Tag Archives: DOJ

Combating COVID-19 Through Competitor Collaboration

Join members of the BakerHostetler Antitrust and Competition Team on Monday, April 13, 2020 for a webinar where they will examine criminal and civil antitrust risks and the best practices businesses should follow to protect themselves, including an exploration of the immunities offered by the Defense Production Act, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act and … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Antitrust Agency Announcements and Procedural Changes

Over the past several weeks, the U.S. antitrust enforcement agencies – the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) – have made several public announcements regarding changes to antitrust investigations and regulatory processes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to changes to filing and meeting processes, … Continue Reading

Executive Order Addresses DOJ’s Fight Against Hoarding Activity

On the afternoon of March 23, 2020, United States Attorney General William Barr participated in the Coronavirus Task Force press briefing. Attorney General Barr revealed that, on March 23, President Trump issued an executive order allowing prosecution of hoarding that threatens the supply of necessary medical and health resources.[1] Once specific materials are designated as … Continue Reading

Should Antitrust Laws Tackle Privacy Issues? DOJ and State AGs Continue Google Investigations in Response to Privacy Concerns

Months have passed since it was first revealed in July 2019 that the Department of Justice (DOJ), in response to various stakeholders’ concerns, was conducting a review into certain “market-leading online platforms” and whether they engaged in antitrust violations.[1] U.S. Attorney General William Barr reiterated that the government was “taking a closer look at the … Continue Reading

Is Big Chicken Cooked? DOJ Intervenes in Price-Fixing Investigation

Pork is the other white meat, beef is what’s for dinner, and chicken is now under investigation by the Department of Justice for possible antitrust violations. Looks like the DOJ is back in the criminal cartel investigation business. In June, the DOJ intervened in a class action antitrust lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court … Continue Reading

The FTC Is Looking You Up and Down(stream): Insights From the Acting Director of the Bureau of Competition on Antitrust Enforcement for Vertical Mergers

Since Assistant Attorney General Delrahim’s inaugural remarks on vertical mergers (covered here), the business press has been atwitter about the antitrust enforcement agencies’ views of those mergers. Bruce Hoffman, the acting director of the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition, recently delivered a speech explaining that the FTC will continue to review vertical mergers as … Continue Reading

New Antitrust Division Chief Prioritizes Regulation of Standard Setting Organizations

As we discussed in our May 2017 article, the current head of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, brings considerable intellectual property experience to the division. Delrahim started his legal career at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as deputy director for intellectual property rights. He later served on the Intellectual Property Task Force … Continue Reading

The Trump DOJ’s View on Merger Enforcement and Remedies Explained

President Trump’s head of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, recently explained that the division will cut back on behavioral commitments such as consent orders regulating conduct and will instead rely more on structural changes such as divestitures to remedy merger concerns. This could signal significant changes in how the DOJ resolves concerns … Continue Reading

Presidential Powers and Antitrust Politics: Part Three

In July and August, we discussed the president’s role in setting antitrust policy at the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. Specifically, we pointed out that presidents routinely face competing domestic and foreign policy challenges that require a delicate balance and flexible approach to antitrust enforcement. For example, President John F. Kennedy directed the DOJ to … Continue Reading

The ‘Failing Firm’ Defense and How Not to Lose It, Article Explains

Law360 featured an insightful article today on a recently unsealed court opinion blocking the $367 million merger of rival nuclear waste processing companies. The court blocked the merger, while rejecting the parties’ argument that the deal should be approved because otherwise the acquired firm would collapse and the market would suffer. The merging companies did not … Continue Reading

Trump’s Pick for Department of Justice Antitrust Division Chief

Last month we discussed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings. Specifically, we noted the Senate Judiciary Committee’s failure to nail Gorsuch down on key antitrust issues, including issues he handled as an experienced antitrust lawyer and decided as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which we also wrote … Continue Reading

“And they’re closing all the factories down”* — Going Dark During a Merger Review

Demand in your industry has been declining for years, the decline is projected to continue for the foreseeable future, and you are one of the few cost-effective manufacturers around. You just inked a deal to buy a competing manufacturer, and you are working hard to get your deal cleared through the merger review process. But … Continue Reading

Clear Expectations: DOJ Outlines Tenets of an Effective Antitrust Compliance Program

There has never been a greater emphasis on policing anticompetitive behavior worldwide. Dozens of countries have instituted effective and aggressive cartel enforcement programs following a trend of increased global enforcement, and criminal antitrust fines in the United States alone exceeded $1 billion in both 2013 and 2012. [1] Prison sentences up to 10 years have also been … 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

So, You Want to Share Your Technical Cyber Threat Information with Your Neighbors?

Echoing guidance previously given to a nonprofit organization looking to exchange certain cybersecurity information, including exchanging actual real-time cyber threat and attack information, and others planning to exchange information concerning remediating the Y2K problems, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) recently released a joint “Antitrust Policy Statement on Sharing of Cybersecurity … 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

BakerHostetler Lawyers Publish Chapter on Antitrust Trends in U.S. Agribusiness

The 2014 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 write, “The US agriculture and food market has become increasingly concentrated in several sectors and across multiple levels. … 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

Thresholds Do Matter – Choosing too Low a Threshold in an Ordinary Course of Business Provision Can Up Your Risk of “Gun Jumping”

Soon after someone settles “gun jumping” charges, client alerts with informative titles like “DOJ Settlement Resolves ‘Gun Jumping’ Charges” start flying around.  These “alerts” usually recite facts alleged in the complaint, say ordinary course of business provisions are typically fine, but consult an antitrust lawyer to make sure yours are okay.  But few (if any) … Continue Reading

US Airways and American Airlines Have a Potential Friend in FTC Commissioner Wright

In their answer to the government’s complaint challenging their proposed merger, US Airways and American Airlines (the “Airlines”) tout the “immense benefits to the traveling public” that the combined “US Airways and American Airlines will offer” with “more and better travel options for passengers through an improved domestic and international network, something that neither carrier … Continue Reading

Fix My Merger – Lessons from FTC Bureau Director Feinstein on the Use of Consent Orders to Remedy Anticompetitive Mergers

In her first speech since becoming Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, Deborah Feinstein highlighted five benefits arising from addressing antitrust violations through consent orders and dispelled a number of “persistent myths” about their use. While emphasizing the FTC “employs a rigorous case-by-case approach to law enforcement decisions,” Director Feinstein explained that … Continue Reading

FTC Investigations of Technology Transactions – Am I at Risk?

A recent article in the Antitrust Law Journal, “A Survey of Evidence Leading to Second Requests at the FTC,” by Darren S. Tucker, a FTC attorney advisor who reviewed non-public information on decisions to investigate proposed transactions for the period August 2008 to August 2012, sheds light on the types of evidence the FTC staff … Continue Reading
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