Bruce D. Sokler

Bruce D. Sokler

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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 Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

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 Healthcare Providers Hospital Mergers Non-Compete Agreements Physicians Sherman Act

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

Harm to Potential Competition Triggers FTC Merger Challenge

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”) filed an administrative complaint last week challenging the proposed $1.9 billion merger of Steris Corporation (“Steris”) and Synergy Health plc (“Synergy”), charging that...more

6/5/2015 - Corporate Counsel FTC Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Health Care Providers Horizontal Mergers Inversion Medical Devices Mergers

A Split FTC Accepts Fix-It-First Divestiture Remedy for Cigarette Merger

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) accepted on Tuesday from Reynolds American Inc. (“Reynolds”) and Lorillard Inc. (“Lorillard”), subject to final approval, a Consent Order settling the agency’s significant competitive...more

5/30/2015 - Acquisitions Antitrust Division Antitrust Investigations Consent Order Divestiture FTC FTCA Mergers Proposal for Settlement RJ Reynolds The Clayton Act Tobacco

FTC Flushes McWane in a Big Eleventh Circuit Exclusive Dealing Win

The situations where exclusive dealing policies, explicit or tied to an aggressive discounting program, cross the line under the rule-of-reason remain far from clear. Because it involved appellate review of a Federal Trade...more

4/23/2015 - Appeals Distributors Exclusive Dealing Agreements FTC Manufacturers Monopolization

FTC Settles Radioactive Allegations Against Cardinal Health with a Near Record-Breaking Disgorgement Agreement

In a 3-2 decision, as part of its aggressive antitrust enforcement in health care industries, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or the Commission) announced that Cardinal Health, Inc. (Cardinal) agreed to pay $26.8 million to...more

4/22/2015 - Antitrust Litigation Cardinal Health Disgorgement Enforcement Actions FTC Healthcare Healthcare Providers Pharmaceutical Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Price Manipulation

Hospital Wins First Round Against Largest Rival in Antitrust Suit Alleging Illegal Exclusive Dealing Agreements with Insurers

The waves of change affecting health care providers include reimbursement and funding developments, the impact of the Affordable Care Act, technological and medical advances, provider network design transformations imposed by...more

3/31/2015 - Affordable Care Act Antitrust Litigation Antitrust Provisions Exclusive Dealing Agreements FTC Health Care Providers Health Insurance Healthcare Hospitals

FTC Looks to Accelerate Oncology Drug Growth by Requiring Novartis to Divest Two Protein Inhibitors in Its Clinical Development...

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) on Monday completed its review of Novartis AG’s (“Novartis”) proposed $16 billion acquisition of GlaxoSmithKline’s (“GSK”) oncology drug portfolio with an announced consent decree that...more

3/2/2015 - Divestiture FTC GlaxoSmithKline Novartis Pharmaceutical Patents Prescription Drugs

No Active State Supervision, No Antitrust Immunity for North Carolina State Dental Board

On February 25, 2015, in a 6-3 decision authored by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court upheld the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) decision finding that the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners (Board), although a state...more

2/27/2015 - Anti-Competitive Antitrust Litigation Dentists FTC Governmental Immunity Immunity NC Board of Dental Examiners v FTC SCOTUS State Action Immunity

DOJ Releases Electrifying New Guidance on Standard-Essential Patent Policy

The Department of Justice (the “Department” or “DOJ”) continued its multi-pronged defense of standards-setting organizations (SSOs) who adopt patent policies to prevent hold-up during licensing negotiations. Last week’s...more

2/12/2015 - DOJ FTC IEEE ITC New Guidance Patents RAND Standard Essential Patents USPTO

Ninth Circuit Affirms FTC’s Challenge to Hospital-Physician Group Merger, While Rejecting Efficiencies and Health Care Quality...

In a much anticipated appellate health care antitrust decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a district court’s finding that a consummated hospital-physician group merger violated Section 7...more

2/12/2015 - Antitrust Litigation FTC Healthcare Hospital Mergers Hospitals Physicians St. Luke's The Clayton Act

FTC and DOJ to Host Second Public Workshop on Health Care Competition

Last March, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) began a public workshop series entitled, “Examining Health Care Competition.” On February 24 and 25, 2015, the FTC will physically host the...more

1/27/2015 - Affordable Care Act Antitrust Provisions Competition DOJ FTC Health Care Providers Healthcare Market Participants

FTC Announces Annual Revision to HSR Jurisdictional Thresholds

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 15, 2015 increased jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act)....more

1/16/2015 - FTC Hart-Scott-Rodino Act Premerger Notifications Threshhold Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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