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Obama Administration Poised To Answer Question: Where’s The Antitrust Beef?

Posted  05/6/10
Federal regulators are on the verge of answering the question of “Where’s the beef?” in the Obama administration’s regulation of competition the meat industry. The United States Department of Agriculture will soon release new proposed antitrust rules for the meat industry that could significantly alter the balance of power between farmers and the big companies that buy their meat.  Although the USDA has...

Second Circuit Hints At Reversing Course On Reverse Payments

Posted  05/4/10
Reverse payment settlements, which have inhibited the use of generic drugs, may be alive and well for now, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is recommending that unsuccessful plaintiffs challenging such a settlement seek a second opinion. On Thursday, a panel for the Second Circuit reluctantly upheld a so-called reverse payment settlement in In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust...

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...

DOJ Targets Potential Collusion In High Tech Hiring

Posted  04/20/10
If you’ve ever wondered why Dilbert is still working for his insufferable pointy-haired boss, the answer could be collusive hiring practices at high tech companies. Recent news reports indicate the U.S. Department of Justice is ramping up its investigation into hiring practices at large U.S. tech companies.  The probe is looking into whether the companies' hiring practices are costing skilled computer engineers...

FCC Not Likely To Surrender Following Comcast Defeat

Posted  04/14/10
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decision in Comcast v. FCC – striking down the FCC’s Order prohibiting Comcast from discriminating against customers that download large video files – may seem like a significant defeat for the FCC, but it might turn out to be just the first skirmish in an escalating war. The Court’s decision dealt a decisive blow to an argument used (once too often) by...

Senator Kohl Leery Of Google Gobbling Up AdMob

Posted  04/12/10
Google’s informal motto is “Don’t be evil.”  Whether or not it has breached that principle, the internet search and advertising giant may be about to run afoul of antitrust law, according to the Senate’s head antitrust watchdog. On Tuesday, Senator Herb Kohl, chair of the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the Federal Trade Commission to take a closer look at Google’s...

DOJ Casts Deciding Ballot To Restore Competition In Voting Machine Market

Posted  03/24/10
The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to restore competition in the voting machine market by requiring Election Systems & Software, the country’s largest seller of computerized voting machines, to undo much of its recent merger with Diebold.  DOJ will allow this merger of the nation’s two largest sellers of such machines to survive only if the combined company divests itself of the product lines it...

Federal Circuit Mulls Diving Into Patent Pool Case With Antitrust Analysis

Posted  03/10/10
Will a federal court of appeals send modern antitrust analysis diving into the deep end of a patent pool case to determine whether a jointly-developed standard should be considered patent misuse? On March 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sat en banc to consider how to apply the patent misuse doctrine to patent pooling arrangements for standardized technologies, including the significance of...

They Issue Second Requests For Horseracing Mergers, Don’t They?

Posted  03/5/10
The U.S. Department of Justice is pulling hard on the reins to slow down a proposed merger between Churchill Downs, the famous racetrack home to the Kentucky Derby, and, an online horseracing gambling website. The DOJ has issued the companies a “second request” under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act for additional information on the proposed merger. Second requests are rare, and dramatically increase the...
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