Competition

  • October 31, 2014

    Titan Of The Plaintiffs Bar: Francis O. Scarpulla

    A pioneering attorney, Francis Scarpulla of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP helped pave the way for indirect purchaser actions in California and played a key role in a recent $1.1 billion price-fixing settlement, but he might have skipped the law completely had it not been for a heart-to-heart with his uncle, the eventual mayor of San Francisco.

  • October 31, 2014

    Actavis, NY AG Spar Over Antitrust Suit Injunction Bid

    The New York attorney general has urged a federal judge to block Actavis PLC from pulling its widely used dementia drug Namenda from the market until the office's antitrust suit concludes, while the drugmaker countered that the standards required for an injunction have not been met.

  • October 31, 2014

    Comcast Castoff Plans $5.7B IPO Tied To Time Warner Deal

    Midwest Cable Inc., the cable company Comcast Corp. is spinning out to ease antitrust concerns over its planned merger with top rival Time Warner Cable Inc., said Friday it plans to raise $5.7 billion in an initial public offering next year.

  • October 31, 2014

    FCC Weighing 'Hybrid' Plan On Net Neutrality

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is close to settling on what has been called a “hybrid approach” for new net neutrality rules, according to a news report Thursday, a plan that would reclassify just a portion of broadband Internet delivery for tougher “common carrier” regulation.

  • October 31, 2014

    Microsoft Again Urges Judge To Nix Suit Over $732M EU Fine

    A group of Microsoft Corp. executives asked a Washington federal judge to toss a derivative suit alleging they breached their fiduciary duties by willfully violating a European Union antitrust settlement and incurring a $732.2 million fine, saying the plaintiffs' opposition failed to show the executives knowingly breached their duties.

  • October 30, 2014

    Calif. Court Upholds $31M Visa, Mastercard Antitrust Deal

    A California appeals court on Thursday approved a $31 million settlement in two consolidated class actions challenging Visa USA Inc.'s and MasterCard International Inc.'s allegedly anti-competitive debit and credit policies, finding a revised version of the deal fixed an improper release of claims.

  • October 30, 2014

    FTC Keeps Retailers In Dark With Price-Bias Guidance

    The U.S. Federal Trade Commission recently updated guidance on the nation's anti-price discrimination statute to include e-commerce for the first time, but attorneys say the agency missed an opportunity to improve an outdated law or align the statute with the realities of Internet advertising.

  • October 30, 2014

    Citi Slashes Quarterly Earnings By $600M Amid Forex Probes

    Citigroup Inc. said in a Thursday regulatory filing that it has cut its previously reported quarterly net income by $600 million due to massive legal bills stemming from regulatory investigations while detailing, in another filing, probes into the alleged rigging of foreign currency exchange markets.

  • October 30, 2014

    11th Circ. Revives Part Of Whistleblower Medicare Suit

    The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday reinstated parts of a former Health Management Associates Inc. executive's whistleblower suit accusing the hospital operator of engaging in an illegal Medicare kickback scheme, finding that his position made some of his allegations sufficiently reliable.

  • October 30, 2014

    Whistleblower Pushes For KBR Docs Given Only To Gov't

    A whistleblower asked a D.C. federal court Thursday to make KBR Inc. hand over nearly 70,000 pages of documents it produced in response to a 2007 government subpoena related to his claims that KBR overbilled and accepted kickbacks during the Iraq War.

  • October 30, 2014

    Illinois State Lawmaker Loses Bid For New Bribery Trial

    An Illinois federal judge denied a bid by state Rep. Derrick Smith for a new trial months after he was found guilty of bribery charges stemming from an FBI sting operation that caught the Chicago Democrat accepting $7,000 in cash to help a business that he thought was applying for a state grant.

  • October 30, 2014

    DOJ Orders Divestitures In $1.6B Media General Deal

    Media General Inc. must divest several TV stations around the country in order to complete its $1.6 billion acquisition of LIN Media LLC, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday.

  • October 30, 2014

    FTC Seeks Public Input On $590M Graco Biz Sale To Carlisle

    The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday opened up for public comment an application from fluid-handling systems maker Graco Inc. to sell off its liquid finishing business assets for $590 million in cash to Carlisle Companies to assuage competition concerns expressed by the agency.

  • October 30, 2014

    Barclays Takes $800M Provision Related to Forex Probes

    Barclays PLC announced Thursday that it has taken a £500 million ($800.3 million) provision in the third quarter related to government investigations into its foreign exchange trading activities, joining another bank that announced a large set-aside this week.

  • October 30, 2014

    11th Circ. Sends Trade Secret Dispute To Arbitration

    The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday sent to arbitration a dispute brought by U.S. Nutraceuticals LLC alleging that microalgae products maker Cyanotech Corp. breached an agreement by stealing confidential information.

  • October 30, 2014

    Judge Won't Block Sale Of Pa. Nissan Dealership

    A Pennsylvania federal judge declined Wednesday to block the sale of a Nissan North America LLC dealership at the center of an antitrust lawsuit, ruling that the rebuffed would-be buyer had not proven the necessity of an injunction in his suit alleging price-fixing.

