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Feds Flex Their Flexibility In Revised Merger Guidelines

Posted  04/29/10
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have released for public comment proposed revisions to the Horizontal Merger Guidelines that would reflect antitrust enforcers’ ever decreasing reliance on the bright-line tests that once dominated merger analysis. The proposed revisions would continue the long term trend of antitrust authorities exercising more flexibility and discretion in...

European Commission Enacts New Online Sales Rules

Posted  04/26/10
The European Commission has enacted highly anticipated antitrust rules regulating online sales. The rules clamp down on what the EC considers to be permissive distribution agreements that have arisen on occasion between goods manufacturers and resellers, and update regulations adopted prior to the massive growth in the last 10 years in commerce over the Internet. The new rules are primarily aimed at facilitating...

Will Travel Agents’ Complaint Fly With Supreme Court?

Posted  04/7/10
Travel agents whose antitrust case against major airlines was grounded by a Court of Appeals’ application of the Supreme Court’s Twombly decision are hoping the Supreme Court will clear their complaint for takeoff. On March 22, 2010, 49 travel agencies accusing several major airlines of conspiring to fix base commission rates petitioned the United States Supreme Court to reverse the Sixth Circuit’s decision...

Second Circuit Revives Internet Music Price-Fixing Case That Record Giants Thought Had Been Killed By The Twombly Silver Bullet

Posted  01/14/10
Antitrust defendants got a reminder yesterday that while the United States Supreme Court may have stiffened pleading requirements in recent years, its Twombly decision is not always a silver bullet. Applying Twombly (which often means the dismissal of an antitrust case), the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit yesterday restored a complaint alleging price fixing of internet music by major record labels –...

The Antitrust Class Action Comes To Italy

Posted  01/13/10
Italian consumer rights group Codacons has filed class action lawsuits against Italy’s two largest banks – Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP.MI) and UniCredit SpA (UCG.MI) – for banking fees paid by more than 25 million customers. The cases are the first to be brought under a new law permitting class action suits in Italian courts, and could force the two banks to pay up to 6.25 billion Euros (approximately nine...

Antitrust Issues Keeping Coffee Executives Awake

Posted  12/28/09
If coffee executives can’t sleep at night, it isn’t the coffee, it’s the antitrust issues. Coffee companies around the world are working through the holiday season, contending with merger issues in the U.S. and price fixing in Europe. In the U.S., Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. has voluntarily withdrawn its filing with the FTC regarding its purchase of Diedrich Coffee Inc. after consultation with 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,...

European Union On Verge Of Swinging Class Action Hammer

Posted  10/6/09
While the antitrust class action is historically an American enforcement tool, the European Union is on the verge of pressing this powerful hammer into the hands of its member states. Under a draft EU Directive, state bodies and nonprofit organizations appointed by national governments would be able to bring class actions in national courts against companies that fix prices or abuse their dominant market share. ...

Leading Congressional Dems Open Antitrust Front In Healthcare War

Posted  09/22/09
The Chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees have joined forces to open a new – antitrust – front in the war for healthcare reform.  The two leading Democrats are seeking to boost healthcare reform with a partial repeal of an antitrust exemption that’s about as old as Democrats’ efforts to enact universal healthcare. On September 17, 2009, Chairman John Conyers (D.-Mich.) of the House...

A Warning For Corporate Parents In The EU’s Akzo Nobel Case

Posted  09/16/09
Being a parent means great responsibilities – especially if you’re a corporate parent with subsidiaries active in the European Union.  As a result of the European Commission’s Akzo Nobel case, such corporate parents now face greater antitrust liability for the conduct of their 100%-owned subsidiaries. On September 10, 2009, the European Court of Justice dismissed Akzo Nobel’s appeal of a 2007 judgment of...
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