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The Great Google Books Settlement Debate

Posted  02/22/10
The fate of the massive digital library that Google hopes to create now lies in the hands of U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, who heard nearly a full day of oral argument on Thursday from supporters and opponents of the proposed settlement agreement that would settle the class action brought on behalf of authors and publishers against Google Book Search. The parties in The Authors’ Guild, et al. v. Google Inc. are...

Broadcom Disparages Monopolization By Disparagement Claim As Just Words

Posted  02/18/10

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but disparagement will hardly ever monopolize your market, is the message of Broadcom Corporation’s motion to dismiss a "monopolization-by-disparagement" case brought by its competitor Emulex Corporation.

The case, Emulex Corp. et al. v. Broadcom Corp. et al., No. SACV 09-1310 JVS (ANx), centers on statements Broadcom allegedly made during a 2009 attempt at a hostile takeover...

Big Companies Experiencing The Joys And Heartaches Of The Antitrust Underdog

Posted  02/15/10
Can antitrust law protect big companies as well as small companies and consumers? An increasing number of large companies are discovering – as plaintiffs – that the answer is yes. Many practitioners ascribe to the following paradigm: Antitrust enforcement is an anathema to large companies.  They point to the fact that big companies, like Microsoft, AT&T and Verizon, have repeatedly fought private plaintiffs...

MP3 Player Plaintiffs Go For Third Bite At The Apple

Posted  02/11/10
Plaintiffs in The Apple iPod iTunes Anti-Trust Litigation – a putative class action accusing Apple of anti-competitive conduct in the portable MP3 player market – are hoping the third time’s the charm as they again seek to convince the court they have a viable claim. The plaintiffs have filed an amended complaint after the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California twice rejected claims that...

Should Manhattan Hospitals Prepare For Outbreak Of Monopolization?

Posted  02/10/10
St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan may have survived its recent brush with possible monopolization, but its financial health leaves it susceptible to relapse.  That’s the diagnosis of some antitrust practitioners, who are bracing for another outbreak. The weak financial health of St. Vincent's Hospital has been in the news lately.  News reports indicate that St. Vincent's, located on Manhattan’s West 12th...

DOJ And NCAA May Face Off In Antitrust Bowl

Posted  02/9/10
The U.S. Department of Justice is weighing whether to pursue an investigation into the legality of the National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA") Bowl Championship Series ("BCS"), which critics contend unfairly excludes smaller universities from the national football title. Senator Orrin Hatch raised the issue in a letter to the Justice Department in October 2009 in which he complained that the BCS system is...

Microsoft’s Datel Defense Takes Bite Out Of Apple’s Playbook

Posted  02/8/10
Microsoft is battling its latest antitrust challenger – Datel – by taking a page out of the antitrust playbook of its archrival, Apple. Microsoft is being sued by Datel, a manufacturer of “video game enhancement products,” for allegedly monopolizing an aftermarket for accessories to Microsoft’s popular Xbox 360 video game system in Datel Holdings Ltd. et al. v. Microsoft Corp., Case No. CV 09-5535 EDL. ...

New Merger Guidelines Could Tell Economists: Drop That Hypothetical Can Opener

Posted  02/4/10
Federal antitrust enforcers are signaling that they don’t want merger enforcement to be the butt of the classic joke about the shipwrecked economist who solves the problem of how to open a can of soup by assuming a can opener.  Merger justifications that assume hypothetical competitors would block anticompetitive effects may not pass the laugh test under new Merger Guidelines. Antitrust enforcers are likely to...

Will Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision Doom McCarran-Ferguson Repeal?

Posted  02/2/10
The prospects for repeal of the McCarren-Ferguson Act’s antitrust exemption for health insurers may have gotten a bit dicier with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision giving the green light to corporate spending in political elections. The Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that the government may not ban “independent expenditures” for “political speech” by corporations in...

Supreme Court Eyes Threading American Needle At Oral Argument

Posted  01/29/10
If the recent oral argument in American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League is any guide, the U.S. Supreme Court might just thread the needle and decide that case on a narrower, more middle-ground, basis than the Seventh Circuit decision, which raised the specter of freeing all professional sports leagues from antitrust scrutiny. The Supreme Court heard oral argument on January 13, 2010, in the much...
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