Bruce D. Sokler

Bruce D. Sokler

Mintz Levin

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DOJ Antitrust Enforcers Take to the Bully Pulpit on Prosecuting Antitrust Crimes and Antitrust Compliance Programs

In recent years, antitrust criminal enforcement efforts have increased around the world. These efforts focus mainly on cartels — which the Supreme Court calls “the supreme evil of antitrust” — that conspire to fix prices, rig...more

9/15/2014 - Antitrust Litigation Compliance DOJ Enforcement Enforcement Actions

No Bones About It: Tenth Circuit Permits Narrowest Market Definition and Raises the Bar for an Entry Defense When Reinstating...

On August 5, 2014, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated claims of monopolization and attempted monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act brought by a manufacturer of surgical bone mills against a competitor. ...more

8/12/2014 - Corporate Counsel

Antitrust and Health Care: An Update from the Federal Trade Commission

The interplay between the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and antitrust has been a matter of great moment for several years. It has been an issue in litigation such as the Federal Trade...more

6/26/2014 - ACOs Affordable Care Act Antitrust Litigation Antitrust Provisions FTC Healthcare Healthcare Reform St. Luke's

DOJ Revisits Music Royalty Consent Decrees

From cassette tapes to CDs to Pandora and Spotify, innovations in the music field over the past two decades have drastically changed how people access music. Songwriters, however, are paid according to a system that has been...more

6/7/2014 - Antitrust Division ASCAP BMI Consent Decrees Copyright Digital Assets DOJ Licensing Rights Music Industry Pandora Popular Public Performance Rights Publishing Copyrights Royalties Sound Recording Copyrights

Federal Trade Commission Extends In re Polygram’s “Inherently Suspect” Anticompetitive Analysis to Endorsements

The Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) recent settlement with ski manufacturers Marker Volkl (International) GmbH (“Marker Volkl”) and Tecnica S.p.A. (“Tecnica”) continues to expand the scope of “inherently suspect” business...more

5/29/2014 - DOJ Enforcement Actions FTC Manufacturers Settlement Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

Antitrust Hospital Merger Policy Gets a Judicial Boost — Sixth Circuit Upholds FTC Decision Challenging Hospital Merger

In a highly anticipated decision, the federal antitrust agencies’ reinvigorated hospital merger enforcement efforts received a boost when, for the first time this century, an appellate court upheld a Federal Trade Commission...more

4/24/2014 - FTC Hospitals Mergers

Busting Brackets: District Court Rejects NCAA’s Summary Judgment Motion and Allows Student-Athletes’ Suit for Publicity...

Nearly five years into the lawsuit, a District Court denied defendant NCAA’s summary judgment motion, and ordered that the antitrust claims of current and former student-athletes denied compensation for the commercial use of...more

4/21/2014 - Antitrust Litigation Antitrust Provisions College Athletes NCAA Sherman Act

Is 4-3 the New 3-2? FTC Continues to Target Pharmaceutical Mergers

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) has often stated that merger analysis requires more than a simplistic determination that high market concentration leads to anticompetitive effects. Still, the antitrust...more

4/17/2014 - Anti-Competitive Antitrust Litigation FTC Mergers Pharmaceutical

FTC Cautions States against Overbroad Regulation of Nurse Practitioners in Continued Effort to Promote Expanded Roles for...

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a well-established role in promoting competition in the health care industry through enforcement, study and advocacy. To that end, the agency actively urges the opening of health care...more

3/13/2014 - FTC Healthcare Nurses

FTC Successfully Obtains Divestiture of Physician Group Previously Acquired by Hospital System

In a significant groundbreaking victory, on January 24, 2014 after a bench trial, an Idaho federal district court judge upheld the FTC’s antitrust challenge to a hospital system’s (St. Luke’s) acquisition of a multispecialty...more

1/31/2014 - Acquisitions Antitrust Litigation Divestiture FTC Healthcare Hospitals

FTC Announces Annual HSR Thresholds Revision

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 17, 2014 increased jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act)....more

1/20/2014 - Filing Deadlines Filing Fees FTC Hart-Scott-Rodino Act

Sixth Circuit Spoils Milk Processor’s Win by Reinstating Class Action Alleging Conspiracy to Restrict Milk Supply

The Sixth Circuit recently revived an antitrust class action alleging a conspiracy between a processed milk bottler, a raw milk supplier and a raw milk processor to restrict milk supply in violation of Section 1 of the...more

1/9/2014 - Antitrust Litigation Class Action Conspiracies Sherman Act

Is There a Maverick in the House? The FTC’s Resolution of the Fidelity National Financial – Lender Processing Services Deal ...

