Franchise Antitrust & Trade Regulation

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Franchise issues written by leading professionals.
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Franchise Opportunities: One Size Does Not Fit All

Purchasing a franchise opportunity has become a popular means of pursuing a new business venture. The idea of joining an established group and utilizing a recognized brand can offer an added level of comfort when going into...more

Sixth Circuit Tri County Decision Provides Much-Needed Clarity on “Successor” Provision in Ohio Franchise Law

I attach a copy of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in Tri County Wholesale Distributors v. Labatt USA Operating Company, Nos. 15-3710/3769 (6th Cir., July 6, 2016). For students of the...more

What Does Brexit Mean for Franchisors?

The coming negotiation over the specifics of the UK’s departure from the EU is an unfortunate necessity that follows from the UK’s unfortunate “leave” vote on June 23, 2016. It is too early to know what the relationship...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 265-Managing Supply Chain Risk, Part I-with Jared Connors [Video]

In this episode I begin a multi-part series with Jared Connors on how to manage your supply chain risk. ...more

Competition News May 2016

Divesture commitments in a merger operation: reminder to maintain the profitability of the transferred business - On April 19, 2016, the French Competition Authority (FCA) once again punished the failure to respect the...more

Top tips for franchisors entering Australia

The franchising industry is projected to post annualised growth of 2.8 per cent over the next five years according to a recent report by IBIS World – one of the leading industry researchers operating in that market. The...more

Having The “Are You Operating an (Illegal) Franchise System Without Knowing It?” Conversation

Franchising laws are very broad in scope and may inadvertently encroach upon standard licensing or distribution agreements. The repercussions for operating an illegal (or more likely inadvertent) franchise system can be very...more

Arbitration Provision Rejected in Franchise Dispute

In Case Del Caffe Vergnano SPA v. ItalFlavors, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that the court, not an arbitration tribunal, could review a franchise contract and determine it was a sham, based upon a second contract signed...more

CMA encourages increased competition in Britain’s rail sector

On 8 March 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published a policy document recommending that the government overhaul the currently franchised rail system. 99% of Britain’s trains presently run under...more

What’s an FPR?

Every franchise buyer wants to know how much money he or she can make from the franchised business. Franchise sellers naturally want to answer that question in order to make the sale. But many say that they cannot give...more

What’s a Biz Op?

What’s a business opportunity or, as we often say, a “biz op”? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates biz op sales under its authority to regulate unfair or deceptive trade practices. The FTC’s definition of a business...more

The Marriott-Starwood merger – Is bigger really better? Impact of the merger on hotel owners, franchisees and developers

The proposed merger between Marriott and Starwood will, by all accounts, create a behemoth in the hotel industry. If the merger goes through as planned, the combined company will be the world’s largest hotel company, with...more

The Competition and Markets Authority's consultation on "Competition in passenger rail services in Great Britain" - On 17 July...

On 17 July 2015, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its consultation document regarding competition in passenger rail services in Great Britain. This followed its announcement in January that it intended to...more

What’s an Exclusive Territory?

The extent of a franchisee’s territorial rights is the subject of Item 12 of the franchise disclosure document (FDD). One of the questions franchisors must address in Item 12 is whether the territory is exclusive....more

FTC settles with two companies over misrepresentations of safe harbor compliance

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced last week that it is settling investigations against American International Mailing, Inc. and TES Franchising LLC alleging that each were misrepresenting to consumers that they...more

Traditional Franchise And Beer Distribution Relationships: A Legal Comparison

Beer distribution laws differ from traditional franchise laws in many ways, but the two regimes do share some commonalities. As a matter of fact, many states now regulate the relationship between those who brew or import beer...more

The ACCC's hunt for franchisors starts with AU$500,000 penalty

In a wakeup call for franchisors, the Federal Court earlier this week imposed an AU$500,000 penalty on South East Melbourne Cleaning Pty Ltd (formerly Coverall Cleaning Concepts South Easy Melbourne Pty Ltd) (Coverall) for...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Accidental Franchises in Industries Not Typically Associated With Franchising

Almost everyone recognizes the nation's most prominent franchises: McDonald's, Domino's, Hilton or 7-Eleven, to name a few. And business people are becoming aware that arrangements that look like franchises, but are...more

Navigating the Cyber Liability Storm - Part II

Franchisors are facing a precarious three-way intersection of increased accountability and regulation over consumer privacy, the growing volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks on consumer data, and the expanding...more

Navigating the Cyber Liability Storm Part I

Franchisors are facing a precarious three-way intersection of increased accountability and regulation over consumer privacy, the growing volume and sophistication of cyber-attacks on consumer data, and the expanding...more

Employer Threatened with Legal Action Over Broad Use of Non-Competition Agreements

On their face, post-employment non-competition agreements seem like a great idea. What employer wouldn’t want to keep their employees from jumping to a competitor? However, one employer’s experience with broad use of such...more

Georgia Court of Appeals rules franchisees can assert claims for relief under Georgia’s tort statute for violating the FTC...

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently upheld a judgment entered on a jury verdict against a franchisor for violating the Federal Trade Commission’s Franchise Rule, 16 CFR Parts 436 and 437 (the FTC Rule), finding that the FTC...more

Pecuniary Penalties Introduced For Breaches Of The Franchising Code Of Conduct

Introduction Of Civil Pecuniary Penalties - The Government has now passed legislation which will allow pecuniary penalties and infringement notices as remedies for breaches of the Franchising Code of Conduct...more

Lines Drawn In Tesla Direct Sales Battle

Elon Musk's battle to sell Teslas directly to consumers continues. In the last five months, the governors and legislatures of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and, now, even the White House, have taken stands on whether or not...more

Breach of the Australian Franchising Code to result in fines

As foreshadowed by the Coalition Government earlier this year (see our previous update), penalties for breach of the Franchising Code of Conduct (Franchising Code) are to be introduced....more

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