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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...

DOJ Ices Arctic Glacier In Customer Allocation Plea Deal

Posted  10/20/09
A customer-allocation conspiracy has been put on ice by the U.S. Department of Justice in a plea deal reached in Cincinnati federal district court. Arctic Glacier International, Inc., a packaged-ice company located in St. Paul, has agreed to plead guilty to violating the Sherman Act and to pay a $9 million fine for allocating customers in the Detroit area.  Three former executives from the company have also pled...

Pharmacists Fill Prescription For Amended Challenge To Pfizer-Wyeth Deal

Posted  10/20/09
A group of California pharmacies seeking to block Pfizer’s proposed buyout of Wyeth has already filled the prescription for an amended complaint in response to last week’s dismissal of their suit alleging the deal would be unhealthy for competition and jobs. U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney in San Francisco had given the pharmacies until Nov. 6 to cure their complaint, which she dismissed for failing to show...

FTC Protects Animal Health Care Markets In Approving Pfizer-Wyeth Deal

Posted  10/20/09
The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday it is clearing Pfizer's proposed $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth after an extensive investigation. Under a proposed settlement, the FTC would require the companies to divest assets in the animal health market.  The FTC stated that the divestitures were necessary to preserve competition in multiple U.S. markets for animal pharmaceuticals and vaccines.  The FTC...

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. ...

Review Of 1992 Merger Guidelines Is A Once-In-A-Generation Opportunity

Posted  09/23/09
Antitrust practitioners that pass on the upcoming opportunity to comment on revising the 1992 Merger Guidelines will be missing an opportunity that comes once in a generation. For 17 years now, the Horizontal Merger Guidelines jointly developed by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have been one of a few doctrinal pillars of the faith among antitrust practitioners, most notably with respect...

Will The Microsoft-Yahoo Partnership Result In U.S. v. Microsoft Redux?

Posted  09/23/09
Antitrust enforcers may be seeing a lot of their old friends at Microsoft thanks to the Internet search deal the computer giant has reached with Yahoo!  As Constantine Cannon’s Matt Cantor discusses in his recent article, "Microsoft-Yahoo! 'Partnership' Is Anti-Competitive", the deal raises substantial antitrust issues that may doom it. It appears that Microsoft and Yahoo!'s proposed "partnership," which...

For Antitrust Enforcers, Causation Can Be The Matrix

Posted  09/23/09
“You see there is only one constant.  One universal.  It is the only real truth.  Causality.  Action, reaction.  Cause and effect.” -- The Merovingian in The Matrix Reloaded Characters in science fiction films such as The Matrix series and The Time Traveler’s Wife have struggled with life-or-death issues of causation.  As highlighted by recent decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District...

Antitrust & Election Systems Collide: The Contested ES&S/Diebold Merger

Posted  09/18/09
In the 2000 Presidential election, Americans became painfully aware of the dirty secret of their democracy -- that the integrity of our elections depends on a messy patchwork of voting machines that use disparate and often archaic systems.  Since then, efforts have been made to improve and standardize the system but the weaknesses of the system remain and are particularly apparent in contested close elections.  Now...

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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