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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...

Who Pays For The “Delay” In “Pay For Delay” Drug Settlements?

Posted  03/2/10
Procrastination may be the thief not only of all time, but also of $3.5 billion from the pockets of health care consumers, according to the FTC. Citing a cost of billions of dollars to consumers, the FTC is challenging “pay-for-delay” reverse settlements in which pharmaceutical companies pay generic drug companies to not make a generic version of a drug. There are two fronts in this effort.  The FTC is...

DOT Tentatively Approves American Airlines and British Airways Joint Venture

Posted  02/24/10
The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has issued a show-cause order that tentatively approves the antitrust immunity application for the joint venture between members of the oneworld airline alliance, including American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia.  The tentative approval applies to transatlantic traffic, which American Airlines and British Airways dominate for routes between the U.S. and the...

Big Companies Experiencing The Joys And Heartaches Of The Antitrust Underdog

Posted  02/15/10
Can antitrust law protect big companies as well as small companies and consumers? An increasing number of large companies are discovering – as plaintiffs – that the answer is yes. Many practitioners ascribe to the following paradigm: Antitrust enforcement is an anathema to large companies.  They point to the fact that big companies, like Microsoft, AT&T and Verizon, have repeatedly fought private plaintiffs...

Should Manhattan Hospitals Prepare For Outbreak Of Monopolization?

Posted  02/10/10
St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan may have survived its recent brush with possible monopolization, but its financial health leaves it susceptible to relapse.  That’s the diagnosis of some antitrust practitioners, who are bracing for another outbreak. The weak financial health of St. Vincent's Hospital has been in the news lately.  News reports indicate that St. Vincent's, located on Manhattan’s West 12th...

DOJ And NCAA May Face Off In Antitrust Bowl

Posted  02/9/10
The U.S. Department of Justice is weighing whether to pursue an investigation into the legality of the National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA") Bowl Championship Series ("BCS"), which critics contend unfairly excludes smaller universities from the national football title. Senator Orrin Hatch raised the issue in a letter to the Justice Department in October 2009 in which he complained that the BCS system is...

New Merger Guidelines Could Tell Economists: Drop That Hypothetical Can Opener

Posted  02/4/10
Federal antitrust enforcers are signaling that they don’t want merger enforcement to be the butt of the classic joke about the shipwrecked economist who solves the problem of how to open a can of soup by assuming a can opener.  Merger justifications that assume hypothetical competitors would block anticompetitive effects may not pass the laugh test under new Merger Guidelines. Antitrust enforcers are likely to...

Obama DOJ Makes Ticketmaster Work For Its Ticket To Ride With Live Nation

Posted  01/28/10
Although Ticketmaster’s got a ticket to ride with its merger target, Live Nation, the ticket vendor is finding that the price of a ticket for a merger has gone up in the Obama Administration. The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice forced Ticketmaster this week to take actions to achieve antitrust clearance of its merger with Live Nation.  Among other things, Ticketmaster was compelled to...

The Antitrust Class Action Comes To Italy

Posted  01/13/10
Italian consumer rights group Codacons has filed class action lawsuits against Italy’s two largest banks – Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP.MI) and UniCredit SpA (UCG.MI) – for banking fees paid by more than 25 million customers. The cases are the first to be brought under a new law permitting class action suits in Italian courts, and could force the two banks to pay up to 6.25 billion Euros (approximately nine...
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