Archives: Antitrust & Competition

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Private Equity Firm Held Responsible for Portfolio Company’s Antitrust Violations

In January of 2017 a private equity firm, Bencis, was found liable for a portfolio company’s involvement as one of 14 cartelists producing flour in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruled that while company was a member of Bencis’s portfolio, Bencis was accountable for their antitrust violations.  This … Continue Reading

The FTC and DOJ Update the Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have made their first amendments to the Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property since their origin in 1995.  The guidelines were updated in light of the fundamental changes in statutory and case law, agency enforcement, and policy work. The updates support innovation while incorporating the … Continue Reading

Duke Energy Forced to Pay Large Fine in HSR Gun Jumping Settlement

Duke Energy Corporation (Duke) agreed to pay $600,000 to settle a DOJ claim that it violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act) by failing to comply with the HSR waiting period requirement.  The complaint from the DOJ originated from Duke’s acquisition of the Osprey natural gas power plant from Calpine Corporation, which … Continue Reading

Antitrust Update: 2017 HSR Thresholds

On January 19, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the revised thresholds for determining whether companies are required to notify federal antitrust authorities about a transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act).  The new minimum filing threshold will be $80.8 million. All of the revised thresholds are higher … Continue Reading

Individual Investors Pay Civil Penalties for Failing to Report Acquisitions of Voting Securities to the Federal Trade Commission

The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (“HSR Act”) requires companies and individuals to report large transactions above certain thresholds to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), and then to observe a 30-day waiting period before closing their transactions. In two recent cases, investors resolved FTC allegations that they failed to observe these requirements … Continue Reading

U.S. Antitrust Agencies Update International Enforcement Guidelines

The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have revised the Antitrust Guidelines for International Enforcement and Cooperation after twenty years.  These revisions, effective on January 13th, 2017, stress the need for collaboration between competition agencies in a globalized economy.  To read more about the guidelines please click here.… Continue Reading

Competition Authorities Focus On The Retail Sector

Competition authorities at both European and national levels are turning their attention to markets affecting the retail sector. The shift in focus is illustrated by the recent inquiries by the European Commission into e-commerce and by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into the modelling agencies sector, in an effort to discover instances of … Continue Reading

What the European Court has to say about discount structures used by dominant firms

In a case regarding Post Danmark’s rebate structure, the European Court provided further guidance on the legality of rebates and discounts offered by dominant firms.  While this case involves bulk mail services, the lessons learned are applicable to a wide variety of industries in determining whether discount structures practiced by market leading firms comply with … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Announces Adjusted HSR Thresholds for 2015

On January 15, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission announced the annual threshold adjustments for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (15 U.S.C. § 18a) (“HSR”). The new thresholds have increased the dollar amount required to trigger HSR notification for both the size-of-transaction and size-of-person tests. Click here to read the full … Continue Reading

UK Competition Authority acted irrationally in hotel room on-line pricing case

A decision by the UK’s former competition authority, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT – now replaced by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)) to accept commitments to settle its investigation into on-line prices for hotel rooms has been quashed by the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal and sent back to the CMA to decide again. … Continue Reading

EU Consortia Block Exemption extended for a further five years

This post was also written by Catherine Johnson.  The European Commission has announced the extension of the block exemption for certain liner shipping cooperation agreements until 2020. The extension of the Regulation follows a period of public consultation earlier this year during which time interested parties were invited to comment on the proposed extension. Liner … Continue Reading

EU nears finalisation of new law to promote anti-trust claims

Member States’ ambassadors to the EU, known as the Committee of Permanent Representatives, have endorsed the agreement between the Council Presidency and representatives of the European Parliament on a proposed new EU Directive on rules governing actions for damages for infringements of competition law. The final text is expected to be voted through by the … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Announces Adjusted HSR Thresholds for 2014

On January 17, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission announced the annual threshold adjustments for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (15 U.S.C. § 18a) (“HSR”). The new thresholds have increased the dollar amount required to trigger HSR notification for both the size-of-transaction and size-of-person tests. Click here to read the issued client … Continue Reading

“Bribery” In Football: What Are the Legal Consequences?

The top story in the UK media today is about alleged corruption in English football. Someone said to be a “fixer” for betting syndicates was secretly recorded boasting that the results of English lower-league matches and even international matches could be bought, once the price was right. Six people, including three players, have been arrested … Continue Reading

UK Authorities Set to Exercise New Powers to Compel Witnesses

This post was also written by Edward S. Miller and Richard Webb. The UK’s new competition body, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), was officially launched on 1st October 2013. The launch was preceded by the publication of Draft Guidance on the authority’s new powers under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (the “2013 Act”), … Continue Reading

OFT Ready to Accept Commitments in On-line Hotel Room Price-Fixing Investigation

This post was also written by Edward S. Miller. Ready to close its investigation into on-line hotel room price fixing, the UK Office of Fair Trading has proposed the acceptance of commitments from the on-line travel agents (OTAs) and hotels currently involved in the investigation. The OFT recognizes the investigated parties concerns that a completely … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Remands Pay-for-Delay Settlement for Antitrust Review in FTC v. Actavis

This post was also written by Jessica R. Rose. The U.S. Supreme Court last week issued a significant decision subjecting pay-for-delay settlements, a common practice in the pharmaceutical industry, to antitrust review. Also known as reverse payments, these settlements typically involve payments from a brand drug manufacturer to a generic drug manufacturer to settle patent litigation … Continue Reading

Damages Calculation Key to Supreme Court Reversal of Class Certification in Comcast v. Behrend

This post was also written by Daniel I. Booker and Jeremy D. Feinstein. Class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) requires a finding that damages attributable to the theory of liability are measurable on a classwide basis, the Supreme Court decided today in Comcast v. Behrend. Justice Scalia, writing for a five-justice majority, emphasized that … Continue Reading

DOJ Antitrust Division refuses to issue review letter on legality of private auctions to resolve string contention sets

This post was also written by Brad R. Newberg and Gregory S. Shatan. For several years now, we have been tracking the tortuous road that ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has been traveling to make good on its promise, or its threat (depending on your perspective), starting this spring, to expand exponentially … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Considering New Comprehensive Antitrust Law

This post was also written by Jeremy D. Feinstein and Jessica R. Rose.   Pennsylvania officials are taking steps to enact a comprehensive state antitrust law that would subject businesses to new antitrust risks at the state level. Most notably, the legislation would make minimum resale price maintenance per se illegal under Pennsylvania law. Minimum resale price maintenance is a … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Reins in State-Action Immunity Doctrine

This post was written by William J. Sheridan. Yesterday, in FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health Systems, Inc., the Supreme Court rejected an expansive view of the state-action immunity doctrine articulated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Saying the court of appeals applied the doctrine’s concept of foreseeability “too loosely,” the unanimous … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Announces Adjusted HSR Thresholds for 2013

On January 10, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission announced the annual threshold adjustments for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (15 U.S.C. § 18a) (“HSR”). The new thresholds have increased the dollar amount required to trigger HSR notification with respect to both the size-of-transaction and size-of-person tests. Please click here to … Continue Reading

€ 20M fine upheld for failing to notify JV shareholding change to EU merger authority

This post was also written by Angela Gregson and Laura-May Scott. The European General Court has upheld a € 20M fine imposed on the Belgian electricity company, Electrabel, for failing to notify changes to its minority holding in a joint venture under European merger control rules, even though the changes did not result in a majority shareholding … Continue Reading
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