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Antitrust Today

In A Twist, Patently Unenforceable Patent Gives Consumers Antitrust Claim

Posted  11/10/09
The Second Circuit’s recent decision in In re DDAVP Antitrust Litigation marks a significant development in the intersection of antitrust and patent law.  Consumers now have greater standing to assert antitrust claims involving unenforceable patents. The Court vacated and remanded a lower court’s dismissal of a purchaser’s antitrust claim against manufacturers for conspiring to keep generic versions of a...

Merck and Schering-Plough Plow Through Antitrust Concerns As They Target Merger By End Of Year

Posted  11/6/09
Merck’s acquisition of Schering-Plough is plowing ahead as the companies addresses competitive concerns raised by antitrust enforcers. In an October 29, 2009, Consent Order, the FTC is permitting the acquisition – which would result in the one of the world’s largest prescription drug companies – to go forward provided the two companies divest of certain assets.  The European Union granted a smooth approval...

Ninth Circuit Affirms Antitrust Verdict Against Tyco in Pulse Oximetry Market

Posted  11/3/09
The Ninth Circuit has upheld a jury verdict against Tyco (now known as Covidien) for anticompetitive sole source agreements and market share discounts.  Masimo Corp. v. Tyco Health Care Group, L.P., No. 07-55960, 2009 WL 3451725 (9th Cir. Oct. 28, 2009).  The appellate court affirmed the District Court’s post-trial decision, which struck part of the jury verdict but left a significant liability finding...

It May Be Closing Time For British Beer Consumer Group’s Pub Complaint

Posted  10/29/09
British antitrust authorities may be telling CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) that it’s closing time for its complaint charging beer prices have increased due to lack of pub competition, but the consumer group isn’t going home quietly. CAMRA is asking Lord Mandelson, Britain’s Secretary of State for Business, to refer its complaint to the Competition Commission, following the October 22, 2009, announcement...

Antitrust Foresight Brings Speedy EU Approval Of Merck’s Acquisition Of Schering-Plough

Posted  10/28/09
The European Commission’s smooth approval of Merck & Co.’s $41 billion acquisition of rival Schering-Plough Corp. could be a textbook example of how parties to a merger or acquisition can get speedy clearance by anticipating – and remedying – antirust enforcers’ likely objections at the start. One might have expected the union of these two heavyweights – which, if completed, will create the world’s...

Today’s Mad Men Respect The Bing

Posted  10/27/09
Several advertising powerhouses are showing some respect for the Microsoft-Yahoo! search engine deal, which would advance Microsoft’s Bing in its challenge to Google. As discussed in an earlier post, Yahoo! and Microsoft's proposed partnership, which provides for Yahoo! to exit the search business and rely exclusively on Microsoft's search engine Bing, is unlikely to be aided by traditional merger defenses in the...

The Predatory Pricing – Booksellers Charge It’s Not A Work Of Fiction

Posted  10/26/09
What do Sarah Palin and Stephen King have in common? The answer is not a punchline to a bad joke, it’s that both have books that are selling at 1950s prices, which a group of booksellers view as predatory and worthy of investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. The American Booksellers Association (ABA), a 109-year-old trade organization representing the nation's locally owned independent booksellers,...

Senator Hatch Kicks The Antitrust Football To President Obama

Posted  10/23/09
While it might be unlikely that President Obama and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah will be getting together for some Bud Lights and Doritos at a Super Bowl party, they may still become football friends over the antitrust issues raised by the Bowl Championship Series. Senator Hatch sent President Obama a 10-page letter on Wednesday asking him to investigate the BCS for possible antitrust violations in the...

Sixth Circuit Cancels Flight For Plaintiffs In Airline Price-Fixing Case

Posted  10/23/09
Antitrust plaintiffs are continuing to find their antitrust flights are being grounded by federal courts’ application of the Supreme Court’s Twombly case. In Tam Travel, Inc., et al. v. Delta Airlines, Inc., et al. (In re Travel Agent Commission Antitrust Litigation), No. 07-4464 (6th Cir. Oct. 2, 2009), the Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal, by the Northern District of Ohio, of a complaint alleging that...

Congressional Dems Following Up On Repeal Of Health Insurers’ Antitrust Exemption

Posted  10/21/09
Congressional Democrats took another step today towards stripping the health insurance industry of the antitrust exemption it has enjoyed for more than six decades. The House Judiciary Committee voted 20 to 9 to repeal the antitrust exemption health insurers have under the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act.  Democrats on the committee are seeking to include the repeal in the House health care reform bill that is now...
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