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Antitrust Today

European Commission Rolls Out Investigation Of Bearings Makers

Posted  11/21/11
The European Commission recently raided SKF AB, Schaeffler Group, and the offices of other European rolling bearings makers to investigate whether they violated European antitrust rules. The companies manufacture bearings for the automotive and aerospace industries. The Commission is investigating whether the companies violated European Union (“EU”) laws prohibiting cartels and restrictive business practices...

Federal Court Pulls The Plug On Digital Tax Preparation Merger

Posted  11/15/11
A federal judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has granted the United States’ motion for a permanent injunction enjoining H&R Block’s proposed acquisition of its digital tax preparation competitor, 2SS Holdings, Inc., the company offering TaxACT. Judge Howell’s order in United States v. H&R Block, Inc., Civ. No. 11-00948 (BAH), unequivocally found that the proposed...

Class Action Accuses Dairy Producers Of Reducing Herds To Increase Milk Prices

Posted  11/10/11
A class action filed in the Northern District of California on behalf of U.S. consumers of milk and other dairy products is alleging that dairy producers prematurely slaughtered more than half a million cows to drive up the prices of dairy products. The plaintiffs in Matthew Edwards et al., v. National Milk Producers Federation, aka Cooperatives Working Together et al. allege that from 2003 to 2010 several dairy...

It’s Not “Over Easy” For Remaining Defendants In Egg Antitrust Litigation

Posted  11/4/11
After denying four of six motions to dismiss just three weeks earlier, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied an additional motion to dismiss that was primarily aimed at limiting the scope of discovery in the In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation. The plaintiffs allege that Defendant egg producers and trade groups engaged in a conspiracy to manipulate the supply of, and thereby...

Europeans And Feds Overhaul Trans-Atlantic Antitrust Enforcement

Posted  11/1/11
October was a busy month for European and U.S. antitrust enforcers, who revised “best practices” aimed at enhancing the efficiency of antitrust investigations on both sides of the Atlantic. First, on October 14, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission (the “EC”) issued an updated set of “best practices” that they use to coordinate merger reviews...

Kinder Morgan And El Paso May Need To Cut Pipeline Networks To Save Massive Energy Merger

Posted  10/26/11
In a transaction valued at $21.1 billion – one of the largest energy deals in history – Kinder Morgan, Inc. has announced a deal to purchase the El Paso Corporation. The two corporations are large “midstream energy” companies that process and transport oil and gas.  If the deal is approved by shareholders and the FTC, Kinder Morgan will be the largest midstream energy company in North America, controlling...

Federal Judge Takes Pilgrim’s Pride To The Woodshed For Manipulating Chicken Prices

Posted  10/24/11
A federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas has slapped Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., the largest poultry producer in the U.S., with a $26 million damage award for manipulating the price of chicken. According to Magistrate Judge Charles Everingham IV, Pilgrim’s Pride violated the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 by shutting down a packing plant in El Dorado, Arkansas and refusing to sell the operations to its...

Heavy Duty Truck Transmission Antitrust Suit Picks Up Speed In Delaware

Posted  10/20/11
Federal Judge Sue L. Robinson in the District of Delaware has given the go-ahead to a suit alleging truck manufacturers conspired to create and maintain a monopoly with supracompetitive prices in the market for heavy duty truck transmissions. Judge Robinson has denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint in Wallach v. Eaton Corp. The class action, brought by Mark S. Wallach, the bankruptcy trustee...

Canadians Release New Merger Guidelines

Posted  10/17/11
Canada’s Competition Bureau has released final revisions to its Merger Enforcement Guidelines. The Guidelines describe how the Competition Bureau will analyze merger transactions. The new Guidelines were issued on October 6, 2011, after the Bureau held consultations during the last two years with foreign competition agencies and throughout Canada.  The changes are the first revisions to the Guidelines since...

NBA Legend Bill Russell Challenges NCAA In Court

Posted  10/14/11
Basketball legend Bill Russell, who led the Boston Celtics dynasty that dominated the NBA in the 1960s, is charging down court once again, but this time it’s in a federal – not a basketball – court. The former basketball star at the University of San Francisco, five-time winner of the NBA Most Valuable Player Award and a 12-time All-Star, is suing the NCAA, the Collegiate Licensing Company (“CLC”) and...
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