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Prognosis Negative For Congressional Repeal Of Antitrust Exemption For Health Insurers

Posted  04/5/12
Although the fate of Obamacare in the Supreme Court is still an open question, the prognosis is decidedly negative for the congressional effort to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson antitrust exemption for health insurers. Although the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that would repeal the antitrust exemption for health insurers, the bill is not likely to pass the...

U.S. Agriculture Competition Rules Get Meat Axed By Industry And Congressional Pressure

Posted  01/11/12
Pressure from the U.S. meat industry and Congress has succeeded in trimming new competition rules designed to help farmers contained in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) final regulations for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (“GIPSA”). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the “2008 Farm Bill”) required the USDA to promulgate new, and clarify existing,...

Antitrust Regulators Will Be Navigating Health Care Reform In Evaluating New Accountable Care Organizations

Posted  10/18/10
While doctors and medical organizations have long had to navigate antitrust concerns in their practices, antitrust regulators will now have to consider health care reform in evaluating collective action by health care providers in groups known as care accountable care organizations (“ACOs”). ACOs are health care provider groups responsible for the cost and quality of care delivered to a group of patients cared...

Second Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc In Cipro Reverse-Payment Litigation

Posted  09/7/10
The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied rehearing en banc today of its recent decision in the reverse-payment case of Arkansas Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund v. Bayer AG (In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litigation) – despite the original three-judge appellate panel’s extraordinary invitation to the parties to submit briefs requesting rehearing by the entire court. The case...

Opposition Mounts Against Measure To Limit Interstate Wine And Beer Sales

Posted  08/11/10
A bill introduced in the House this spring to allow states greater authority to regulate the interstate shipment of alcohol is facing growing opposition. In the latest declaration against the bill, the California Assembly last week unanimously passed Senate Joint Resolution 34, urging Congress to defeat H.R. 5034, the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2010. The CARE Act is a short...

House-Senate Conferees Take Aim At Debit Cards

Posted  06/23/10
The House-Senate Conference Committee considering financial services reform legislation is on the verge of adopting provisions that could shake up the world of debit cards. After much controversy and intense lobbying by merchants and banks, key conferees have announced an agreement that preserves most of the Durbin Amendment and, remarkably, adds a critical and potentially groundbreaking new prohibition aimed at...

Banks Enlist Proxies To Fight Durbin Amendment’s Curb On Debit Card Fees

Posted  06/21/10
Recognizing that “credit card companies” and “Wall Street banks” may not have the most sympathetic political image these days, the payment card industry has enlisted small financial institutions as proxies to undercut support for Senator Dick Durbin’s (D.-IL) amendment giving the Federal Reserve the power to scrutinize fees imposed on merchants accepting debit cards. Durbin’s amendment was incorporated...

Merchants On Verge Of Big Win In Debit And Credit Card Fee War

Posted  05/25/10
Merchants in the United States are on the verge of a significant victory in their long struggle to limit credit and debit card fees. The Senate has approved an amendment to its financial reform bill that curtails the power of the card issuers in significant ways, including requiring that the “interchange fees” charged by banks on fees on debit card transactions be “reasonable and proportional to the actual”...

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...

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...

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