Sherman Act Dept. of Justice

News & Analysis as of

IP Matters, Fall 2015

Textile Copyright Cases Ripe for ADR - While normally focused on music and media matters, copyright lawyers in California have grown busy with something else: fabrics. Hundreds of textile copyright suits involving fabric...more

Market Allocation = Antitrust Consequences

The U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Michigan recently initiated a civil antitrust action to enjoin certain marketing agreements between four south-central Michigan hospital systems alleging that the agreements...more

Mega Merger Looming for the Beer Industry

The latest wave in the ever-changing and often turbulent waters of the beer industry is the potential merger of SABMiller with Anheuser-Busch InBev. This potential combination would create a brewery with nine of the world’s...more

“Airline Collusion” Private Class Actions

Last week, we discussed public reports of an investigation by the DOJ of four major airlines (American, Delta, Southwest, and United) regarding possible collusion. Over the past two months, a number of consumers have filed...more

Business Litigation Report - August 2015

Extradition for U.S. Antitrust Crimes: An Anomaly or the New Normal? - In April 2014, Germany extradited Romano Pisciotti, an Italian national, to the United States to face criminal charges related to his alleged...more

FTC Releases Section 5 Guidelines

On Thursday, August 13, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a Statement of Enforcement Principles Regarding “Unfair Methods of Competition” Under Section 5 of the FTC Act. The statement was passed by a 4–1 vote,...more

FTC Puts "Standalone" Section 5 Enforcement Approach on the Record

For the first time in its 101-year history, the Federal Trade Commission recently issued a policy statement outlining the extent of its authority to police "unfair methods of competition" on a "standalone" basis under Section...more

Rejection of the Antitrust Division's Position on the Running of the Statute of Limitations until the Last Payment

The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice claims the statute of limitations for a criminal antitrust violation does not begin to run until the last payment is collected by a conspirator on a sale that was the...more

Regulators Sue Four Michigan Hospitals for Agreeing to Restrict Marketing Activities

As most people know, agreements between competitors to fix prices or allocate or divide markets are clear violations of the antitrust laws and can result in serious penalties. In industries as diverse as foreign exchange...more

Health Update - July 2015

Lessons From the Frontlines: Strategies for Supporting Informed Consumer Decision-Making in the Health Insurance Marketplace - Editor's Note: As marketplaces prepare for the third open enrollment period, consumers are...more

Enforcement Provides Important Update for Auto Industry

For the last several years, the global auto industry has been rocked by unprecedented investigations and prosecution. Numerous international cartels, involving scores of companies and individuals, have engaged in...more

DOJ and Michigan Sue Four Hospital Systems for Agreeing Not to Compete with Each Other

Together with the State of Michigan, the United States Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has filed a civil suit against four Michigan hospital systems for allegedly agreeing to limit marketing in each other’s...more

Second Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling Against Apple in E-Books Price-Fixing Suit, Creating Potential Circuit Split

On June 30, 2015, in a 2-to-1 ruling, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in United States v. Apple, Inc. that Apple and five of the largest book publishers in the U.S. entered into a per se illegal...more

DOJ Sues Four Michigan Hospitals for Secret Agreements Not to Compete

Late last week, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Michigan Attorney General (AG) filed suit against four southern Michigan hospitals, alleging that they secretly agreed not to compete with each other in...more

Shipping Executive Acquitted of Antitrust Charge

On May 8, 2015, a jury in Puerto Rico acquitted Thomas Farmer (Farmer), the former vice president of price and yield management for Crowley Liner Services, Inc., of conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition in...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

DOJ Announces Real Estate Investor’s Guilty Plea to Foreclosure Bid Rigging and Fraud Conspiracies

On April 2, the DOJ announced a guilty plea by a Northern California real estate investor to charges of bid rigging and fraud conspiracy at foreclosure auctions in violation of the Sherman Act. The charges are the outcome of...more

Parking Heater Manufacturer Pleads Guilty to Price-Fixing

On March 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Espar Inc., pleaded guilty to one count of price-fixing under the Sherman Act in a scheme involving parking heaters for commercial vehicles that ran from...more

Lessons from the U.S. v. American Express Trial

On February 18, 2015, American Express lost its court battle with the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division over the card's Non-Discrimination Provisions ("NDPs"), which prohibited merchants from steering customers to...more

Federal Court Finds Amex’s “Anti-Steering” Merchant Rules Anticompetitive

After a seven-week bench trial in an enforcement action by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and 17 state attorneys general, U.S. District Judge Garaufis (Eastern District of New York) held that American Express Co.’s...more

Does DOJ’s Victory over American Express Foreshadow More Antitrust Challenges to Come?

American Express has rules that prohibit merchants from discriminating against American Express cards in favor of those issued by other card networks. On February 18, 2015, following a seven-week trial, Judge Garaufis in the...more

Orrick's Antitrust and Competition Newsletter (Global) - February 2015

DOJ’s Approval of Revisions to IEEE’s Standard-Setting Policies Provides Guidance for SSOs, Patent Holders, Licensees and Courts - On Feb. 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a business review letter that...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

Illegal Premerger Coordination Leads to DOJ “Gun Jumping” Enforcement Action and $5 Million Settlement—Key Lessons Affecting...

On November 7, 2014, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) reached a $5 million settlement with Flakeboard America Limited (“Flakeboard”), its foreign parents, and SierraPine to settle allegations...more

U.S. v. Flakeboard and SierraPine: HSR “Gun-Jumping” Results in $5 Million Penalty

On November 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a complaint and consent decree in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California requiring Flakeboard America Limited, Flakeboard’s parent...more

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