Competition

  • November 26, 2014

    Medtronic Gets Conditional FTC Nod On $43B Inversion Deal

    Medtronic Inc. will break off Covidien PLC’s drug-coated balloon catheter business to move forward with its $42.9 billion acquisition of the Ireland-based medical device maker, officially settling the Federal Trade Commission’s concerns that the inversion deal would be anti-competitive, according to a Monday statement.

  • November 26, 2014

    DOJ Knocks Apple's 6th Circ. Nod In E-Books Appeal

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday challenged Apple Inc.'s argument that a recent Sixth Circuit ruling supports the reversal of a ruling that it conspired to drive up e-book prices, saying the tech giant hadn't shown how the other case applied to its Second Circuit appeal.

  • November 26, 2014

    Novartis Sheds Nicotine Patches To Clear Way For Glaxo Deal

    Novartis AG will divest its Habitrol line of nicotine patches in exchange for Federal Trade Commission approval of a joint venture with GlaxoSmithKline PLC, the FTC said Wednesday.

  • November 26, 2014

    Comcast, NHL Fight TV Viewers' Antitrust Class Cert. Bid

    Comcast Corp., the National Hockey League and others accused of colluding to harm competition in sports broadcasting recently asked a New York federal court to deny the plaintiffs’ bid for certification, saying the class was incohesive and internally conflicted, in a brief made public Tuesday.

  • November 26, 2014

    Netflix Accuses Yahoo CIO Of Taking Kickbacks At Former Job

    Netflix Inc. has accused a former executive who was recently hired as chief information officer at Yahoo Inc. of taking kickbacks from vendors through his consulting company on contracts he was in charge of negotiating and approving at the video streaming company, according to a suit filed in California court.

  • November 26, 2014

    Motorola's $3.5B LCD Price-Fixing Claim Tossed By 7th Circ.

    Motorola Mobility LLC cannot sue for $3.5 billion in U.S. court over liquid-crystal display panels its foreign subsidiaries bought from an alleged price-fixing cartel of tech companies including Samsung Electronics Co., Toshiba Corp. and Sanyo Consumer Electronics Co. Ltd., U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner said in an opinion released Wednesday.

  • November 26, 2014

    US Pols Wary Of EU's Onerous Digital Trade Proposals

    Four trade heavyweights in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday warned European Union lawmakers against pursuing new digital commerce and competition policy proposals that could hamper market access and thus deal a significant blow to ongoing EU-U.S. trade talks.

  • November 26, 2014

    EU Refers Spain, Greece To High Court On Tax Matters

    The European Commission said Wednesday that it had referred Spain to the European Union's highest court over its tax treatment of foreign-source dividends as well as Greece for its failure to amend registration tax rules for vehicles leased or rented to Greek residents by non-Greek lessors.

  • November 26, 2014

    5 Lessons From DOJ's Blockbuster FCA Haul

    The U.S. Department of Justice’s $5.7 billion False Claims Act haul in fiscal year 2014 will further incentivize whistleblowers who share proceeds in successful suits, and the mix of companies that coughed up cash points to an expanded anti-fraud playing field, experts say. Here are five lessons from the record-smashing recoveries.

  • November 26, 2014

    Lowey, Grant & Eisenhofer To Helm Silver Fixing Cases

    Lowey Dannenberg Cohen & Hart PC and Grant & Eisenhofer PA have been appointed co-lead counsel for silver futures buyers and sellers pursuing antitrust claims against Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC USA Bank NA and the Bank of Nova Scotia over a purported price manipulation scheme, a New York federal judge said Tuesday.

  • November 25, 2014

    Goldman Hit With More Metal-Rigging Claims

    A putative class on Tuesday added to allegations that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and others unfairly pulled strings in metals markets with a suit that says the bank fixed prices in platinum and palladium, in what plaintiffs firm Labaton Sucharow LLP called the first nationwide suit over those metals.

  • November 25, 2014

    Discover Subsidiary Hits Visa With Texas Antitrust Suit

    Discover Financial Services' Pulse Network LLC sued Visa Inc. in Texas federal court on Friday, accusing the credit card company of holding a monopoly on a network of debit services to keep competitors at bay.

  • November 25, 2014

    Graco Tells 8th Circ. Spray Foam Antitrust Suit Untimely

    Graco Inc. on Monday urged the Eighth Circuit to affirm a decision to toss a putative class action that accused the company of buying two rivals in order to dominate the spray foam equipment market, saying the judge correctly found the case untimely and did not allege injury.

  • November 25, 2014

    EU Court Nixes Orange's Challenge of Antitrust Raids

    A European Union court on Tuesday confirmed a decision by the European Commission to raid Orange SA's offices as part of a competition probe of the telecom industry, rejecting a challenge to the inspections levied by the French telecom giant.

  • November 25, 2014

    GAO Urges Closer Eye On GPO Fee Payments To Hospitals

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should take steps to determine if hospitals are appropriately reporting administrative fee revenues from medical group-purchasing organizations to evaluate the GPOs’ impact on Medicare payments, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

  • November 25, 2014

    Judge Rips Into Attys In Solyndra Price-Fixing Docs Spat

    A California federal magistrate judge on Tuesday chided attorneys in a price-fixing feud between bankrupt Solyndra LLC and a trio of Chinese solar-panel companies, calling their demand for Solyndra's financial files a “blunderbuss request” and accusing Solyndra of obscuring details on the files it has.

