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Antitrust Insights and Analysis

Microsoft’s Proposed Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Could Be A Game Changer for Antitrust Challenges of Digital Market Mergers

Posted  01/28/22
By David Golden
Federal antitrust enforcers may be on the verge of rewriting the code for challenges to mergers in digital markets as they decide whether to challenge Microsoft’s bid to acquire Activision Blizzard. Microsoft’s recent announcement that it intends to acquire video-game publisher Activision for $75 billion sent shockwaves across the video-game industry and generated plenty of headlines.  This is the latest...

Antitrust Enforcers Are Continuing to Plow the Fields of Agriculture

Posted  01/27/22
By Taline Sahakian, Alan H. Schwartz
The Biden administration is carrying through on its commitment—which we previously  analyzed in Antitrust Today—to beef up antitrust enforcement in the agriculture industry in an attempt to increase competition and address rising food prices. While some are debating whether increased antitrust enforcement will help reduce prices, activity by the Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) and the Department of...

Merger Enforcement is Picking Up as DOJ and FTC Solicit Comments on Updating Merger Review Guidelines – Start Sharpening Your Pencils.

Posted  01/21/22
By Taline Sahakian
Anyone interested in the current antitrust revival will have an opportunity to voice his or her views as to how to improve antitrust enforcement aimed at anticompetitive mergers. Even non-attorneys are likely to have noticed the increased focus on antitrust enforcement in the United States targeting mergers through government reviews and litigated challenges.  From books to  computing technology, from beer to

FTC’s Antitrust Suit Against Facebook Survives Motion to Dismiss

Posted  01/19/22
By Yo W. Shiina
On January 11, 2022, the U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s Amended Complaint which alleges that Facebook maintained a monopoly in personal social service network market in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. While the FTC won this particular battle, it will now need to prove its allegations through expert testimony and statistical analysis. Judge...

Elite Universities Face Price-Fixing Allegations

Posted  01/18/22
By James J. Kovacs
A potential class of more than 170,000 former students that received financial aid to attend 16 of the top universities in the United States may be entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, according to a complaint recently filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs allege that these private, national universities, which rank in the top 25 of U.S. News &...

Will the Next Chapter in DOJ’s Showdown With Book Publishers Rewrite the Book on Antitrust Merger Enforcement?

Posted  01/14/22
By Taline Sahakian, Yo W. Shiina
Federal antitrust enforcers hope to write a new chapter on merger enforcement this year as they face off against leading publishers. One of the major antitrust developments last year was the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) challenge of the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, alleging that the large publishers’ combined monopsony power would harm competition in the publishing...

UPDATE: New York’s Groundbreaking Antitrust Bill Is Reported Out of Committee and Advances to the Senate Floor Calendar

Posted  01/12/22
By Daniel Vitelli
New York took a step closer to launching an antitrust revival in the state today as the New York Senate Consumer Protection Committee voted to send S933A—a groundbreaking antitrust bill that would fundamentally reshape antitrust law and enforcement in the Empire State—to the full Senate floor calendar. As this blog previously reported, although New York’s Twenty-First Century Antitrust Act passed the Senate...

New York’s Groundbreaking Antitrust Bill Is Back on the Agenda for the New Legislative Session

Posted  01/11/22
By Daniel Vitelli
New Yorkers backing a broad revision of the Donnelly Act have hopes that the new legislative session will usher in an antitrust revival in the state. With the opening of New York’s 2022 legislative session on January 5, an early order of business will be consideration of bills that did not become law during the 2021 session.  One major piece of unfinished business will be tackled with committee consideration of...

Will Supply Chain Delays and Skyrocketing Prices Lead to the End of Ocean Carriers’ Antitrust Exemption?

Posted  01/7/22
By Seth D. Greenstein
One of the oldest antitrust exemptions may yet fall victim to the pandemic as the global supply chain crisis causes federal policymakers to reevaluate the statutory immunity currently enjoyed by ocean carriers. Despite a year of turmoil in the ocean carriage supply chain, American consumers appear to have weathered the holiday shopping season with most of their gift giving intact.  Many consumers did their part by...

Startups Take Note: Feds Propose Limits on Standard-Essential Patent Market Power by Disfavoring Injunctions and Enforcing Non-Discriminatory Commitments

Posted  01/4/22
By David Golden
The federal government is taking some welcome steps toward restoring the balance between antitrust policy and intellectual property rights with its proposed statement on the remedies available to standard-essential patent (“SEP”) owners against companies that depend on fair licensing terms for essential technologies. On December 6, 2021, the Antitrust Division, along with the Patent and Trademark Office and the...
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