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Britain Eyes Merging Merger Cops

Posted  10/20/10
The United Kingdom’s two antitrust agencies will be merged if a proposed consolidation that seeks to streamline the British regulatory process passes its own merger review by the government. Currently, the U.K. employs two regulatory bodies to scrutinize competition activity, the Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”) and the Competition Commission.  The two bodies have slightly different roles, but work together in...

Antitrust Regulators Will Be Navigating Health Care Reform In Evaluating New Accountable Care Organizations

Posted  10/18/10
While doctors and medical organizations have long had to navigate antitrust concerns in their practices, antitrust regulators will now have to consider health care reform in evaluating collective action by health care providers in groups known as care accountable care organizations (“ACOs”). ACOs are health care provider groups responsible for the cost and quality of care delivered to a group of patients cared...

EU College Of Commissioners May Promote Antitrust Class Action Plan Despite Last Year’s Failing Grade

Posted  10/15/10
Although the American version of class actions may still be viewed as an unwelcome immigrant by businesses in Europe, the European Commission appears to be reviving efforts to fashion its own kinder, gentler, European version of class actions for antitrust violations. Recent reports indicate that the European Commission has gone back to work on an initiative to allow collective actions for damages by parties...

Wells Fargo A Day Late And A Dollar Short In Bid For Visa Check/MasterMoney Settlement Funds

Posted  10/15/10
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district court ruling that dismissed belated claims by Wells Fargo to participate in the groundbreaking settlements of the Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation. The settlements, finalized in 2005, involved payment of $3.05 billion by defendants Visa and MasterCard to a plaintiff class of millions of U.S. merchants afflicted by the defendants’ “Honor All...

Energizer Bunny Navigates Razor’s Edge In Bid For American Safety Razor Company

Posted  10/8/10
Despite looming antitrust hurdles, Energizer Holdings Inc. is one step closer to acquiring a bankrupt shaving products competitor after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware granted Energizer permission to bid on American Safety Razor Company. American Safety filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 28, citing increased competition and the loss of customers, namely Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,...

DOJ Puts Conspirators On Ice In Refrigerator Compressor Cartel

Posted  10/5/10
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced the first guilty pleas in its ongoing investigation into a price-fixing cartel in the worldwide refrigerator compressor market. According to the DOJ, Japan-based Panasonic Corp. and Embraco North America Inc., a Brazilian subsidiary of Whirlpool Corp., agreed to pay $49.1 million and $91.8 million respectively for a price-fixing conspiracy that lasted from October 2004...

Aussie Mining Giant Clears U.S. Hurdle In Hostile Bid For Canada’s Potash

Posted  10/4/10
Australian mining giant BHP Biliton Ltd. Has won its first regulatory approval – from U.S. antitrust authorities – in its $39 billion dollar hostile bid to take over Canada’s Potash Corp., the world’s largest producer of potash, a key crop nutrient used in fertilizer. BHP has announced that the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice have terminated the HSR...

Feds Nix High-Tech Non-Solicitation Agreements

Posted  10/1/10
Employees at six high-tech companies can be expecting more cold calls with job offers, thanks to a settlement engineered by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”). DOJ’s Antitrust Division has reached a settlement agreement with Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Disney’s Pixar unit, which will enable those companies to compete more vigorously for each other’s employees.  According to the DOJ, the...

Online Gambling Companies Win Big As EU Throws Out Germany’s Gambling Monopoly

Posted  09/24/10
Online and other private gambling companies are looking forward to their winnings as a result of the ruling by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg (ECJ) that Germany’s state-run gambling monopoly violates European Union law. The EU’s highest court has ruled that Germany’s justification for the state monopoly on gambling rang hollow and struck down the law in a landmark decision that opens the door to...

Europeans May Exterminate Sara Lee’s Insecticide Deal

Posted  09/17/10
The European Union’s antitrust regulator is setting its sights on a $200 million deal for a partial sale of an insecticide business owned by Sara Lee, the food company, to S.C. Johnson & Son, which chiefly makes home-care products. Both companies are based in the United States, and a European Commission press release acknowledged that the transaction may not “have a Community dimension.”  Even so, the...
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