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Antitrust Today

Connecticut AG Eyes UnitedHealthcare-Health Net Merger

Posted  12/21/09
While consideration of health care may be dominating the halls of Congress, state officials are reminding health insurers that the Feds don’t have a monopoly in regulation. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has announced that his office is investigating the merger of UnitedHealthcare and Health Net Inc. UnitedHealthcare agreed in July to pay approximately $510 million to buy Health Net’s...

Sirius XM Radio Subscriber Attacks Merger, Claiming Prices Now Go To 11

Posted  12/17/09
A subscriber in Florida is suing Sirius XM Radio, challenging the 2008 merger of the two satellite radio services with allegations of deceptive and excessive pricing. The private suit claims that despite the commitments Sirius and XM made to the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission as a condition of merger approval, the combined firm has raised prices above competitive levels. Both the...

When Exclusivity Is Pro-Competitive...

Posted  12/14/09
Microsoft and News Corporation (“News Corp.”) are reportedly in discussions for a deal where News Corp. would sell its online content to Microsoft for inclusion in its Bing Internet search engine.  As part of the deal, News Corp. would delist its articles from Google’s search engine and list them exclusively with Bing. In a curious twist of fate, Microsoft’s exclusive with News Corp is likely...

Another Competition Law Class Action Milestone In Canada

Posted  12/14/09
Last month, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, in Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v Infineon Technologies AG, granted an appeal and certified a class of combined direct and indirect purchasers of "DRAMs" (semiconductor memory chips also known as "dynamic random access memory") in class proceedings against DRAM manufacturers.  This appellate court decision is the second significant antitrust class certification decision...

Focus On Monsanto Highlights Growing DOJ Scrutiny Of Dominant Firms

Posted  12/11/09
It is well known in the antitrust community that the Justice Department is searching for cases to bring against dominant firms that have violated the antitrust laws.  One such firm may be Monsanto.  In fact, the prices of patented seeds sold by agribusiness giant Monsanto, which make up a majority of the seed market for some staple crops, have roughly doubled in the past decade, leading to new scrutiny by the...

House Passes Satellite Home Viewer Extension

Posted  12/11/09
On December 3, the House of Representatives passed a 5-year extension of the compulsory copyright license for satellite television providers.  The bill passed by a vote of 394-11.  The current license is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2009. Chairman John Conyers (D.-Mich.) of the House Judiciary Committee described the other major changes the bill makes:
In addition to simply reauthorizing the license, the...

U.S. Merchants To Receive $1.1 Billion Payment In Landmark Visa/MasterCard Antitrust Litigation

Posted  12/9/09
Yesterday, Constantine Cannon LLP, Lead Counsel for the Class of U.S. merchants in the case captioned In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation, announced that Class Members nationwide will be mailed checks this week totaling approximately $1.1 billion as part of a landmark antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard over practices related to their signature debit cards. This distribution represents the...

House Judiciary's Consideration Of Leegin Still Pending

Posted  12/7/09
The Committee did not reach the Leegin bill during its December 2 markup, but it has announced that it will be on the agenda again for its December 9 markup. For more information, click here.

News Giant Reuters Making News Of Its Own

Posted  12/2/09
Thomson Reuters is in the news, but probably not for a reason it’s happy about.  The European Commission has opened formal antitrust proceedings against the news and financial data giant concerning a potential infringement of EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant market position related to the company’s coding of its real-time market data feeds. Specifically, the EC will investigate whether customers or...

House Judiciary Committee To Consider Leegin Repeal Legislation

Posted  12/1/09

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers (D.-Mich.), has announced that the Committee will meet to consider H.R. 3190 (the “Discount Pricing Consumer Protection Act of 2009”) tomorrow.  The bill would reverse the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision in Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. 887 (2007)Leegin overruled a 1911 Supreme Court decision holding...

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