  • October 30, 2014

    MF Global Reaches $27M Settlement Over Metal Manipulation

    MF Global Inc. has reached settlements in two class action lawsuits alleging price manipulation in the palladium and platinum markets that will allow plaintiffs to file $21.1 million in claims in MF Global’s bankruptcy and receive over $6 million in cash, according to Wednesday New York federal court filings.

  • October 30, 2014

    NYC Drug Treatment Co. Hit With TRO In Medicaid Fraud Suit

    A New York City substance abuse treatment company accused of ongoing Medicaid fraud involving kickbacks from its outpatients was hit with a temporary restraining order on Wednesday that prevents the organization from evicting residents in its short-term housing facilities who refuse to take part in the alleged scheme.

  • October 30, 2014

    UK Judge Trims Visa Merchant Fee Claims By $801M

    A U.K. judge ruled on Thursday that retailers' antitrust claims against Visa Inc. over the credit card issuer's use of multilateral interchange fees can only go back seven years, a decision that trims Visa's potential liability by approximately £500 million ($801 million).

  • October 29, 2014

    GSK, Apexus Escape Drug Discount Antitrust Suit

    A Nevada federal judge on Wednesday tossed a private clinic’s suit accusing GlaxoSmithKline LLC, nonprofit Apexus Inc. and a public health agency of abusing a federal drug-discount program, ruling the agency’s purchase of vaccines was exempted from an antitrust law.

Expert Analysis

  • The EU Watchdog Ready To Bite Multinational Companies

    Keith O’Donnell

    Using state-aid proceedings in transfer pricing matters and targeting a sample of high-profile taxpayers — Fiat, Amazon, Starbucks and Apple — the EU Commission seems to be going far beyond the terms of its mandate, say Keith O’Donnell and Emilie Fister of Taxand Luxembourg.

  • 7th Circ. LCD Antitrust Case: Foreign Vs. US Interests

    Bob Bloch

    To preserve the delicate balance between antitrust enforcement and international comity inherent in the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, the Seventh Circuit in Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corporation will need to weigh carefully the views of foreign agencies against the U.S. Department of Justice’s interest in prosecuting foreign cartels that harm U.S. consumers, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • The Legal Professions’ Curious Under-Use Of 2nd Opinions

    Judge Wayne D. Brazil

    As conscientious professionals who are required to address problems with notoriously elusive dimensions, lawyers should consider securing second opinions in a much wider array of circumstances than has been the norm, says Judge Wayne Brazil, a neutrual with JAMS and former magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

  • Margrethe Vestager: The New EU Competition Commissioner

    Stephen Mavroghenis

    Margrethe Vestager inherits the European Commission's competition portfolio from outgoing Spanish Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, whose tenure, while marked with enforcement victories, will leave a bitter pill in the mouths of a number of companies — and their lawyers, say attorneys with Shearman & Sterling LLP.

  • Looking At Lanham Act Claims Against Drug Cos. Post-Pom

    Maia H. Harris

    A California district court's ruling in JHP Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Hospira Inc. may persuade other courts to either extend the U.S. Supreme Court's generally permissive view of Lanham Act claims to drugs and cosmetics or find some claims that previously required U.S. Food and Drug Administration expertise may now be precluded after Pom Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Company, say attorneys at Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • How Esquenazi Will Play Out In Emerging Economies

    Jim Dowden

    Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of a writ of certiorari in United States v. Esquenazi, it is important to digest the import of the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion and how it will play out in emerging economies. Companies with operations in these markets are at the mercy of a number of factors that weigh heavily in favor of state-owned entities qualifying as “instrumentalities,” say Jim Dowden and Samad Pardesi of Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Use Social Media For Legal Service Only As A Last Resort

    Steven Richard

    Courts remain largely skeptical about allowing litigants to serve and notify evasive parties of legal proceedings through their social media accounts. A recent split ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court shows the competing considerations, say Steven Richard and Britt Killian of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Refusals To Deal In The Big Data Era

    David Golden

    What happens when a single company exclusively controls a data source that is arguably necessary to compete in a product market? Generally, there is no obligation under the antitrust laws for that company to share its data with competitors, but under a narrow set of circumstances, refusals to cooperate with competitors can violate Sherman Act Section 2, says David Golden of Constantine Cannon LLP.

  • That’s Your Defense To Price-Fixing?

    Joseph Ostoyich

    Over the past few months, class action plaintiffs lawyers have responded to articles we wrote regarding a common practice that looks a lot like price-fixing of fees among class plaintiffs law firms in antitrust cases. But we have still not heard a strong defense, say attorneys with Baker Botts LLP.

  • An Associate's Perspective On Business Development

    Jason Idilbi

    Let’s face it: Taking friends or acquaintances to Justin Timberlake concerts or golf at the Ocean Course is not how we as law firm associates are going to develop business. Our primary value comes not from out-of-office networking jaunts but from bearing a laboring oar for our partners. Which is why our best approach to business development is more likely from the inside out, says Jason Idilbi of Moore & Van Allen PLLC.