Sherman Act Dept. of Justice

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court to Consider Whether Allegations of Adherence to a Business Association’s Rules Can Trigger Antitrust Liability

Can participation in a business or trade association and allegiance to its rules trigger antitrust liability for association members under the Sherman Act? Next term, the Supreme Court will hear Osborn v. Visa Inc., the...more

2016 Mid-Year Global Cartel Enforcement Report

Cartel enforcement activity promises to remain busy In the coming months and into 2017 Cartel enforcement remains a priority for competition authorities around the world. Global cartel fines totaled more than $6...more

Court Finds Spanish-Language Movies May Be A Proper Antitrust Product Submarket

Can Spanish-language media content constitute a proper antitrust product submarket for purposes of a Sherman Act claim? A federal district court in Houston appears to be the first to address the issue and has signaled that,...more

DOJ Rejects Modifications of ASCAP, BMI Consent Decrees

On August 4, 2016, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) rejected changes to the 1941 consent decrees with ASCAP and BMI. These decrees have been in place since 1941, when the DOJ settled antitrust claims with ASCAP and BMI...more

DOJ and North Carolina Challenge Anti-Steering and Tiering Provisions in Managed Care Contracts

The Department of Justice’s antitrust division (the “DOJ”)and the State of North Carolina (“NC”) jointly sued, on June 9, 2016, Carolinas HealthCare System (“CHS”), the largest healthcare system in North Carolina, over...more

Contractual Prohibitions on Health Insurers Steering Policyholders to Lower Cost Providers Draws Antitrust Challenge

The United States Department of Justice has filed an action seeking to enjoin a hospital from enforcing provisions in its contracts with health insurers that prohibit the insurers from steering policyholders to lower cost...more

DOJ and NC File Antitrust Suit Challenging Anti-Steering Restrictions in Payor Contracts

A popular weapon used to contain health care expenditures is the creation by payors and employers of tiered provider networks, which by differentiated co-pays attempt to steer insureds to less expensive choices. In...more

Legal Issues Associated with Multi-Provider Alternative Payment Model

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), both federal and state policies have promoted the adoption of alternative payment models (APMs), providing financial incentives for groups of providers to improve care...more

Hospitals Settle DOJ Suit Alleging Illegal Division of Marketing Territories

Two West Virginia hospital systems settled a lawsuit filed yesterday by the Department of Justice (“DOJ” or “Department”) alleging that they agreed to allocate territories for marketing health care services in violation of...more

Potential Antitrust Implications of Most Favored Nation Clauses

Both in the automotive and other industries, parties have turned to most favored nation (MFN) clauses—or clauses having the same effect—as a means to assure the lowest possible input costs. MFN clauses offer pro-competitive,...more

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

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