Consumer Protection Antitrust & Trade Regulation Mergers & Acquisitions

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Regulators Likely To Heavily Scrutinize Proposed Humana-Aetna Merger

At the beginning of the month, insurance companies Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. announced they would be pursuing a merger, with the former company acquiring the latter. Aetna, sources say, will be purchasing Humana for roughly...more

Guide To Doing Business in Australia: Competition and Consumer Protection (Updated)

COMPETITION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION - Australia has extensive competition and consumer laws dealing with, among other things, the promotion of competition and consumer protection. This section provides an introduction to...more

May Antitrust Bulletin

On April 27, 2015, Applied Materials Inc. and Tokyo Electron Ltd. abandoned their merger plans after facing pushback from the Department of Justice (DOJ). The merger, which has been pending since September 2013, would have...more

Oregon Federal Court Weighs In on Disputed Umbrella Theory of Damages

An Oregon federal court recently relied on the so-called umbrella theory of damages to decide that the plaintiffs had an antitrust injury necessary to pursue an injunction. While this decision has garnered attention for...more

FTC Advises That Mergers Don’t Eliminate Privacy Promises of Acquired Companies

The FTC recently posted comments on its business blog about the responsibility of companies to comply with privacy representations made to prior customers on how the companies will collect, use or disclose personal...more

Can Mergers Between Healthcare Providers in Different Markets Raise Antitrust Concerns? "Yes," Say Top Enforcers at FTC and DOJ

In reviewing mergers of healthcare providers, government antitrust enforcers have historically focused on horizontal mergers between competing providers—in particular, those that result in high market shares in a specific...more

FTC Merger Review Likely to Incorporate Analysis of Privacy Issues

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or the Commission), along with the U.S. Department of Justice, can challenge mergers it believes will result in a substantial lessening of competition – for example through higher prices,...more

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Nixes Hospital System Acquisition of Physician Practice Group: Preserving Competition Trumps Better...

On February 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (which covers Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii and Arizona) ordered St. Luke’s Health System, Ltd. (“St....more

Advertising Law - February 2015 #4

“Big Data” Mergers Should Trigger Regulatory Investigation, Groups Say - The Federal Trade Commission should take a closer look when companies with “big data” consolidate or merge, consumer groups recently...more

Ninth Circuit and Massachusetts Superior Court Release Important Antitrust Decisions

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and a Massachusetts Superior Court each recently released decisions dealing with alleged violations of antitrust prohibitions that implicate a number of important issues surrounding health...more

Divestiture of St. Luke's Acquisition Upheld Despite Transaction's "Laudable" Goals

On February 10, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) achieved a historic victory when a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a hospital's acquisition of a physician's group – the transaction challenged by the FTC – ran afoul...more

Divestiture of St. Luke's Acquisition Upheld Despite Transaction's "Laudable" Goals

On February 10, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) achieved a historic victory when a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a hospital's acquisition of a physician's group – the transaction challenged by the FTC – ran afoul...more

St. Luke's Health: Does Improving Patient Care Justify a Merger Under Antitrust Law? Ninth Circuit Says "No" and Orders...

Healthcare providers frequently consolidate to cut costs and improve patient care. These benefits can result from sharing administrative costs such as billing and electronic recordkeeping, eliminating excess capacity, better...more

DOJ Antitrust Head Stresses “Front-End Guidance” and Structural Remedies

Bill Baer, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the DOJ Antitrust Division, spoke about the DOJ’s antitrust enforcement priorities last Friday, February 6, at a speech in Miami. AAG Baer emphasized three priorities:...more

Takeaways from the Ninth Circuit’s Opinion Affirming the FTC’s Victory Against the St. Luke's/Saltzer Merger

On February 10, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that St. Luke’s Health System’s acquisition of the independent physician group Saltzer Medical Group violated...more

“Oh help me, please doctor, I’m damaged”*—What does the Future Hold for Hospital-Physician Acquisitions?

With the ink still drying on the Ninth Circuit’s opinion affirming the Idaho federal district court’s order requiring St. Luke’s Health System to unwind its acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group—a for-profit, physician-owned,...more

Ninth Circuit Sides with FTC; Affirms Ruling That Idaho Health Care Merger Was Unlawful

In a closely-watched post-merger challenge, the Ninth Circuit this week sided with the FTC and affirmed an Idaho federal court's determination that the 2012 merger of two health care providers in the same city violated...more

“And they’re closing all the factories down”* — Going Dark During a Merger Review

Demand in your industry has been declining for years, the decline is projected to continue for the foreseeable future, and you are one of the few cost-effective manufacturers around. You just inked a deal to buy a competing...more

ProMedica and the AHA Seek Guidance from SCOTUS on Hospital Consolidations and Mergers

The New Year started out with a bang in the healthcare antitrust circles with ProMedica Health Systems Inc.’s (“ProMedica”) well-publicized petition to the US Supreme Court and the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) amicus...more

Antitrust Reverse Termination Fees--2015 Update

This post updates one we did last May analyzing antitrust reverse breakup fees in public deals since January 1, 2005. An antitrust reverse termination fee (ARTF), sometimes called an antitrust reverse breakup fee, is a...more

Higher Filing Thresholds for HSR Act Premerger Notifications and Interlocking Directorates Announced

Higher Thresholds For HSR Filings - On January 15, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission announced revised, higher thresholds for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The...more

FTC Seeks Public Comments on Proposed Merger Study

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that it is seeking public comments on a proposed study of the effectiveness of the FTC’s orders in merger cases where it ordered a divestiture or other remedy....more

Antitrust-Related Recent Developments: DOJ settles gun-jumping case, FTC issues fines for failure to submit HSR filing and FTC...

DOJ fines particleboard manufacturers $4.95 million for gun-jumping violations - On Friday, November 7, 2014, two companies agreed to pay $4.95 million to settle U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) allegations that the...more

FTC Competition Priorities

FTC Commissioner Julie Brill discussed the agency’s competition and consumer protection priorities in her keynote address last Thursday at the ABA’s Antitrust Fall Forum at the National Press Club in Washington. Brill led off...more

FTC Letter is a Reminder for All M&A Deals

On April 10, 2014, Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, wrote a letter to both Facebook, Inc. and WhatsApp Inc. warning the companies that the FTC expects both companies to honor the privacy...more

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