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Antitrust Today

Yanks And Europeans Open Antitrust Probes Of TRW And Autoliv

Posted  07/21/11
Two major players in the automotive manufacturing industry, Sweden’s Autoliv and Michigan’s TRW, are under investigation by the antitrust divisions of both the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the European Commission ("EU"). Both companies are multi-billion dollar corporations that supply safety systems, such as seatbelts, airbags and steering wheels, to automakers.  Autoliv and TRW each operate on a...

FTC and DOJ Set to Ink Landmark Agreement with Chinese Counterparts

Posted  07/8/11
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and Department of Justice (“DOJ”) plan to sign a memorandum of understanding with China’s three antitrust enforcement agencies, signaling the first formal pact of cooperation between U.S. and Chinese regulators. This deal comes on the heels of China’s sweeping antitrust reform, a policy it developed with advice from foreign agencies like the FTC.  The growing...

U.S. v. Microsoft Was A Decade-Long Education On Antitrust In The New Economy

Posted  06/29/11
The end of the decade-long federal court supervision of Microsoft’s licensing practices last month provides an opportunity to reflect on the impact that case has had.  A lasting legacy of the U.S. v. Microsoft case is that monopolists in dynamic and rapidly changing high-tech industries do not receive special treatment under the Sherman Act.  There is no presumption that high market shares will be counteracted by...

Feds Seek To Revive Competition Among Point-Of-Sale Terminal Manufacturers

Posted  05/31/11
The United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) is seeking to revive competition in the market for point-of-sale terminals by blocking VeriFone Systems Inc.’s proposed $485 million acquisition of Hypercom Corp. Both companies operate in the electronic payments industry, and the DOJ claims that the deal would harm competition in the market for point-of-sale terminals in the United States. The DOJ has

Feds Prescribe Antitrust Enforcement For Health Care Organizations

Posted  04/11/11
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FTC have issued a Proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Regarding Accountable Care Organizations Participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The Proposed Statement was made on the same day that the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, filed its proposed rule regarding Medicare Shared Savings Program...

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...
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