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What to Expect During Antitrust Merger Reviews and Investigations Under the Biden Administration (Part 1)

Posted  11/11/21
By Alysia A. Solow, Alan H. Schwartz
Antitrust enforcers are revising the gamebook for firms that hope to get their mergers through the federal merger review process. As this blog has previously reported on increased antitrust enforcement under the Biden Administration, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) are continuing with their renewed efforts to promote competition and block potentially...

The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  11/8/21
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following. Facebook Faces New Antitrust Lawsuit.  Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, downloaded a popular new app, Phhhoto, on Aug. 8, 2014, and took a selfie. Other Facebook executives and product managers soon followed suit. The social network then made overtures to integrate Phhhoto. But the interest...

Will New York Become An AmEx Free Zone?

Posted  11/8/21
By Jeffrey I. Shinder
Many observers, this blog included, have commented on the potentially groundbreaking nature of New York’s proposed 21st Century Antitrust Act. Supporters of the bill emphasize the systematic dismantling of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, which is best evidenced by Justice Scalia’s “monopoly is good” diatribe in Verizon Communications, Inc. v. Trinko, 540 U.S. 398, 407.  Given the Supreme Court’s solicitude to...

DOJ Seeks to Close the Book on Penguin Random House’s Acquisition of Simon & Schuster

Posted  11/4/21
By Yo W. Shiina
On November 2, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) once again demonstrated its renewed resolve to block anticompetitive concentrations by filing a civil antitrust lawsuit seeking to block Penguin Random House LLC’s proposed acquisition of its close competitor, Simon & Shuster. DOJ alleges that the merger would give Penguin Random House “outsized influence over who and what is published, and how much...

Republican FTC Commissioners Issue Dissenting Statement on Use of Prior Approval Provisions in Merger Orders

Posted  11/3/21
By David A. Scupp
As this blog has discussed, the FTC announced last week it is restoring a policy of “routinely requiring merging parties subject to a Commission order to obtain prior approval from the FTC before closing any future transaction affecting each relevant market for which a violation was alleged.”  According to the FTC, its Prior Approval Policy will help prevent facially anticompetitive deals, preserve FTC resources,...

Budding Antitrust Activity in the Cannabis Industry: Lessons from Richmond Compassionate Care Collective v. Koziol

Posted  11/2/21
By Kristian Soltes
As the cannabis industry continues to blossom from the backwoods into a multi-billion dollar bonanza, the antitrust spotlight is poised to increasingly shine on the industry’s many players. A California state court jury’s recent verdict awarding treble damages of $15 million to a medical marijuana collective could be an early harbinger of future activity in the cannabis space. The verdict was returned on...

The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  11/1/21
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following. A Big Tech critic moves closer to leading the Justice Department’s antitrust division.  A Senate committee on Thursday approved a critic of the tech giants to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division, sending his nomination to the full Senate for a final vote. The Senate Judiciary Committee...

Biden’s Pick for Top Antitrust Enforcer is Likely to Continue DOJ’s Increasing Focus on Labor Markets

Posted  10/29/21
By Janice Johnson
President Biden’s nominee for his administration’s top antitrust enforcer appears likely to continue the trend of increased enforcement efforts in labor markets. At his Senate confirmation hearing on October 6, 2021, Jonathan Kanter testified that, “If the antitrust laws are not working to protect competition to the benefit of workers, then the antitrust laws are not working.” Kanter is President Biden’s

FTC Restores an Old Fence With Restoration of Prior-Approval Policy for Future Mergers by Anticompetitive Dealmakers

Posted  10/28/21
By Allison F. Sheedy
The FTC announced this week that it is restoring a prior-approval policy that requires firms subject to FTC orders resolving  anticompetitive mergers to obtain prior approval from the FTC before closing future transactions. Companies settling an anticompetitive deal by entering into a consent order with the FTC will need the agency’s blessing to close any further acquisitions in each affected market for at least...

New York Trustbusters Are Being Deputized to Bust Abusive Employers

Posted  10/27/21
By Margaux Poueymirou
New York’s pending overhaul of its antitrust law is in the forefront of a nationwide antitrust revival that seeks to use competition policy to combat labor market abuses. This post examines how New York’s proposed 21st Century Antitrust Act (Senate Bill S933A)—which has already passed the State Senate—aspires “to ensure that our labor markets are open and fair” through a renewed focus on the harmful...
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