair of the FTC herself, Edith Ramirez. In an article appearing in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) titled “Antitrust … Continue Reading

What is the CFIUS: Information to Know When Doing Transactions with Foreign Parties

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s recent and much publicized unveiling of legislation to expand the CFIUS review process of transactions likely caused businesspeople everywhere to ask: “What’s the CFIUS?” In short, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), comprised of high-level Washington bureaucrats, reviews certain domestic transactions involving foreign parties and determines or recommends … Continue Reading

Dollar General—“Setting the Record Straight” on Antitrust for Family Dollar

Unless you have been in the middle of a bidding war where antitrust concerns are front and center, what is playing out between Dollar General and Family Dollar is probably unfamiliar to you, as it is rarely seen outside of the boardroom. To get you up to speed, back in July Family Dollar agreed to be acquired … Continue Reading

Don’t Pop the Cork Just Yet—Growing Criticism of Massachusetts AG’s Settlement with Partners Healthcare Just Might Send the Parties Back to the Drawing Board

After touting a proposed settlement with Partners HealthCare (Partners) that supposedly would “fundamentally alter [Partners’] negotiating power for 10 years and control health costs across [Partners’] entire network,” Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Martha Coakley is now playing defense trying to fend off criticism of the deal that just might send the parties back to the drawing board.  … Continue Reading

Buckle Up—Unwinding Phoebe Putney’s Acquisition of Palmyra Down in Georgia May End Up Being Back on the Table

Almost one year ago, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) agreed to settle its antitrust challenge of Phoebe Putney Health System’s (Phoebe Putney) acquisition of Palmyra Medical Center (Palmyra) without requiring divesture or any other remedial relief. That settlement came after the FTC ran the table in the Supreme Court with a unanimous decision, and convinced a … Continue Reading

Let The Rejoicing Begin, Or Not—Massachusetts AG’s Settlement With Partners Healthcare Is No Harbinger of Things to Come

After almost half a dozen years of investigating Partners HealthCare’s (“Partners”) contracting practices and its proposed acquisitions of two competing hospital systems, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a “final resolution” that she says “will fundamentally alter [Partners’] negotiating power for 10 years and control health costs across [Partners’] entire network.”  But before you run … 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

What the WTP?

If you are a health system or hospital thinking about a potential transaction and your lawyers have not spoken with you about hospital merger simulation, maybe you should be talking with someone else. What is hospital merger simulation? In recent years, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has come to rely more heavily on hospital merger … Continue Reading

Are You Facing the Prospect of a Merger Investigation?

If your organization is facing the prospect of a merger investigation and your lawyers haven’t raised the prospect of technology-assisted document review (“TAR”), then maybe you should be talking with someone else. What is TAR? TAR, a relatively new entrant into the world of litigation and investigations, is an iterative process in which human subject … Continue Reading

To Report, or Not to Report, Your Non-Reportable Transaction Is the Question

Just because a proposed transaction does not have to be reported in advance to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) or the Federal Trade Commission (“ FTC”) because it falls below the Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) Act size of transaction threshold (currently$75.9 million), you are not out of the woods.  The growing list of companies defending antitrust challenges … Continue Reading

Connecticut’s Attorney General Wants to Know in Advance if You Are Going to Join Forces with a Healthcare Provider

Back in early 2013, Connecticut’s Attorney General (“AG”) formed a “Health Care Competition Working Group” within his office to examine the potential impact of horizontal mergers (e.g., hospital to hospital) and vertical provider acquisitions (i.e., hospitals buying up physician practices) “may have on the pricing, quality, and access to health care for Connecticut’s consumers and … Continue Reading

Sometimes Merger Fixes Are as Close as the End of Your Nose

When it comes to negotiating merger remedies with federal antitrust enforcement agencies, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission each have guides or statements that may help.  But as good as their guidance may be, sometimes the fix for a merger is as close as the end of your nose. Back on July … Continue Reading

Webinar Now Available: Lessons Learned from FTC Investigation and Challenges of Healthcare Provider Transactions

If you missed our webinar “Lessons Learned from FTC Investigation and Challenges of Healthcare Provider Transactions” featuring Former FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour and other antitrust partners from our Washington, D.C. office, you can listen and view the webinar by clicking here.… Continue Reading

Pharmaceutical Association Calls Out FTC in Filing Seeking to Enjoin New Rule Targeting the Industry

Last November, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) with the “concurrence” of the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department, and over the strenuous objection of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (“PhRMA”), issued final changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act premerger notification rules limited solely to pharmaceutical industry.  Those special rules relate to the transfer of certain … 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
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