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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...

Ship Owners’ Insurance Clubs Come Under EU Microscope

Posted  09/1/10
The European Commission has opened a probe to investigate whether marine-insurance agreements among ship owners in the International Group of P&I Clubs (“IG”) restrict competition by blocking rivals from the market. The IG is comprised of 13 worldwide “protection and indemnity” clubs of ship owners, which together provide insurance to approximately 93 percent of ocean ships. The Commission is concerned...

Feds Debut Kinder, Gentler Horizontal Merger Guidelines

Posted  08/27/10
On August 19, 2010 – after 18 years, including a year-long revision process – the DOJ and FTC finally released a new – and kinder, gentler – version of the Horizontal Merger Guidelines. The Guidelines, originally adopted in 1968 and previously revised in 1992, “outline the principal analytical techniques, practices and the enforcement policy of the [DOJ and FTC] with respect to mergers . . . involving...

FTC Considers New Antitrust Exemptions To Rejuvenate Old Media

Posted  08/2/10
New antitrust immunity for old media is one of the options discussed by the FTC staff in its recently released Discussion Draft on proposals to support “reinventing” journalism.  The Draft is part of a project begun in May 2009 to consider the challenges faced by journalism in the digital age. After reciting well-known statistics about the broad decline of print media (revenue declines, staffing cuts, the...

Oneworld Airline Alliance Granted Antitrust Immunity By U.S. And E.U.

Posted  07/29/10
More than a decade after British Airlines and American Airlines first sought antitrust immunity for their global alliance, the U.S. Department of Transportation last week granted their request. The immunity allows the members of the so-called Oneworld Alliance – including British Airlines, American Airlines, and Iberia of Spain – to coordinate on prices, capacity, and service.  The U.S. approval follows on the...

SmithKline Beecham Breathes Easier As Class Is Delayed In Nasal Spray Antitrust Suit

Posted  07/19/10
SmithKline Beecham Corp. may be breathing a little easier for now as a result of a temporary denial of class certification in the antitrust litigation that seeks to hold the pharmaceutical company liable for delaying generic versions of the nasal spray Flonase. Judge Anita B. Brody of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ordered the plaintiffs to rebrief their motion by September 30 in...
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