General Business Antitrust & Trade Regulation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
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Sixth Circuit Clarifies Proof Required To Show Below-Cost Pricing in Antitrust Case

A recent Sixth Circuit decision clarified the minimum standard a plaintiff must meet to prove a claim of below-cost pricing under either the concerted or independent antitrust provisions of the Sherman Act. In Superior...more

Anatomy of a Provider-Merger Antitrust Challenge (Part 6)

This is the concluding installment of a six-part series discussing the Federal Trade Commission's challenges to provider mergers. Following the initial Introduction and Background (Part 1), the series discusses The Need for...more

Choppy Seas for Companies Falsely Claiming Compliance with U.S.-EU Safe Harbor

Ensuring and maintaining compliance with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor principles should be a priority for U.S. entities receiving personal data relating to EU residents, in no small part to avoid the FTC leveling the charge and...more

ICA's sector enquiry on the dairy industry

On 5 May 2015, the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") decided to launch a sector inquiry into the dairy sector. As recently reported by the President of the ICA in its annual hearing at the Senate on 13 May 2015,...more

DOJ Criminal Cartel Enforcement: Six-Month Summary, Part II

This is the second installment in our coverage of the DOJ’s recent criminal cartel enforcement actions. Over the last six months, more than fifty individuals have pleaded guilty as a result of the DOJ’s antitrust...more

FTC Lobbies Michigan Legislature to Repeal Ban On Direct-to-Consumer Sale of Motor Vehicles by Auto Manufacturers

On May 11, the FTC released a statement regarding the agency staff’s May 7 letter to Michigan Senator Booher, which concerns pending SB 268 – an act to regulate the sale and servicing of automobiles. The proposed legislation...more

Dealer Advertising: No More Excuses

There are no more excuses. Dealers have seen all the ongoing and very recent announcements from the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) imposing millions of dollars in fines, cease and desist orders, and promises by dealers not...more

Fit to Be Tied: Appeals Court Redefines Tying Arrangements Based on Bundled Pricing

Corporate antitrust compliance programs often spotlight the dangers of tying arrangements. Those risks arise when a seller with a dominant position in one product coerces its customers by offering that must-have product only...more

California Supreme Court Details Antitrust Analysis of "Reverse Payment" Patent Settlements

Last week, in In re Cipro Cases I & II, Case No. S198616, the Supreme Court of California adopted the United States Supreme Court's application of the Rule of Reason to the antitrust analysis of so-called "reverse payment"...more

European Commission Antitrust Inquiry Set to Create Level Playing Field in E-Commerce

On May 6, 2015, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager announced that the European Commission (EC) competition directorate plans to conduct an 18-month "sector inquiry" into e-commerce. The inquiry will...more

Six-Month DOJ Criminal Cartel Summary, Part I: Auto Parts

Today we bring you the first part of our second biennial update on DOJ criminal actions in the cartel area. This has been a busy six months for the Antitrust Division, so we are breaking this update up into installments. ...more

California Supreme Court Delineates a Structured Rule of Reason Analysis for Evaluating Reverse Payment or Pay-for-Delay...

On May 7, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in In re Cipro Cases I & II, Case No. S198616 (May 7, 2015) (Cipro). Cipro holds that reverse payment settlements can be challenged under...more

EU Investigating Geo-Blocking of Online Video Games

On May 6, 2015, the European Competition Commission released a new Digital Single Market Plan, and simultaneously launched a broad antitrust investigation into e-commerce. The DSM plan, consisting of sixteen proposals, seeks...more

DOJ Sets its Sights on Antitrust Violations in the E-Commerce Marketplace

The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (Antitrust Division) continues to intensify and expand criminal enforcement of the antitrust laws. The results speak for themselves. In fiscal year 2014, the Antitrust...more

Following Actavis, California Supreme Court Crafts “Structured Rule of Reason” Test for Evaluating Pay-for-Delay Settlements

Last Thursday the Supreme Court of California decided In re Cipro Cases I & II, No. S198616 (Cal. May 7, 2015), holding that reverse payment, or “pay-for-delay,” settlements can be challenged as unreasonable restraints on...more

The French Competition Authority Updates its Leniency Program

Last month, the French Competition Authority (“the Authority”) updated the “Procedural Notice” for its leniency program. As in the U.S., the French leniency program allows enterprises that report cartel activity and cooperate...more

FTC Actions Highlight Pitfalls for Failing to Comply with the International Safe Harbor Privacy Frameworks

The Federal Trade Commission recently agreed to settle claims against two companies alleging that the companies were not abiding by the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor international privacy framework. While the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor...more

Online hotel booking: less room for MFN clauses

On 21 April 2015 the Italian, Swedish and French competition authorities announced the achievement of a settlement with Booking.com, at the time under investigation for having included in its agreement with partner hotels...more

U.S. Supreme Court Lets Natural Gas Act Preemption Seep Away

In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., No. 13-271 (April 21, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 7-2 opinion that state law antitrust claims against defendant natural gas pipeline companies did not fall within the field of...more

Iowa Supreme Court Affirms Ruling for Health Insurer in Antitrust Dispute

In late February, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling in Mueller v. Wellmark, ending a seven year battle over whether the health insurer’s agreement with employers operating “self-funded” insurance plans to...more

Insurance Antitrust Legal News: Volume 4, Number 3

Auto Insurers Again Seek Dismissal of In Re Auto Body Shop Antitrust Litigation - In early March, the auto insurer defendants in the In re Auto Body Shop Antitrust Litigation renewed their motions seeking the dismissal...more

European Competition Law Newsletter – May 2015

On 15 April 2015, the European Commission (EC) sent a Statement of Objections (preliminary statement of case) to Google alleging the company has abused its dominant position in the markets for general internet search services...more

CPAs Need to Sharpen Awareness of IT Threats

In the most recent “North America Top Technology Initiatives Survey Results,” CPAs responding to the poll ranked “securing the IT environment” as the number-one priority, followed by “managing and retaining data,” “ensuring...more

A Primer on FTC Expectations for Your Partner and Vendor Relationships: Enforcement Shows You Are Your Brother’s Keeper

With all of the privacy and data security enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission in recent years, and with all of the guidance distributed by the FTC in that time frame, it is easy to get caught up in...more

All or Nothing: Federal Court Decides Exclusion from ‘Some’ Patients Insufficient for Refusal to Deal Claim

A federal district court in the Eighth Circuit dismissed claims brought against a physician-hospital organization and an insurer alleging that the defendants violated federal antitrust laws by refusing to deal with certain...more

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