Bruce D. Sokler

Bruce D. Sokler

Mintz Levin

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FTC Fashions Creative Remedy to Permit Presumptively Anticompetitive Merger for Financially Failing Medical Practice

The Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC” or “Commission”) has made its preference known for structural, rather than conduct, remedies when attempting to craft consent solutions in reviewing antitrust provocative mergers. In...more

10/11/2016 - FTC Health Care Providers Mergers Physicians Settlement

Big Summary Judgment Win for Hospital Defending $300M Exclusive Dealing Antitrust Suit

After fending off a motion for judgment on the pleadings in March 2015, a small hospital in Peoria, Illinois lost on summary judgment in its $300 million antitrust suit alleging illegal exclusive dealing and attempted...more

10/5/2016 - Antitrust Litigation Antitrust Provisions Blue Cross Blue Shield Exclusive Dealing Agreements FTC Health Care Providers Health Insurance Healthcare Hospitals Monopolization Summary Judgment

Second Circuit: “C” is for Comity; Price Fixing Judgement Against Chinese Vitamin C Sellers Reversed

Last week, in In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”) vacated a $147 million jury award against Chinese vitamin C sellers Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. and...more

9/27/2016 - Appeals Cartels China Damages Foreign Corporations Injunctive Relief Pharmaceutical Industry Price-Fixing Sherman Act

No Resuscitation of Hospital’s Exclusive Dealing Antitrust Suit against Competing Hospitals and Physicians

The Third Circuit reminds, “[i]n antitrust suits, definitions matter.” Last week, in applying that maxim, the court affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a suit filed by a hospital against a competing hospital and physician...more

8/24/2016 - Anti-Competitive Antitrust Violations Evidence Exclusive Dealing Agreements Genuine Issue of Material Fact Hospitals Pharmacies Sherman Act

Second Circuit: Aluminum End Users Lack Antitrust Standing; Price Manipulation Claims Against Traders and Warehouses Foiled

Last week, in In re Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust Litigation, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”) rejected a claim by certain downstream end-users of aluminum that their price manipulation...more

8/16/2016 - Antitrust Violations Civil Conspiracy Class Action Consumer Protection Act Derivatives Dismissals End-Users Injury-in-Fact Market Participants Price Manipulation Price-Fixing Purchasers Standing Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

Activist Investor to Pay Record Fine for Violating HSR Reporting Requirements

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced this week that an activist investment manager has agreed to pay a record $11 million to settle allegations that it violated the requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust...more

7/14/2016 - Baker Hughes Corporate Counsel DOJ Enforcement Actions FTC Halliburton Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Investment Funds Investment-Only Exemption Investors Popular Reporting Requirements

DOJ and NC File Antitrust Suit Challenging Anti-Steering Restrictions in Payor Contracts

A popular weapon used to contain health care expenditures is the creation by payors and employers of tiered provider networks, which by differentiated co-pays attempt to steer insureds to less expensive choices. In...more

6/13/2016 - Anti-Steering Rules Antitrust Violations Competition DOJ Hospitals Most-Favored Nations Preferred Hospital Networks Arrangement Sherman Act

Federal Court Relies on “Evolving Landscape of Health Care” Post-Affordable Care Act to Reject FTC Challenge to Hospital Merger

Judge takes “the healthcare world as it is, and not as the FTC wishes it to be.” “We find it no small irony that the same federal government under which the FTC operates has created a climate that virtually compels...more

5/12/2016 - Affordable Care Act Antitrust Litigation FTC Hospital Mergers Preliminary Injunctions

FTC Settles Monopolization Charges Stemming from Contract Exclusivity Terms Used by First-to-Market Medical Polymer Maker

The mere possession of monopoly power does not violate federal antitrust laws. The laws only address the anticompetitive acquisition, maintenance, or abuse of that power. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) entered into a...more

4/29/2016 - Abuse of Power Anticompetitive Agreements Competition Consent Order FTC FTC Act Medical Devices Monopolization Product Exclusivity Section 5

Court Denies Class Cert. in NCAA Antitrust Suit

The NCAA scored a victory last week with the denial of class certification in an antitrust suit challenging the association’s former ban on multiyear scholarships (the “One Year Rule”) and its cap on scholarships (the “GIA...more

4/4/2016 - Antitrust Litigation Ascertainable Class Athletes Class Certification Class Representatives Injunctive Relief NCAA Scholarships Standing

Sixth Circuit Finds Possibility of Conspiracy Among Hospital Network Members

The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday voted 2 to 1 to reverse a district court’s grant of summary judgment under which a defendant hospital network had been found to be a single entity incapable of conspiring with itself in an...more

3/26/2016 - Anticompetitive Behavior Conspiracies Hospitals Joint Operating Agreement Monopolization Reversal Sherman Act Single Entity Rule

New Class Action Filed Challenging NCAA’S Scholarship Caps and Transfer Rules

In the latest chapter in the litigation wars against college athletics, on March 8, 2016, another antitrust class action was filed against the NCAA in its “home court,” the United States Southern District of Indiana. This...more

3/10/2016 - Antitrust Violations Class Action College Athletes Football NCAA Scholarships Transfer Restrictions

Rodeo Associations Fail to Wrangle Each Other in First Round of Antitrust Class Action: District Court Denies Plaintiffs’...

