Tag Archives: DOJ

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

FTC Investigations of Pharma and Medical Device Transactions – Am I at Risk?

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

FTC Investigations of Energy and Chemical 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, an attorney advisor to a FTC Commissioner who reviewed non-public information on the decisions to investigate proposed transactions for the period August 2008 to August 2012, gives insight on the types of … Continue Reading

Will the FTC Investigate My Provider Healthcare Transaction?

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

FTC Seeks to Undo Another Small, Completed Transaction

This week, the FTC announced a proposed consent agreement to alter another completed transaction that was too small to be reported under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (“HSR Act”). The FTC’s complaint alleged that Solera Holdings Inc. and Actual Systems of America, Inc., through their subsidiaries, were competing providers of yard management systems software (“YMS”) used by automotive recycling … Continue Reading

Are Consummated Hospital and Physician Mergers Now in the FTC’s Crosshairs?

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”* Speaking at an American Bar Association symposium titled “Retrospective Analysis of Agency Determinations in Merger Transactions,” Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Chairwoman, Edith Ramirez, highlighted the FTC’s successful track record challenging transactions, but also noted “growing concern” that hospital acquisitions of physician groups are having a negative … Continue Reading

Update: Are the Regulators Coming for the Patent Trolls?

  We recently wrote about a workshop held by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to discuss perceived abuses by patent acquisition entities.  The workshop included a panel discussion about whether the potential harm to innovation and competition caused by PAEs, particularly with regard to patent aggregators who may acquire market power, or … Continue Reading

Antitrust Law Encourages Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”) Formation

Once again, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has rebutted claims by physician groups that state legislation is needed to allow independent physicians to collaborate.  In support of legislation introduced in Connecticut, eight medical organizations representing more than 9,000 Connecticut physicians claimed that “federal antitrust laws prohibit Connecticut physicians from collective discussions about … Continue Reading

LIBOR Going Forward: How Will Dismissal of Antitrust Claims Affect Investigations and Private Claims?

We recently wrote about the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims against banks involved in the LIBOR manipulation scandal for failure to allege an antitrust injury.  Since that dismissal, the court has granted plaintiffs leave to move to amend their complaints, although the court openly questioned whether the plaintiffs’ proposed amendments cured the defects in … Continue Reading

NC Governor Signs Law Banning Most Favored Nations Provisions in Health Care Contracts

Despite opposition and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina’s claim that it “has not used ‘most favored nation’ clauses in [its] new contracts and in fact [they are] not part of our strategy to use those clauses on contracts executed in the future,” on May 8 North Carolina’s Governor, Pat McCrory, signed into law … Continue Reading

DOJ Announces Changes to Antitrust Division’s “Carve Out” Practice

On April 12, 2013, the Department of Justice announced changes to the Antitrust Division’s carve out practices concerning negotiations with companies that plead guilty to criminal antitrust violations. These changes were issued in the first statement of Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer. Corporate plea agreements commonly contain a non-prosecution provision that insulates corporate employees from … Continue Reading

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200: Michigan Statute and Regulatory Order Banning MFN Provisions in Provider Contracts Ends Government Antitrust Lawsuit Against Michigan Blue

In the wake of the passage of a Michigan statute and regulatory order banning the use of most favored nation (“MFN”) clauses by insurers, health maintenance organizations, and nonprofit health care corporations in contracts with providers, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (“DOJ”), the State of Michigan, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (“Michigan … Continue Reading

BakerHostetler Antitrust Chair Discusses Recent $300 Million Client Recovery during Bloomberg TV Interview

Robert Abrams, Chair of BakerHostetler’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group, was interviewed by Bloomberg Law’s Spencer Mazyck in its “Rainmakers” series.  Abrams discussed the recently announced settlement with Dairy Farmers of America and several related entities in In re Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litigation.  He described BakerHostetler’s representation of thousands of Southeast farmers claiming market allocation, price fixing, … Continue Reading

The Joint DOJ and PTO Perspective on Standards-Essential Patents as Compared to that of the FTC

On January 8, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) and the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (“PTO”) (collectively, “the Agencies”) issued a joint policy statement regarding remedies for Standards-Essential Patents (“SEPs”) subject to voluntary fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) commitments.  This joint statement came just days after the FTC’s statement in Google, which … Continue Reading

Buyer Beware: Increase in HSR Thresholds Does Not Mean Your Non-Reportable Transaction is Safe

The purpose of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (“HSR Act”) Act is to preserve the agencies’ ability to investigate competitive consequences of a transaction before closing, provide an opportunity to obtain an effective remedy, and reduce the likelihood that competition will be reduced during the HSR waiting period.  Even if there is no competitive overlap, the HSR … Continue Reading

When Will They Learn? Doctors Continue to Face Antitrust Charges for Jointly Negotiating Contracts without Clinical or Financial Integration

Legitimate joint marketing and selling arrangements have the potential to produce efficiencies.  This is particularly so, for example, where the arrangement enables the participants to make or market products that they could not do alone.  The Antitrust Guidelines for Collaborations among Competitors, Statements of Antitrust Enforcement Policy in Health Care, as well as scores of … Continue Reading

Burn Before Reading: Hot Documents and Antitrust Claims

Antitrust law and economics seem like dark arts to outsiders, an impression that antitrust lawyers are none too eager to dispel.  But everyone can appreciate a smoking gun document that seems to brand its author as a hardened violator of the antitrust laws.  Consider the memorandum written by a large waste-disposal company about a small … Continue Reading

I Don’t Care How Much I Pay (too Much, the Magic Bus)* – Part II

Apparently, Mary Hanson, Tracey Nobel, Stefanie Nocera and the class they hope to represent do! In a prior post, we noted that the U.S. Department of Justice and State of New York filed an antitrust complaint that seeks to unwind a joint venture formed in 2009 by two competing tour bus operators in New York … Continue Reading

Are the Regulators Coming after the Patent Trolls?

FTC and DOJ discuss antitrust implications of patent acquisition entities The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice recently held a workshop to discuss the effects of patent assertion entities (PAEs) on innovation and competition.  A PAE, more commonly, and more colorfully, known as a patent troll, is an entity that buys patent rights … Continue Reading

I Don’t Care How Much I Pay (too Much, the Magic Bus)*

DOJ and New York sue to restore tour bus competition Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice and State of New York filed an antitrust complaint that seeks to unwind a joint venture formed in 2009 by two competing tour bus operators in New York City.  The tour bus operators supposedly accounted for about 99 … Continue Reading
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