Law360's analysis of new antitrust complaints filed in U.S. federal courts in 2014 revealed a 20 percent drop in new filings from the year before, even as financial benchmark dramas and battles over pharmaceuticals, coffee machines and propane tanks spurred new cases in courts from New York to California.
Suits over benchmark and commodity rate manipulation continued to dominate the antitrust world in 2014, making HSBC and Deutsche Bank AG the most frequently named antitrust defendants in the U.S. last year. But on the banks' heels were other financial institutions, a smattering of pharmaceutical companies and a pair of propane gas companies.
Federal courts saw a 20 percent drop in new antitrust complaints in 2014, according to an analysis by Law360 that suggests that some antitrust enforcement actions held less allure last year for plaintiffs attorneys who typically look to the government for litigation cues.
The Southern District of New York rocketed to the top of the list of most popular venues for antitrust claims in 2014, lifted by the continuing expansion of suits over benchmarks and commodities as well as Keurig's controversial move to limit what kinds of pods will work with its coffee machines.
When Comcast Corp. decided to officially withdraw its $45.2 billion proposal to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. amid serious regulatory and public scrutiny, over a year of work by the companies and their attorneys seemed to go down the drain. But experts say firms can walk away from busted deals with their heads up as long as they’ve covered a few key bases.
Comcast Corp.'s $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable Inc. on Friday became the latest deal to fall apart in the face of tough antitrust and regulatory scrutiny, underscoring the increasing importance of national markets in competition reviews, the risks of having to face off with two watchdogs at the same time and the difficulty of tackling widespread public outcry.
Nasdaq OMX Inc.’s chief financial officer refuted allegations that it charges unreasonable rates for its data prices, maintaining at a Securities and Exchange Commission hearing Thursday that it routinely competes with other exchanges on the prices of its proprietary data products.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. will pay $25 million to settle allegations that it conspired to rig bids for publicly held Michigan oil and gas leases, state officials said Friday, while federal authorities are investigating Chesapeake’s ex-CEO for possible antitrust violations.
A Florida appeals court on Friday affirmed a lower court's ruling that Michael Pizzi should be reinstated as Miami Lakes mayor following his acquittal on federal bribery and extortion charges and the subsequent lifting of his suspension by the governor.
A California federal judge on Thursday granted preliminary approval to a class action settlement between U.S. Bank NA, American Security Insurance Co. and plaintiffs who claim the bank charged homeowners lender-placed flood insurance rates inflated by kickbacks and policy backdating.
Full Service Network, TruConnect Mobile and others on Thursday lodged the latest suit contesting the Federal Communications Commission’s recently enacted net neutrality rules that reclassify broadband Internet as a telecommunications service, telling the Third Circuit that the rules restrict competition.
A New York federal judge’s recent decision allowing ex-Gawker Media LLC interns to use LinkedIn and Twitter to contact potential collective action members about opting in to their wage dispute shows that courts are warming up to using social media notification programs, but attorneys crafting such plans should be careful not to trample on individual privacy rights and company reputations, experts say.
Mushroom growers ensnared in multidistrict litigation over an alleged price-fixing conspiracy asked a Pennsylvania federal court Thursday to examine a recent Third Circuit decision vacating class certification in an antitrust case that mushroom purchasers have cited in support of class certification.
The Federal Trade Commission urged a California federal court on Thursday to deny AT&T Corp.’s motion to the Ninth Circuit to certify two questions from its data throttling dispute, arguing that it’s very unlikely the appellate court would rule in the company’s favor.
Germany’s financial regulator will complete its investigation into alleged manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate and other key benchmarks by Deutsche Bank AG traders by the end of June, according to media reports.
AT&T Inc. sold $17.5 billion worth of bonds Thursday to help fund its pending $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV Inc. — marking the third-largest corporate debt offering ever — guided by its corporate counsel and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP for the underwriters.
