Archives: Antitrust & Competition

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OFT issues short-form opinion in relation to rural broadband infrastructure

This post was written by Marjorie C. Holmes, Angela Gregson, and Daniel Jepson. The OFT’s stance On 23 August the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a non-binding short-form opinion on proposals by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Country Land and Business Association (CLA). The NFU and CLA propose to recommend to their … Continue Reading

FTC’s Proposed Rule Changes Modify HSR Reporting Requirements for Pharmaceutical Exclusive Licensing Deals

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the premerger notification rules to clarify when the transfer of exclusive marketing, sales and manufacturing rights to a patented pharmaceutical product requires notification to the agencies under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (15 U.S.C. § 18a) (“HSR Act”). The proposed … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules That Juries – Not Judges – Must Determine Facts Supporting Large Criminal Fines

This post was written by Efrem M. Grail and Kyle R. Bahr. Criminal fines against companies and individuals convicted of white collar, antitrust, environmental, health care, and other offenses can balloon into the millions or hundreds of millions of dollars. In a recent ruling that protects the Sixth Amendment rights of defendants in these high-stakes … Continue Reading

FCA to take on competition objective

This post was written by Marjorie C. Holmes and Brett Hillis. There is a financial Services Bill currently going through Parliament, which introduces a competition objective for the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to implement as part of its general duties: The matters to which the FCA may have regard in considering the effectiveness of … Continue Reading

New challenge to in-house counsel by European Court

This post was written by Edward S. Miller, Marjorie C. Holmes, Katherine Holmes and Angela Gregson. The European General Court has held that employed lawyers do not have the right to represent their in-house clients before it. Building on the controversial rejection of the application of legal privilege to communications with in-house counsel in the … Continue Reading

Proposals for the Modernisation of European Public Procurement: Progress or Hindrance?

This post was also written by Katherine Holmes and Angela Gregson. Background The current European public procurement rules, intended to ensure open EU-wide competition for public contracts are contained in two directives: The Public Sector Directive (Directive 2004/18) sets out the rules that apply to contracts awarded by public sector bodies (e.g. government, schools, and health … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Announces Adjusted HSR Thresholds for 2012

On January 24, 2012, 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. The revised HSR thresholds … Continue Reading

European Court finds that Asian companies have been unfairly treated

This post was also written by Angela Gregson. There has been a perception that Asian companies have received unfair treatment at the hands of the European Commission over the years. Three recent appeal cases brought by Mitsubishi Electric Corp (“Mitsubishi”), Toshiba Corp (“Toshiba”) and Fuji Electric Company Ltd (“Fuji”) appear to confirm this as fact. … Continue Reading

New rules bring transparency, lower costs to consumers by requiring review of large insurance rate hikes

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final Rule on Thursday, May 19, 2011 that provides for review of “unreasonable” premium rate increases and requires that: (1) insurance companies to provide consumers with information about the reasons for such rate increases, and (2) states provide an opportunity for public input in the … Continue Reading

Regulatory Round Up 5.9.11

I never figured the Oracle of Omaha to be much of a Parrot Head — they do spell their names differently. But in this piece  the FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog breaks down Warren Buffet’s Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. Some anti-trust football analysis that isn’t related to the NFL. I know people love … Continue Reading

Proposed Statement of Antitrust Enforcement Policy Regarding Accountable Care Organizations

On March 31, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a joint proposed Statement of Enforcement Policy to explain how the agencies intend to enforce U.S. antitrust laws with respect to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) – groups of health care providers that will be collaborating under the Patient Protection and … Continue Reading

Ban on internet sales not necessarily illegal says European Advocate General

The Advocate General of the European Court recently issued an opinion in a case referred by the French court regarding distribution of Pierre Fabre cosmetics. In its agreements for the distribution of its Avène, Klorane, Galénic and Ducray brands, Pierre Fabre had included a clause banning its distributors from selling on the internet. The Opinion … Continue Reading

Regulatory Round Up 1.7.11

*Attention* government contracts attorneys: If your friends and loved ones stare blankly at you when you explain what it is you do, it turns out they are not the only ones who are confused. Check out this amusing breakdown of confused experts. New Year, new Congress, new rumblings about government fraud . An attorney involved … Continue Reading

Restitution and the Antitrust Division’s Corporate Leniency Program

This post was written by Stephen P. Murphy. On December 7, 2010 the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice announced that for the first time it was requiring actual restitution by a company as a condition of the company’s participation in the Division’s Corporate Leniency Program. Bank of America was the first and only company … Continue Reading

UK Government Proposes Merger of Competition Authorities

This post was also written by Richard J. Waite and Susan Riitala. The UK Government recently announced proposals to merge the UK’s two main competition bodies, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition Commission, to create a single competition regulator. Currently the OFT, as well as being responsible for conducting antitrust and cartel investigations, … Continue Reading

Reed Smith Partner Stephen Murphy Talks FTC and Unfair Competition Enforcement

This post was written by Stephen P. Murphy. I was fortunate to be invited as a guest commentator on The Washington Legal Foundation’s video blog, Legally Brief, about the significance of the recent settlement of the Federal Trade Commission v. Intel Corp. administrative complaint. The complaint appears to presage a return of the FTC to active … Continue Reading

Regulatory Round-up

Hello good-looking regulatory attorneys. Welcome to the first installment of the Regulatory Round-up (catchy, I know). If you are reading this post, odds are someone in an office larger than yours is wondering why you aren’t working — but I’m glad you stopped by. The goal of this weekly installment will be to connect you … Continue Reading

You’re Disqualified! UK competition authority looks set to target directors.

This post was written by Richard Waite. The UK’s main competition authority, the OFT, appears to be gearing itself up to make greater use of its powers to target individuals involved in anti-competitive practices in the UK. Individuals have faced the threat of enforcement action in the UK since 2003, in the form of disqualification … Continue Reading

Nationwide Class of Antitrust Plaintiffs Runs Into Third Circuit Brick Wall

Taking on the issue for the first time, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected a district court’s certification of a nationwide class of indirect purchasers under various state antitrust laws. Over the objections of some class members, the district court had certified the class as part of a settlement. While state antitrust … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Announces Adjusted HSR Thresholds For 2010

This post was also written by Katherine Mathews and Ariel Nieland. The Federal Trade Commission has 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 will take effect February 22, 2010 and will govern all transactions closing on or after that … Continue Reading
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