April 2015 Antitrust Bulletin

by McGuireWoods LLP
Contact

Proposed Sysco/US Foods Merger Challenged by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a complaint on February 19, seeking an injunction to prevent Sysco Corporation’s purchase of US Foods Inc. The FTC alleges that the deal would give Sysco too much market power in that it would control 75 percent of the national market for food and related away-from-home dining supplies. The FTC contends that Sysco and US Foods are the only two “broadline” foodservice distributors with nationwide networks of distribution centers. The FTC further contends that Sysco and US Foods are head-to-head competitors that watched each other’s prices carefully and the merger would significantly reduce nationwide competition for these services.

State attorneys general in the following states joined the FTC’s complaint for a preliminary injunction: California, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.

The hearing on the request for preliminary injunction is set for May 5-8, 2015.

American Express Merchant Rules Held Anticompetitive

On February 19, a federal judge ruled that American Express Co.’s anti-steering rules, which prevent merchants from encouraging their consumers to use other credit card brands, violate the antitrust laws. The case was filed in 2010 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and attorneys general of 17 states.

Whenever a customer uses a credit card, the merchant pays a fee to the network services provider that facilitates the customer’s purchase, and American Express rules prohibit merchants from encouraging customers to use credit cards that cost the merchant less to accept. To the court, in a competitive environment, a particular merchant may prefer that a customer who had both an American Express card and another brand of credit card use the other brand of card if the cost of the transaction would be lower for the merchant. Accordingly, the court held that the rules were anticompetitive.

The judge gave American Express 30 days to meet with the DOJ and reach an agreement on modified rules that would strike the appropriate balance between protecting American Express’s legitimate interests and the public’s interest. As of March 23, 2015, the parties disagreed as to the proper balance to be struck and submitted differing proposals to the court on the rules.

Four Executives Plead Guilty to Price Fixing International Ocean Shipping Services

Last year, the DOJ Antitrust Division filed its first charges against a company since it began its investigation into potential price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the international ocean shipping industry. On January 30, 2015, the first individual was sentenced for the alleged shipping conspiracy, and on February 6, 2015, the second individual was sentenced. Two additional individuals pled guilty each on March 10 and 26, 2015.

Hiroshige Tanioka, Takashi Yamaguchi and Toru Otoda, all general managers at Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., as well as Susumu Tanaka, a general manager at Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, pled guilty to conspiring to allocate customers and routes, rig bids, and fix prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of “roll-on, roll-off” cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere. The executives were fined $20,000 each and sentenced to serve time in U.S. prison − Tanioka and Otoda were sentenced to 18-month terms of imprisonment, Tanaka was sentenced to a 15-month term, and Yamaguchi was sentenced to a 14-month term. The executives all agreed to cooperate with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation of the conspiracy.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© McGuireWoods LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

McGuireWoods LLP
Contact
more
less

McGuireWoods LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.