Mergers & Acquisitions Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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Insurance Antitrust Newsletter - May 2016

Insurer Antitrust Exemption in Europe in Jeopardy - In the United States, the McCarran Ferguson Act provides insurers with an exemption from the federal antitrust laws. Enacted in 1945, the Act provides that conduct that...more

Tobacco Cases Expose Tension Between Antitrust and Public Health

A recent decision of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) regarding the sale of tobacco products highlights a long-standing tension between two sets of laws: antitrust/competition laws, which seek to keep products affordable...more

Premerger Notification Arrives in the Philippines

The Philippine Competition Commission has implemented compulsory merger control, while other Philippine antitrust provisions await full application. The world’s 12th most populous nation joins the global antitrust...more

EU: Merger case cleared following offer of FRAND technology license

On 20 April 2016, the European Commission (Commission) cleared, under its merger control rules, the acquisition of Equens and PaySquare by Worldline subject to, amongst others, a commitment to license technology to any...more

Getting the Deal Done - China, Semiconductors, and CFIUS

Investing in U.S. semiconductor sector companies has become an increasingly challenging task for Chinese investors as the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States—better known as CFIUS—has increased...more

Four Takeaways from the ABA Antitrust Section's 2016 Spring Meeting

Antitrust practitioners, enforcers and industry professionals came together in Washington, D.C. for the 64th installment of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law's annual Spring Meeting. The Spring Meeting provides a look at the...more

HSR Suit Between DOJ and ValueAct Offers Potential to Clarify "Investment-Only" Exemption

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had filed a civil antitrust complaint against investment fund ValueAct Capital, alleging that ValueAct improperly relied upon the "investment-only"...more

DOJ Suit Against ValueAct Shines Spotlight on HSR Requirements for Shareholder Activists

Suit signals potential consequences for activist investors who rely on the HSR “solely for purposes of investment” exemption. On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sued certain ValueAct Capital entities...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

Antitrust Lessons from Oil Giants’ Proposed Merger

In perhaps an unsurprising move, last week the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit challenging the merger of Halliburton and Baker Hughes, the first and third largest oilfield services companies in the...more

April Antitrust Bulletin

FTC Files No-AG Suit Against Pharmaceutical Companies - On March 30, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaintin the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against several drug...more

Activist Funds Should Heed the Latest Enforcement of the HSR Act

The limits on an investor’s ability to acquire stock under the “investment-only” exemption to the HSR Act’s reporting requirements take center stage as the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”)...more

When Passive Investors Take a Stand – HSR Act Enforcement Put to the Test

Enforcement actions for violations of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR) often are announced with substantial money penalties or other restrictions agreed in advance between the agency and the parties. Not so with the Department...more

ABA Antitrust Section’s Spring Meeting—What You Need to Know

The American Bar Association held its 64th annual Antitrust Law Spring Meeting April 5–8, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Over 3,000 practitioners, enforcers, economists and academics from around the world came together to discuss...more

Unusual Antitrust Agencies’ Guidance on Defense Mergers

The Department of Justice (Justice) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today issued an unusual joint statement that highlighted their continued commitment to preserve defense industry competition by closely reviewing...more

DOJ Sues to Block Halliburton's Purchase of Competitor Baker Hughes

Nearly a year and a half after the deal was announced, on April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) challenged Halliburton's proposed $35 billion acquisition of rival oilfield services provider Baker Hughes. The DOJ...more

Delegated Regulation under MAR Covering Indicators of Market Manipulation, Disclosure Thresholds, Trading During Closed Periods...

The European Commission’s Delegated Regulation supplementing the Market Abuse Regulation (Regulation 596/2014) (MAR) as regards an exemption for certain third countries’ public bodies and central banks, the indicators of...more

"Interpretation of Antitrust Exemption at Heart of DOJ Action Against ValueAct"

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (DOJ) filed a complaint against activist investor ValueAct Capital in California federal court, requesting a $19 million fine for violations of the...more

LSU Hospital Operator May Proceed with Antitrust Suit Against Competing Health System

The antitrust suit against Willis Knighton Medical Center will continue following the denial of its motion to dismiss. BRFHH Shreveport v. Willis Knighton Med. Ctr., case number 5:15-cv-02057 (W.D. La. Mar. 31, 2016). The...more

DAMITT: Is the Use of Upfront Buyers Causing Longer Merger Investigations? Q1 2016 Update Confirms 2015 Trends

The Trend of Longer Investigations Continues - Significant merger investigations lasted 9.5 months on average over the 12 months ending Q1 2016, about 20% longer than the 8.0 month average over the prior 12 months. The...more

Narrow Reading Of HSR Investment-Only Exemption Continues

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against activist investor ValueAct Capital. The DOJ asserts that ValueAct improperly relied on the “investment only” exemption to the...more

Staples Closes Defense, Calls No Witnesses in Merger Trial Brought by FTC

Yesterday, Staples closed its defense in the case brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to block the Staples-Office Depot merger—without calling any witnesses. (We covered the first week of the trial here.) Judge...more

Activism (Re)Defined: DOJ Files Complaint Against ValueAct for Alleged HSR Act Violation

In filing a complaint and seeking $19 million of damages against ValueAct for failing to file a premerger notification and observe the statutory waiting period pursuant to the HSR Act in connection with its 2014 purchase of...more

Global Private Equity Newsletter - Spring 2016 Edition: Russian Competition Law Update: Impact on M&A and Joint Ventures in Russia

A new version of the Russian Competition Law amended by the so-called ‘fourth antimonopoly package’ (the “275 Law”) came into effect on January 5, 2016 (except for certain minor provisions with an earlier effective date). The...more

House Passes GOP-Backed SMARTER ACT Aiming to Harmonize Merger Review Process for FTC and DOJ

On March 23, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules (SMARTER) Act by a vote of 235-171, despite strenuous objections from the Federal Trade Commission...more

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