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Antitrust Today

Ship Owners’ Insurance Clubs Come Under EU Microscope

Posted  09/1/10
The European Commission has opened a probe to investigate whether marine-insurance agreements among ship owners in the International Group of P&I Clubs (“IG”) restrict competition by blocking rivals from the market. The IG is comprised of 13 worldwide “protection and indemnity” clubs of ship owners, which together provide insurance to approximately 93 percent of ocean ships. The Commission is concerned...

Feds Debut Kinder, Gentler Horizontal Merger Guidelines

Posted  08/27/10
On August 19, 2010 – after 18 years, including a year-long revision process – the DOJ and FTC finally released a new – and kinder, gentler – version of the Horizontal Merger Guidelines. The Guidelines, originally adopted in 1968 and previously revised in 1992, “outline the principal analytical techniques, practices and the enforcement policy of the [DOJ and FTC] with respect to mergers . . . involving...

Oneworld Airline Alliance Granted Antitrust Immunity By U.S. And E.U.

Posted  07/29/10
More than a decade after British Airlines and American Airlines first sought antitrust immunity for their global alliance, the U.S. Department of Transportation last week granted their request. The immunity allows the members of the so-called Oneworld Alliance – including British Airlines, American Airlines, and Iberia of Spain – to coordinate on prices, capacity, and service.  The U.S. approval follows on the...

China Edges Into Antitrust Enforcement With Break Up Of Price-Fixing Cartel

Posted  06/28/10
While no one may be predicting China will be the antitrust powerhouse of the 21st Century, its days as an antitrust neophyte appear to be ending. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) of China has levied fines and administrative penalties against more than 20 producers of rice noodles.  This enforcement action represents the first application of Article 13 of China’s Anti-Monopoly Law...

Gulf Crisis Trumps Antitrust Concerns

Posted  06/18/10
Cooperation among competitors is usually the kind of activity that raises antitrust concerns.  However, with thousands of barrels of dirty crude oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico on a daily basis, the head of Federal Trade Commission is seeking to ease concerns that cooperation among competing energy companies to help the federal government solve the crisis in the Gulf would face scrutiny under federal antitrust...

Hamptons’ Real Estate Brokers Find Exclusivity Has Its Price

Posted  05/27/10
Although the Hamptons may be renowned as an exclusive vacation spot on New York’s Long Island, its real estate brokers may be getting some unwanted attention from the U.S. Department of Justice for expanding that exclusivity into the way they do business. Apparently, the real estate industry has attracted the attention of antitrust investigators because of an online listing service – OpenRealNet Exchange, run...

FTC Continues Eyeing Google’s AdMob

Posted  05/14/10
The Federal Trade Commission will extend by up to two weeks its decision on whether to formally investigate Google for its acquisition of mobile web-advertising startup AdMob. According to the New York Times, the federal antitrust enforcer initially planned to make a decision on Monday, but has requested the extra time in part to consider whether Apple’s own entry into mobile advertising affects antitrust...

DOJ Targets Potential Collusion In High Tech Hiring

Posted  04/20/10
If you’ve ever wondered why Dilbert is still working for his insufferable pointy-haired boss, the answer could be collusive hiring practices at high tech companies. Recent news reports indicate the U.S. Department of Justice is ramping up its investigation into hiring practices at large U.S. tech companies.  The probe is looking into whether the companies' hiring practices are costing skilled computer engineers...

Senator Kohl Leery Of Google Gobbling Up AdMob

Posted  04/12/10
Google’s informal motto is “Don’t be evil.”  Whether or not it has breached that principle, the internet search and advertising giant may be about to run afoul of antitrust law, according to the Senate’s head antitrust watchdog. On Tuesday, Senator Herb Kohl, chair of the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the Federal Trade Commission to take a closer look at Google’s...

DOT Tentatively Approves American Airlines and British Airways Joint Venture

Posted  02/24/10
The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has issued a show-cause order that tentatively approves the antitrust immunity application for the joint venture between members of the oneworld airline alliance, including American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia.  The tentative approval applies to transatlantic traffic, which American Airlines and British Airways dominate for routes between the U.S. and the...
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