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Supremes Pull The Plug On Class Action Arbitrations

Posted  05/12/10
Class action arbitrations are not likely to survive the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-3 decision, in a closely watched antitrust case, that imposing class arbitration on parties that haven't agreed to it conflicts with the Federal Arbitration Act. The decision in Stolt-Nielsen S.A. et al. v. Animalfeeds Int’l Corp., No. 08-1198 (April 27, 2010), delivered by Justice Alito, reversed a panel decision by the U.S. Court...

EC Overhauls Horizontal Agreement Guidelines And Safe Harbor Exemptions

Posted  05/10/10
The European Commission has unveiled new draft rules for horizontal cooperation agreements as part of the EC’s Horizontal Guidelines and Research & Development and Specialization Agreement Block Exemption Regulations (BERs). The new rules aim to clarify when companies’ horizontal agreements will be deemed to restrict competition and when such agreements will qualify for an exemption.  The rules include a new...

Supreme Court May Yank Class Actions From Shelves In Wal-Mart Case

Posted  05/7/10
Class actions may become a scarcer commodity if Wal-Mart can convince the Supreme Court that a recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit applies too lenient a standard for certifying class actions. The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2010 WL 1644259 (9th Cir. April 26, 2010), an employment discrimination class action under Title VII of the 1964 Civil...

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...
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