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DOJ Statement Is Ray Of Sunshine For Oracle’s Acquisition Of Sun

Posted  11/19/09
The outlook for Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems is only partly cloudy now that federal antitrust enforcers have announced that they will not be joining their European counterparts in opposing the acquisition. The Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice issued a statement on November 9, 2009, concluding that Oracle's proposed acquisition of Sun is unlikely to be...

FTC May Pluck CVS-Caremark Merger For A Second Bite Of Merger Review

Posted  11/18/09
The completed CVS-Caremark merger may be the first fruit to be plucked by federal antitrust enforcers who have indicated a willingness to take second bites at the apple of merger review. Antitrust enforcers in the new administration have expressed an interest in re-examining previously approved mergers to ensure that competition was not compromised.  Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of...

Varney Talks Tough On Antitrust Enforcement In Health Insurance

Posted  11/17/09
Since her confirmation as the new Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division in April 2009, Christine Varney has delivered a series of speeches that has made clear that the Department of Justice intends to step up antitrust enforcement. One of the areas under increased scrutiny is industry-specific exemptions from the antitrust laws, including the health care insurance industry.  With the heated debate...

Three House Dems Heed Plaintiffs’ Pleading Pleas

Posted  11/13/09
Three Democrats in the House of Representatives are pushing to roll back heightened pleading standards adopted by the Supreme Court that have led to thousands of antitrust and other cases being dismissed at the pleading stage. The legislators are taking aim at two recent Supreme Court decisions that make it more difficult for plaintiffs to have their civil cases heard in federal court.  In an antitrust case, the...

Under China’s New Anti-Monopoly Law, Private Lawsuits Begin To Find Their Legs

Posted  11/12/09
Two recent antitrust cases in China indicate that country may be inching its way toward fulfilling its potential as a modern economy by embracing competition law. It was only in August 2008 that the world’s third largest economy joined the ranks of countries with private competition law regimes with China’s adoption of its new Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). The AML generally resembles the basic framework of the...

In A Twist, Patently Unenforceable Patent Gives Consumers Antitrust Claim

Posted  11/10/09
The Second Circuit’s recent decision in In re DDAVP Antitrust Litigation marks a significant development in the intersection of antitrust and patent law.  Consumers now have greater standing to assert antitrust claims involving unenforceable patents. The Court vacated and remanded a lower court’s dismissal of a purchaser’s antitrust claim against manufacturers for conspiring to keep generic versions of a...

Merck and Schering-Plough Plow Through Antitrust Concerns As They Target Merger By End Of Year

Posted  11/6/09
Merck’s acquisition of Schering-Plough is plowing ahead as the companies addresses competitive concerns raised by antitrust enforcers. In an October 29, 2009, Consent Order, the FTC is permitting the acquisition – which would result in the one of the world’s largest prescription drug companies – to go forward provided the two companies divest of certain assets.  The European Union granted a smooth approval...

Ninth Circuit Affirms Antitrust Verdict Against Tyco in Pulse Oximetry Market

Posted  11/3/09
The Ninth Circuit has upheld a jury verdict against Tyco (now known as Covidien) for anticompetitive sole source agreements and market share discounts.  Masimo Corp. v. Tyco Health Care Group, L.P., No. 07-55960, 2009 WL 3451725 (9th Cir. Oct. 28, 2009).  The appellate court affirmed the District Court’s post-trial decision, which struck part of the jury verdict but left a significant liability finding...

It May Be Closing Time For British Beer Consumer Group’s Pub Complaint

Posted  10/29/09
British antitrust authorities may be telling CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) that it’s closing time for its complaint charging beer prices have increased due to lack of pub competition, but the consumer group isn’t going home quietly. CAMRA is asking Lord Mandelson, Britain’s Secretary of State for Business, to refer its complaint to the Competition Commission, following the October 22, 2009, announcement...

Antitrust Foresight Brings Speedy EU Approval Of Merck’s Acquisition Of Schering-Plough

Posted  10/28/09
The European Commission’s smooth approval of Merck & Co.’s $41 billion acquisition of rival Schering-Plough Corp. could be a textbook example of how parties to a merger or acquisition can get speedy clearance by anticipating – and remedying – antirust enforcers’ likely objections at the start. One might have expected the union of these two heavyweights – which, if completed, will create the world’s...
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