Under the antitrust merger guidelines, a maverick is a firm “that plays a disruptive role in the market to the benefit of customers.” In Washington political circles, a maverick often refers to a politician that does not hew...more

1/8/2014 - Compliance Enforcement Actions Fidelity Bank FTC Lenders Mergers

What a Difference 16 Years Can Make: FTC Approves Merger Between Office Superstore Giants Office Depot and OfficeMax

In 1997, most people thought of Amazon.com as mainly an online bookseller, you couldn't buy groceries at Wal-Mart or Target, and if you wanted floppy disks, VHS tapes, or a fax machine, you drove to your local Staples,...more

11/6/2013 - Antitrust Litigation Enforcement Actions FTC Mergers

A Book on Books: SDNY Issues 160-Page Opinion Declaring that Apple Violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by Conspiring to Raise...

On July 10, 2013, 15 months after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its suit against Apple Inc. (Apple) and five major publishers for allegedly conspiring to raise e-book prices and end e-book retailers’ freedom to...more

7/16/2013 - Apple Conspiracies e-Books Price-Fixing Publishers Sherman Act

Supreme Court Holds That Reverse Payment Patent Settlements Are Subject to Antitrust Scrutiny

For over a decade, the antitrust enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission have challenged the type of patent settlement where a brand-name drug manufacturer pays a prospective generic manufacturer to settle patent...more

6/24/2013 - Actavis Inc. FTC FTC v Actavis Generic Drugs Pay-For-Delay Pharmaceutical Prescription Drugs Reverse Payment Settlement Agreements SCOTUS Settlement

Fourth Circuit Holds State Agencies Operated by Market Participants Are Private Actors for State Action Purposes

On May 31, 2013, the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion upholding the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) determination that the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners (Board) illegally expelled non-dentists from the teeth...more

6/12/2013 - Competition Dentists FTC Market Participants Restraint of Trade State Action Doctrine

FTC Voids Confidentiality and Non-Compete Provisions in Non-Reportable Transaction and Requires Notification of All Future...

Merger agreements often contain ancillary provisions that seem acceptable to the parties in the context of what they are obtaining from the transaction—and those provisions often do not get a hard look by antitrust legal...more

4/8/2013 - Competition Confidentiality Agreements FTC Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Non-Compete Agreements Notice Requirements

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Unforeseeability Bars Immunity Defense for Allegedly Anticompetitive Hospital Merger

On February 19, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that state-action immunity does not protect a state-created hospital authority from antitrust scrutiny over a proposed hospital merger where the anticompetitive...more

2/22/2013 - Acquisitions FTC FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System Government Entities Governmental Immunity Governmental Liability Hospital Mergers Hospitals Monopolization SCOTUS

FTC Issues Favorable Clinical Integration Advisory Opinion to Norman, Oklahoma PHO

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), much attention has been paid to the antitrust treatment of Accountable Care Organizations, provider ventures contemplated by the ACA that the Federal Trade Commission and...more

2/15/2013 - Advisory Opinions Affordable Care Act Clinical Integration FTC Joint Contracting Norman Physician Association Physician Hospital Organizations Rule-of-Reason Analysis

DOJ Assistant Attorney General William Baer’s First Merger Challenge Confirms Continued Aggressive Merger Enforcement by Antitrust...

On January 31, 2013, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed its first lawsuit challenging a merger under newly sworn-in Assistant Attorney General, William J. Baer. Both the facts and circumstances...more

2/5/2013 - Anheuser-Busch DOJ Enforcement Mergers

DOJ Approves Greater New York Hospital Association’s Proposed Gainsharing Program

On January 16, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) announced that it does not presently intend to challenge the Greater New York Hospital Association’s (“GNYHA”) proposed gainsharing program. The program...more

1/31/2013 - Anti-Competitive DOJ Gainsharing Hospitals

FTC Announces Annual HSR Thresholds Adjustments

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 10, 2013 increased jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act)....more

1/15/2013 - Exemptions Filing Fees FTC Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Notifications Pre-Merger Filing Requirements

FTC Commissioners Disagree on Limits of Section 5 Applicability to Conduct Not Otherwise Covered by Antitrust Laws

The balancing of antitrust enforcement with intellectual property protections is often controversial. Equally controversial is identifying the outer limit of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act as it may apply to...more

12/3/2012 - FTC Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

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