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Antitrust Today

Today’s Mad Men Respect The Bing

Posted  10/27/09
Several advertising powerhouses are showing some respect for the Microsoft-Yahoo! search engine deal, which would advance Microsoft’s Bing in its challenge to Google. As discussed in an earlier post, Yahoo! and Microsoft's proposed partnership, which provides for Yahoo! to exit the search business and rely exclusively on Microsoft's search engine Bing, is unlikely to be aided by traditional merger defenses in the...

The Predatory Pricing – Booksellers Charge It’s Not A Work Of Fiction

Posted  10/26/09
What do Sarah Palin and Stephen King have in common? The answer is not a punchline to a bad joke, it’s that both have books that are selling at 1950s prices, which a group of booksellers view as predatory and worthy of investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. The American Booksellers Association (ABA), a 109-year-old trade organization representing the nation's locally owned independent booksellers,...

Senator Hatch Kicks The Antitrust Football To President Obama

Posted  10/23/09
While it might be unlikely that President Obama and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah will be getting together for some Bud Lights and Doritos at a Super Bowl party, they may still become football friends over the antitrust issues raised by the Bowl Championship Series. Senator Hatch sent President Obama a 10-page letter on Wednesday asking him to investigate the BCS for possible antitrust violations in the...

Sixth Circuit Cancels Flight For Plaintiffs In Airline Price-Fixing Case

Posted  10/23/09
Antitrust plaintiffs are continuing to find their antitrust flights are being grounded by federal courts’ application of the Supreme Court’s Twombly case. In Tam Travel, Inc., et al. v. Delta Airlines, Inc., et al. (In re Travel Agent Commission Antitrust Litigation), No. 07-4464 (6th Cir. Oct. 2, 2009), the Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal, by the Northern District of Ohio, of a complaint alleging that...

Congressional Dems Following Up On Repeal Of Health Insurers’ Antitrust Exemption

Posted  10/21/09
Congressional Democrats took another step today towards stripping the health insurance industry of the antitrust exemption it has enjoyed for more than six decades. The House Judiciary Committee voted 20 to 9 to repeal the antitrust exemption health insurers have under the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act.  Democrats on the committee are seeking to include the repeal in the House health care reform bill that is now...

Senate Dems Eye Repeal Of Health Insurers’ McCarran-Ferguson Antitrust Exemption

Posted  10/20/09
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are going after health and medical malpractice insurers after a leading industry group turned against the Senate Finance Committee’s version of health care reform… and the DOJ may not be far behind. Last Tuesday, America’s Health Insurance Plans (“AHIP”), a trade group for health insurers, released a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report indicating that the Senate...

DOJ Ices Arctic Glacier In Customer Allocation Plea Deal

Posted  10/20/09
A customer-allocation conspiracy has been put on ice by the U.S. Department of Justice in a plea deal reached in Cincinnati federal district court. Arctic Glacier International, Inc., a packaged-ice company located in St. Paul, has agreed to plead guilty to violating the Sherman Act and to pay a $9 million fine for allocating customers in the Detroit area.  Three former executives from the company have also pled...

Pharmacists Fill Prescription For Amended Challenge To Pfizer-Wyeth Deal

Posted  10/20/09
A group of California pharmacies seeking to block Pfizer’s proposed buyout of Wyeth has already filled the prescription for an amended complaint in response to last week’s dismissal of their suit alleging the deal would be unhealthy for competition and jobs. U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney in San Francisco had given the pharmacies until Nov. 6 to cure their complaint, which she dismissed for failing to show...

FTC Protects Animal Health Care Markets In Approving Pfizer-Wyeth Deal

Posted  10/20/09
The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday it is clearing Pfizer's proposed $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth after an extensive investigation. Under a proposed settlement, the FTC would require the companies to divest assets in the animal health market.  The FTC stated that the divestitures were necessary to preserve competition in multiple U.S. markets for animal pharmaceuticals and vaccines.  The FTC...

European Commission Asks If New Ballot Can Depose Microsoft Internet Explorer

Posted  10/14/09
Anyone who doubts that ballot design can change the course of the world needs to revisit the infamous Butterfly Ballot’s pivotal role in George Bush’s unusual path to the U.S. presidency. Perhaps realizing the decisive effects ballot design can have, the European Commission is seeking comments on a proposed Microsoft Web Browser Ballot that could weaken Microsoft Internet Explorer’s global domination. The...
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