General Business Antitrust & Trade Regulation Communications & Media

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

2 for 1—Private and Government Actions Regarding Price Comparisons

Amazon made recent news for pricing items without stating a list price or whether an article was on sale or was offered at a discounted cost. The policy was based on the idea that Amazon's numerous Prime members would buy...more

Digital Single Market Update: European Commission Concludes No New Regulation for Online Platforms

Online platforms have transformed the way we live and work and, as a result, platform operators have become some of the world’s leading brands. But the EU is concerned that Europe is not currently keeping pace with the U.S....more

Court Denies Uber Motion to Compel Arbitration of Class Antitrust Claims Because Mobile App’s Terms of Service Were Inconspicuous

Late last week, influential federal judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York denied a motion to compel arbitration of an antitrust class action complaint pending against ride-hailing pioneer Uber Technologies....more

European Commission accepts Paramount Pictures' commitments as part of its ongoing investigation into the major US film studios

On 26 July 2016, the European Commission announced its acceptance of certain commitments by Paramount Pictures relating to the ongoing investigation into licensing agreements between the six major US film studios (Disney,...more

FTC Consent Order Creates Uncertainty for Advertising of Credit, Lease Offers

A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consent order with two Ohio auto dealers creates uncertainty not only for auto dealers, but also for all other businesses advertising credit or lease offers. The order settled...more

EU & Competition Law Update – June 2016

BREXIT – BUSINESS AS USUAL...AT LEAST FOR NOW - What do you need to know? Despite the UK's vote to leave the European Union ("EU"), companies doing business in the UK can still continue to trade with the EU in...more

FTC Increases Maximum Civil Penalties for HSR Act, COPPA, and Other Violations from $16,000 to $40,000

On June 30, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an interim final rule that substantially increases the maximum civil penalties for violations of the competition and consumer protection laws enforced by the FTC...more

FTC Penalties Will More Than Double in August

Wages may be stagnant in the United States, but one thing on the rise is the price of getting on the wrong side of the Federal Trade Commission. Effective August 1, 2016, the maximum civil penalty dollar amount for...more

European Commission moves to restrict geoblocking

On 25 May 2016 the European Commission published draft legislation aimed at restricting the use of geoblocking and similar practices by websites selling to into the European Union. The European Commission has published a...more

The FTC’s Analysis of Lord & Taylor’s Social Media Marketing Campaign

New ways of monetizing digital media has brought challenges in regulating advertising. The FTC has recently issued guidelines to provide businesses and advertisers with insights as to how to comply with the FTC Act. Despite...more

FCC Issues Tariff Investigation Order and NPRM Which Proposes to Substantially Revise and Expand the Regulation of Business Data...

In May 2016, the FCC moved forward with its decade-overdue reform of the $45 Billion per year dedicated business data services (“BDS”) market. BDS providers, including major incumbent telecommunications companies and now even...more

EU & Competition Law Update – May 2016

The beginning of the end for national TV boundaries? On 22 April 2016, the European Commission ("EC") invited industry comment on the commitments proposed by Paramount Pictures International Limited ("Paramount") in...more

Changes in Requirements of Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act: Option to Provide Warranty Terms Online Pursuant to E-Warranty Act of 2015

Manufacturers of consumer products sold in the United States should be aware that recent changes in the federal statute governing consumer product warranties allow for more flexibility in how manufacturers can satisfy their...more

The beginning of the end for national TV boundaries?

On 22 April 2016, the European Commission (“EC”) invited industry comment on the commitments proposed by Paramount Pictures International Limited (“Paramount”) in response to concerns raised by the EC. The EC’s concerns were...more

Automotive Law Group News: Appellate Court Win for Massachusetts State Auto Dealers Association

Murtha Cullina's automotive industry team achieved a victory on behalf of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association on March 17, 2016 when the Massachusetts Appeals Court voted unanimously to affirm the dismissal...more

News Flash: An Agreement Between Competitors to Limit Advertising/Marketing Violates the Antitrust Laws

For the second time in less than a year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an antitrust complaint against hospital systems that agreed to not advertise on billboards or in print in each other’s home county. Last...more

European Commission Publishes E-commerce Geo-Blocking Inquiry Findings

The European Commission (the executive of the EU) recently published the initial findings of its e-commerce inquiry, an investigative process conducted to determine whether and to what extent competition is being restricted...more

When Is Natural Unnatural? When It’s Not: The Federal Trade Commission Takes Exception to “All Natural” Claims

In the 1975 song, “Natural Mystic,” legend Bob Marley sang “There’s a natural mystic blowing through the air – I won’t tell no lie.” Channeling Marley, the Federal Trade Commission recently took enforcement action against...more

FTC Puts Teeth into Native Ads Guidance: Lord & Taylor Settles Deceptive Ad Claim

Last week, fashion retailer Lord & Taylor reached a settlement with the FTC over its allegedly deceptive advertising campaign, the first such action since the FTC released its Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively...more

Market Definition Failure Dooms Golf Caddies’ Antitrust Class Action Against PGA Tour

An antitrust class action lawsuit brought by golf caddies against the Professional Golf Association will not be afforded a mulligan after a federal district court dismissed their complaint with prejudice. A putative class of...more

New York Times Questions Value of “List Prices”

This weekend, The New York Times ran an article on how the “list prices” displayed on many e-commerce sites have lost their meaning. The article starts with an example of a Le Creuset iron skillet. Although the author found...more

E-Commerce: National Competitions Authorities Weigh In on Sales Restrictions Regarding Online Marketplaces

In May 2015, the European Commission launched a two-year, industry-wide inquiry into the e-commerce sector to gather data on the functioning of e-commerce markets, so as to identify possible competition concerns. This sector...more

SWS/Kroger Category Management Program Toes the Line on “Tied House” Restrictions — TTB Ruling Raises as Many Questions as it...

On February 11, the TTB released ruling 2016-1 in response to beverage alcohol industry players and trade groups questioning an initiative by Kroger and Southern Wine & Spirits, which would reportedly require payment by...more

Can brands impose restrictions on key word advertising and online platforms?

Many retailers are faced with the question if and how they can restrict the ability of their re-sellers to purchase keywords in order to advertise and sell products online. A complete prohibition on keyword advertising may...more

Seventh Circuit Hears Argument in Clorox Appeal

This week, the Seventh Circuit heard argument in the Woodman’s Food Market v. Clorox Co. appeal. As members of our team have previously reported, this case concerns whether a plaintiff can state a claim under Section 2(e) of...more

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