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The Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) recent settlement with ski manufacturers Marker Volkl (International) GmbH (“Marker Volkl”) and Tecnica S.p.A. (“Tecnica”) continues to expand the scope of “inherently suspect” business practices under In re Polygram’s quick-look analysis.
In a highly anticipated decision, the federal antitrust agencies’ reinvigorated hospital merger enforcement efforts received a boost when, for the first time this century, an appellate court upheld a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decision condemning a hospital acquisition and ordering full divestiture of the acquired assets.
Nearly five years into the lawsuit, a District Court denied defendant NCAA’s summary judgment motion, and ordered that the antitrust claims of current and former student-athletes denied compensation for the commercial use of their name, image, and likeness proceed to trial in June.

Is 4-3 the New 3-2? FTC Continues to Target Pharmaceutical Mergers

April 16, 2014 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Helen Kim

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) has often stated that merger analysis requires more than a simplistic determination that high market concentration leads to anticompetitive effects.

FTC Check-Up on Health Care Trends Reveals New Competitive Wrinkles

March 27, 2014 | Advisory | By Farrah Short, Helen Kim, Timothy Slattery, Shoshana Speiser

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) recently hosted a workshop exploring trends and innovation in the health care industry that may affect competition, marking at least 10 years since the antitrust agencies formally examined competition issues in the industry.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a well-established role in promoting competition in the health care industry through enforcement, study and advocacy. To that end, the agency actively urges the opening of health care markets to a broader range of providers.

FTC Announces Annual HSR Thresholds Revision

January 17, 2014 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short, Helen Kim

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 17, 2014 increased jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act).
The Sixth Circuit recently revived an antitrust class action alleging a conspiracy between a processed milk bottler, a raw milk supplier and a raw milk processor to restrict milk supply in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Food Lion, LLC v. Dean Foods Co., No. 12-5457 (6th Cir. Jan. 3, 2014) (In re Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litig.).
Under the antitrust merger guidelines, a maverick is a firm “that plays a disruptive role in the market to the benefit of customers.” In Washington political circles, a maverick often refers to a politician that does not hew faithfully to the party line.
In 1997, most people thought of Amazon.com as mainly an online bookseller, you couldn't buy groceries at Wal-Mart or Target, and if you wanted floppy disks, VHS tapes, or a fax machine, you drove to your local Staples, OfficeMax, or Office Depot.
For over a decade, the antitrust enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission have challenged the type of patent settlement where a brand-name drug manufacturer pays a prospective generic manufacturer to settle patent challenges, and the generic manufacturer agrees not to bring its generic to market for a specified number of years.

Fourth Circuit Holds State Agencies Operated by Market Participants Are Private Actors for State Action Purposes

June 11, 2013 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Christi Braun, Shoshana Speiser

On May 31, 2013, the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion upholding the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) determination that the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners (Board) illegally expelled non-dentists from the teeth whitening market in North Carolina.
Merger agreements often contain ancillary provisions that seem acceptable to the parties in the context of what they are obtaining from the transaction—and those provisions often do not get a hard look by antitrust legal advisors when the transaction is not reportable under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976 (“HSR Act”).

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Extraterritorial Reach of California Antitrust Laws

February 25, 2013 | Alert | By Evan Nadel, Robert Kidwell

In AT&T Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., Ninth Circuit Case No. 11-16188 (Feb. 14, 2013), the Ninth Circuit held that California’s antitrust law, the Cartwright Act, could apply to a price fixing conspiracy of LCD panels even though purchases of the price-fixed goods all occurred outside California.

FTC Issues Favorable Clinical Integration Advisory Opinion to Norman, Oklahoma PHO

February 14, 2013 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Christi Braun

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), much attention has been paid to the antitrust treatment of Accountable Care Organizations, provider ventures contemplated by the ACA that the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have said are, essentially, clinically integrated organizations.

DOJ Assistant Attorney General William Baer’s First Merger Challenge Confirms Continued Aggressive Merger Enforcement by Antitrust Division

February 4, 2013 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Christi Braun, Farrah Short, Helen Kim, Shoshana Speiser

On January 31, 2013, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed its first lawsuit challenging a merger under newly sworn-in Assistant Attorney General, William J. Baer.

FTC Announces Annual HSR Thresholds Adjustments

January 11, 2013 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short, Helen Kim

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 10, 2013 increased jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act).

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January 20, 1946 | Blog

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