Comcast Corp. has pulled its hotly contested $45 billion proposal to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc. off the table, Comcast said Friday, due to intense regulatory and public scrutiny leading the cable giant to believe a deal was simply not in the stars.
The prices Nasdaq OMX Inc. and other exchanges charge for proprietary market data can hurt everyday investors by raising the cost of investment, a Wall Street trade group's witness told a Securities and Exchange Commission hearing over the exchanges’ ability to hike data prices on Thursday.
The $45.2 billion merger of Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. appeared on the brink of collapse Thursday, with Comcast reportedly planning to withdraw its offer after Federal Communications Commission staff recommended a move blocking the deal.
When U.S. and U.K. authorities slammed Deutsche Bank AG with $2.5 billion in penalties and a guilty plea for one subsidiary for manipulating a slew of benchmark interest rates, they also released a treasure trove of trader chats waxing less than poetic on everything from the link between employee bonuses and favorable rate submissions to how illegal the rate-fixing was. Here, Law360 looks at a few of the choicest lines.
It is unsurprising that the Federal Trade Commission recently issued a second request to investigate Ball Corp.’s acquisition of Rexam PLC. Along with Crown Holdings Inc., these three companies provide just over 60 percent of aluminum beverage can volume globally. But it is clear that Ball and Rexam are subject to competitive constraints not apparent from a simplistic review of market shares, say David Balto and James Kovacs of the... (continued)
When asked to identify the next generation of antitrust claims in the pharmaceutical industry, many would respond with an acronym: REMS. But these “risk evaluation and mitigation strategy” programs are a creature of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and thus the FDA — not the courts or the antitrust laws — is the more appropriate vehicle for addressing alleged REMS abuse, says Anna Fabish of O'Melveny & Myers LLP.
Because McWane Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission involved appellate review of an FTC ruling — where deference to the agency on certain findings played an important part — the Eleventh Circuit’s recent decision upholding the FTC’s ruling that McWane enforced an illegal exclusive dealing policy provides important guideposts, say attorneys with Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.
The Ninth Circuit's opinion in Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group limits the scope of permissible restrictive covenants employers can include in employment contracts and settlement agreements and could void current agreements containing restrictive provisions beyond traditional noncompete clauses, says Katelyn Keegan of Schiff Hardin LLP.
The proposed acquisition of BG Group by Royal Dutch Shell highlights the importance of a thoughtful analysis of the impact of European competition law when considering a combination in the oil and gas industry. As a result of its extensive experience in the sector, the European Commission has developed a clear, detailed analytical framework to assess the competitive effects of such combinations, says Juan Rodriguez of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.
The pace of enforcement under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has slowed considerably in 2015, with just three resolved enforcement actions during the year’s first quarter — all brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — which represents the lowest level of enforcement to begin a year since 2006, say Marc Bohn and Austen Walsh of Miller & Chevalier Chtd.
With its recent ruling in the Blood Reagents Antitrust Litigation, the Third Circuit has joined the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuits in requiring that district courts take Daubert into account when assessing expert testimony at the class certification stage, say Andrew Finch and William Michael of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP.
The Eastern District of Virginia ― known as the “Rocket Docket” ― had the fastest trial docket in the country in 2014, for the seventh year in a row. The median time interval to trial was 12.5 months. That’s compared to a nationwide average of 24.9 months to try a case, says Robert Tata, managing partner of Hunton & Williams LLP's Norfolk, Virginia, office.
From corner taco stands to corner offices, the discounted product bundle is ubiquitous. But a recent decision by the Sixth Circuit in Collins Inkjet Corp. v. Eastman Kodak Co. demonstrates that antitrust issues can unwittingly become a part of the package, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.
If we were developing a system to determine legal fees from a clean slate, we would price our professional services according to quality, efficiency and results — tasks and team would be agreed upon. Instead, we have an hourly system that discourages tight management, can lead to padded bills and includes time for work that may not have been necessary, says Gerald Knapton of Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC.