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Antitrust Today

Feds Once Again Looking For Anticompetitive Worm In Apple

Posted  03/7/11
Apple has piqued the interest of antitrust enforcers – again. The U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are both interested in exploring whether Apple is now running afoul of antitrust laws by funneling media companies' customers into the payment system for its iTunes store. In the past year, the cutting edge computer maker has triggered government scrutiny for how it hires employees,...

Accountable Care Organizations, Unaccountable To Antitrust Law?

Posted  02/23/11
The Affordable Care Act provides for the creation of Accountable Care Organizations (“ACOs”), organizations of healthcare providers that agree to be held accountable for the cost and quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries.  Beginning in January 2012, Medicare will reward ACOs for meeting certain benchmarks set by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  As a result, many healthcare providers that...

Swiss Giant ABB Engineers Takeover Of Baldor Electric With Avalanche Of Cash

Posted  02/8/11
The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has given the green light to Swiss engineering giant ABB’s multi-billion-dollar acquisition of the American industrial motors firm Baldor Electric Co. This regulatory approval paves the way for ABB’s $4.2 billion, or $63.50 per share, all-cash purchase.  The purchase price was a 41% premium over the November 29, 2010, $45.11 closing price of Baldor...

American Antitrust Institute Asks FTC To "Proceed Forcefully" Against CVS Caremark

Posted  12/2/10
As CVS Caremark is learning, even an approved merger does not protect a company from later being accused of anti-competitive behavior as a result of the merger.  As we wrote in an earlier post, the Federal Trade Commission began investigating CVS Caremark Corp., which has been accused of anti-competitive practices, in spite of the fact that the FTC approved its merger several years ago.  The 2007 merger—worth $27...

A Streetcar They Desired

Posted  11/24/10
Zipcar Inc., the worldwide leader in car-sharing with over 500,000 members and 8,000 vehicles, was granted approval in its bid to acquire Streetcar Limited, a leading car-sharing company in the UK.  The Competition Commission, the UK’s independent public body responsible for investigating mergers, found it unlikely that the merger would lead to a decrease in competition, thereby permitting the acquisition to...

Inpatient Psychiatric Service Providers Can Put Their Minds At Rest As They Settle With FTC To Complete $3 Billion Acquisition

Posted  11/18/10
On November 15, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement of its claims that the proposed acquisition of Psychiatric Solutions Inc. by Universal Health Services Inc. would violate antitrust laws by combining the two largest providers of acute inpatient psychiatric services in three geographic markets (Delaware, Puerto Rico, and Las Vegas), decreasing competition for such services (click here to view...

Antitrust Regulators Will Be Navigating Health Care Reform In Evaluating New Accountable Care Organizations

Posted  10/18/10
While doctors and medical organizations have long had to navigate antitrust concerns in their practices, antitrust regulators will now have to consider health care reform in evaluating collective action by health care providers in groups known as care accountable care organizations (“ACOs”). ACOs are health care provider groups responsible for the cost and quality of care delivered to a group of patients cared...

Energizer Bunny Navigates Razor’s Edge In Bid For American Safety Razor Company

Posted  10/8/10
Despite looming antitrust hurdles, Energizer Holdings Inc. is one step closer to acquiring a bankrupt shaving products competitor after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware granted Energizer permission to bid on American Safety Razor Company. American Safety filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 28, citing increased competition and the loss of customers, namely Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,...

Feds Nix High-Tech Non-Solicitation Agreements

Posted  10/1/10
Employees at six high-tech companies can be expecting more cold calls with job offers, thanks to a settlement engineered by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”). DOJ’s Antitrust Division has reached a settlement agreement with Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Disney’s Pixar unit, which will enable those companies to compete more vigorously for each other’s employees.  According to the DOJ, the...

Ship Owners’ Insurance Clubs Come Under EU Microscope

Posted  09/1/10
The European Commission has opened a probe to investigate whether marine-insurance agreements among ship owners in the International Group of P&I Clubs (“IG”) restrict competition by blocking rivals from the market. The IG is comprised of 13 worldwide “protection and indemnity” clubs of ship owners, which together provide insurance to approximately 93 percent of ocean ships. The Commission is concerned...
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