  • November 25, 2014

    Volvo Braces For Possible $500M Fine In EU Cartel Probe

    Days after the European Commission released preliminary findings that Volvo AB likely breached EU antitrust laws through its alleged participation in a truck-making cartel, the automaker said Tuesday that it is putting aside €400 million ($499 million) while the commission continues its investigation and decides the amount of any potential fines.

  • November 25, 2014

    Ryanair Sways EU Court To Rethink Irish Air Tax

    Budget airline Ryanair Ltd. on Tuesday successfully challenged an Irish air travel tax after persuading the European Union's second highest court that the tax, which exempts transfer and transit passengers, favors more traditional airlines and may constitute illegal state aid.

  • November 25, 2014

    Automotive Co. Continental Will Pay $4M For Fixing Prices

    Continental Automotive Electronics LLC has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $4 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to rig bids of instrument panel clusters installed in Korean vehicles made and sold in the U.S., the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Monday.

  • November 24, 2014

    Toshiba Flouted Discovery Rules In CRT Case, Judge Says

    A California special master recently said that Toshiba Corp. flouted its discovery obligations in multidistrict litigation over an alleged cathode ray tube price-fixing conspiracy, saying the company's late disclosure of witnesses reflected a “cavalier” approach toward the discovery process.

Expert Analysis

  • Reminder: FCPA Charges Can Focus On Improper Gifts Alone

    Philip Urofsky

    The government’s tendency to mention improper gifts as mere "icing on the cake" to more serious allegations of cash bribes does not mean that prosecutors will not bring enforcement actions for gifts alone, as shown by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's recent Foreign Corrupt Practices Act action against two former employees of defense contractor FLIR Systems Inc., say Philip Urofsky and Kyle Noonan of Shearman & Sterling LLP.

  • Remembering Doar: Justice As A 4-Letter Word

    Kevin J. Curnin

    John Doar ran the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division at perhaps the most chaotic and pivotal time in its history. His passing earlier this month is an occasion for lawyers everywhere to marvel at just how impactful one attorney can be. He didn’t just preside at a historic time, he calmly and coolly shaped it, says Kevin Curnin of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Derailing Of An Expert: Lessons From Railroad Antitrust MDL

    Christopher Ondeck

    A D.C. federal judge's recent decision to unseal the transcripts and filings in the Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation, with regard to a possible conflict of interest involving the direct purchaser plaintiffs’ expert, provides lessons for every attorney who hires or deposes experts, say Christopher Ondeck and Stephen Chuk of Proskauer Rose LLP.

  • EU Tax Rulings For Companies Threatened By State Aid Law

    Salome Cisnal de Ugarte

    With European Commission probes and the recent "Lux Leaks" revelations, international companies that have benefited from tax rulings issued anywhere in the European Union face more than tax law risks — they also risk the enforcement of EU competition law and in particular, EU state aid control, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • DOJ Is Moving Away From The Halliburton Opinion

    Charles Duross

    The U.S. Department of Justice recently issued its second Foreign Corrupt Practices Act opinion release of 2014. The DOJ's conclusion that the acquisition of a company does not create FCPA liability where none existed before is both unsurprising and entirely consistent with the FCPA resource guide, but perhaps more interesting than what the DOJ said is what the DOJ did not mention — the Halliburton opinion, say attorneys with Morri... (continued)

  • Differentiate Your Litigation Practice With Data Security

    Jennifer Topper

    Despite the significant tilt toward technology in how litigation is now conducted, many senior lawyers still delegate tech-related issues to e-discovery specialists or associates at their firms. This is a missed opportunity not just for client development, but also for shaping the way the firm and lawyer are seen in the eyes of corporate counsel, says legal industry business development specialist Jenn Topper.

  • Halliburton, Baker Hughes Prepared For Antitrust Scrutiny

    Dionne Lomax

    The Halliburton-Baker Hughes merger agreement is an illustrative example of various antitrust risk-shifting mechanisms. Meanwhile, Halliburton’s agreement to pay a substantial breakup fee could be an indication that it is confident the deal can secure antitrust clearance, says Dionne Lomax of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Voluntary Disclosure: The Continuing FCPA Debate

    Michael Volkov

    In the absence of a defined benefit that a company can earn from voluntary disclosure, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act practitioners are left to guess the exact benefit or range of outcomes that could result. Some have dusted off an old proposal to address this issue — adoption of a corporate leniency program similar to that used by the Antitrust Division. The proposal has no merit, says Michael Volkov of The Volkov Law Group LLC.

  • 2 Assumptions Shape 3rd Circ. Reverse Payment Case

    Leslie John

    When it heard oral argument in Louisiana Wholesale Drug Co. Inc. v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. Wednesday, the Third Circuit became the first appellate court to enter the debate regarding the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Actavis. This case will have a significant effect on determining which patent dispute settlements should be subject to rule of reason review under Actavis, say attorneys with Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • Novartis FCA Case Reaffirms Importance Of Company Policies

    Michael Loucks

    To the extent other courts adopt the New York federal court's analysis in U.S. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, the collateral consequence of an employee breach of internal policy or industry code of ethics and a corporate failure to appropriately sanction those employees could yield adverse consequences in the event of follow-on federal False Claims Act litigation, say attorneys with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.