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Another Competition Law Class Action Milestone In Canada

Posted  12/14/09
Last month, the British Columbia Court of Appeal, in Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. v Infineon Technologies AG, granted an appeal and certified a class of combined direct and indirect purchasers of "DRAMs" (semiconductor memory chips also known as "dynamic random access memory") in class proceedings against DRAM manufacturers.  This appellate court decision is the second significant antitrust class certification decision...

News Giant Reuters Making News Of Its Own

Posted  12/2/09
Thomson Reuters is in the news, but probably not for a reason it’s happy about.  The European Commission has opened formal antitrust proceedings against the news and financial data giant concerning a potential infringement of EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant market position related to the company’s coding of its real-time market data feeds. Specifically, the EC will investigate whether customers or...

From Russia, An Antitrust Cooperation Agreement

Posted  11/30/09
Russia’s head antitrust agency, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (“FAS”), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to promote greater cooperation between the two governments on antitrust issues. FAS Head Igor Artemyev, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz, and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Christine Varney signed...

DOJ Statement Is Ray Of Sunshine For Oracle’s Acquisition Of Sun

Posted  11/19/09
The outlook for Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems is only partly cloudy now that federal antitrust enforcers have announced that they will not be joining their European counterparts in opposing the acquisition. The Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice issued a statement on November 9, 2009, concluding that Oracle's proposed acquisition of Sun is unlikely to be...

Under China’s New Anti-Monopoly Law, Private Lawsuits Begin To Find Their Legs

Posted  11/12/09
Two recent antitrust cases in China indicate that country may be inching its way toward fulfilling its potential as a modern economy by embracing competition law. It was only in August 2008 that the world’s third largest economy joined the ranks of countries with private competition law regimes with China’s adoption of its new Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). The AML generally resembles the basic framework of the...

Merck and Schering-Plough Plow Through Antitrust Concerns As They Target Merger By End Of Year

Posted  11/6/09
Merck’s acquisition of Schering-Plough is plowing ahead as the companies addresses competitive concerns raised by antitrust enforcers. In an October 29, 2009, Consent Order, the FTC is permitting the acquisition – which would result in the one of the world’s largest prescription drug companies – to go forward provided the two companies divest of certain assets.  The European Union granted a smooth approval...

It May Be Closing Time For British Beer Consumer Group’s Pub Complaint

Posted  10/29/09
British antitrust authorities may be telling CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) that it’s closing time for its complaint charging beer prices have increased due to lack of pub competition, but the consumer group isn’t going home quietly. CAMRA is asking Lord Mandelson, Britain’s Secretary of State for Business, to refer its complaint to the Competition Commission, following the October 22, 2009, announcement...

Antitrust Foresight Brings Speedy EU Approval Of Merck’s Acquisition Of Schering-Plough

Posted  10/28/09
The European Commission’s smooth approval of Merck & Co.’s $41 billion acquisition of rival Schering-Plough Corp. could be a textbook example of how parties to a merger or acquisition can get speedy clearance by anticipating – and remedying – antirust enforcers’ likely objections at the start. One might have expected the union of these two heavyweights – which, if completed, will create the world’s...

European Commission Asks If New Ballot Can Depose Microsoft Internet Explorer

Posted  10/14/09
Anyone who doubts that ballot design can change the course of the world needs to revisit the infamous Butterfly Ballot’s pivotal role in George Bush’s unusual path to the U.S. presidency. Perhaps realizing the decisive effects ballot design can have, the European Commission is seeking comments on a proposed Microsoft Web Browser Ballot that could weaken Microsoft Internet Explorer’s global domination. The...

European Union On Verge Of Swinging Class Action Hammer

Posted  10/6/09
While the antitrust class action is historically an American enforcement tool, the European Union is on the verge of pressing this powerful hammer into the hands of its member states. Under a draft EU Directive, state bodies and nonprofit organizations appointed by national governments would be able to bring class actions in national courts against companies that fix prices or abuse their dominant market share. ...
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