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Antitrust Today

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...

Pressure Builds For Legislative Repeal Of Supreme Court Decisions That Raised Pleading Standards

Posted  10/8/09
The United States Supreme Court in the last two years has given defendants in federal civil cases two key victories.  Now, a powerful Senator has joined with plaintiffs’ groups in introducing a bill to repeal those decisions. The two decisions – 2007’s Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, and this year’s Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 – concern the level of detail that a plaintiff must...

It’s First Down For The NFL In The Supreme Court

Posted  10/7/09
Sports leagues and other joint ventures may score an antitrust victory in the Supreme Court this term that makes the Baseball Antitrust Exemption look strictly minor league. The Supreme Court will hear the case of American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, which concerns the NFL’s practice of licensing NFL and team logos and other intellectual property exclusively through the NFL’s wholly-owned...

European Union On Verge Of Swinging Class Action Hammer

Posted  10/6/09
While the antitrust class action is historically an American enforcement tool, the European Union is on the verge of pressing this powerful hammer into the hands of its member states. Under a draft EU Directive, state bodies and nonprofit organizations appointed by national governments would be able to bring class actions in national courts against companies that fix prices or abuse their dominant market share. ...

Constantine Cannon Legal Victory Helps Client Achieve Outstanding Quarterly Profits

Posted  10/6/09
Discover Financial Services more than tripled its profits in the third fiscal quarter 2009, due in part to the antitrust settlement that Constantine Cannon and co-counsel secured last year. According to Discover’s quarterly financial statement, the company’s profits included approximately $287 million (after tax) in settlement payments relating to this lawsuit. In October 2008, Discover recovered $2.75 billion...

Canadian Class Actions Take A Step Forward

Posted  10/5/09
Canadian competition law litigation took a step forward last week with the decision in Irving Paper Ltd v. Atofina Chemicals Inc. et al., in which the Ontario Superior Court certified a consolidated class of direct and indirect purchasers in a horizontal price-fixing case involving the hydrogen peroxide industry.  The case has important precedential value as it represents the first time in Canada that an antitrust...
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