An upstart rodeo association, created and owned by professional rodeo cowboys, challenged that its competitor’s bylaws aimed at the new association and its participants constituted agreements that unreasonably restrain trade...more

2/9/2016 - Antitrust Litigation Bylaws Class Action Monopolization Motion to Dismiss Preliminary Injunctions Sherman Act

FTC Increases HSR Jurisdictional Thresholds

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 21, 2016 increased jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act)....more

1/25/2016 - Federal Register Filing Fees FTC Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Jurisdiction Premerger Notifications Statutory Waiting Period

FTC Sets Berks County’s Broken Orthopedic Market

Keystone Orthopaedic Specialists, LLC (“Keystone”), and Orthopaedic Associates of Reading, Ltd. (“OA”) reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission last week that they had violated the antitrust laws through the...more

10/21/2015 - Anti-Competitive Competition Consent Decrees Enforcement Actions FTC Hiring & Firing Joint Contracting Market Power Physicians

FTC Merger Challenge Based on Harm to Potential Competition Rejected by District Court

In what has become rare of late, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) suffered a litigation loss in a merger case with a district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction to block the deal pending administrative litigation....more

9/28/2015 - Competition FTC Injunctive Relief Preliminary Injunctions The Clayton Act

Kissing Camels Antitrust Suit Against Health System Moves Past Another Hump in the Road

In June, an antitrust suit brought by plaintiff ambulatory surgery centers (“ASCs”) against a health system, health insurers, and a trade association survived a motion to dismiss. Last week, the ASCs’ case cleared the hump of...more

9/3/2015 - Ambulatory Surgery Centers Anti-Competitive Antitrust Conspiracies False Statements Insurance Industry Joint Venture Leave to Amend Monopolization Motion for Summary Judgment Sherman Act Trade Associations

Investment Fund Violates “Investment-Only” HSR Exemption

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”), the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed this week in federal court a proposed settlement to charges that an investment fund violated the...more

8/27/2015 - Board of Directors DOJ Enforcement Actions FTC Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Injunctive Relief Premerger Notifications Settlement Agreements Shareholders Third Point Yahoo!

Another FTC Conduct Case to Bolster Generic Drug Competition: Pharmaceuticals Charged with Illegal Non-Compete for Generic ADHD...

The Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC” or “Commission”) ever-expanding list of enforcement actions to preserve competition for generic pharmaceuticals just grew in a new direction. This week, two generic pharmaceutical...more

8/21/2015 - Consent Order Enforcement Actions FTC Generic Drugs Non-Compete Agreements Pharmaceutical Industry

Ninth Circuit Upholds Judge Robart’s RAND Determinations in Microsoft v. Motorola

Late last month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its much-anticipated decision in Microsoft v. Motorola, a breach of contract action brought by Microsoft alleging that Motorola violated its commitment to license its...more

8/17/2015 - Anti-Suit Injunctions Breach of Contract Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Damages ITC Licenses Microsoft Motorola Patent Infringement Patents RAND Standard Essential Patents

West Virginia AG Clears Merger Creating Second Largest Hospital Chain in the State with Conduct Remedy

The federal antitrust enforcement agencies have trumpeted their preferences for structural, as opposed to conduct, remedies as the solution to potentially anticompetitive mergers. In contrast, State Attorneys General have...more

8/3/2015 - Anticompetitive Agreements Antitrust Provisions Attorney Generals FTC Health Care Providers Hospital Mergers Non-Compete Agreements Physicians Sherman Act

EU Court Clarifies the Conditions Under Which Assertion of Standard-Essential Patents May Constitute Abuse of Market Dominance

Last week, in response to a request for a preliminary ruling by a German court hearing a patent infringement action brought by Huawei against ZTE, the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) took up the question of...more

7/24/2015 - Abuse of Dominance EU European Court of Justice (ECJ) FRAND Injunctive Relief Intellectual Property Protection Patent Infringement Patent Litigation Patents Popular Remedies Standard Essential Patents TFEU

Second Circuit Continues the Ebook Saga by Affirming Apple’s Role in an Unlawful Price Fixing Conspiracy

On June 30, 2015, the same day as the launch of Apple’s new streaming music service, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals coincidentally affirmed a district court ruling that Apple conspired with five of the country’s largest...more

7/9/2015 - Amazon Apple Collusion Corporate Counsel ebook Internet Retailers Most-Favored Nations Per Se Rule Price-Fixing Publishers Retailers Rule-of-Reason Analysis Sherman Act Young Lawyers

Divestiture Offer Fails to Save Merger Where FTC Wins on Market Definition Based on Customer Type

Eighteen months after the deal was first announced, Sysco Corporation (“Sysco”) and US Foods, Inc. (“USF”) abandoned their $3.5 billion merger following the Federal Trade Commission’s (the “FTC” or “Commission”) decisive...more

7/8/2015 - Corporate Counsel Distributors Divestiture Food Supply FTC Mergers Preliminary Injunctions Sysco Trucking Industry US Foods Young Lawyers

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