Competition

  • February 4, 2016

    Barclays Fights To Get $453M FERC Case Put On Hold

    Barclays Bank PLC on Thursday urged a California federal judge to halt the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s suit seeking an affirmation of its $453 million penalty against the bank and four of its traders for allegedly manipulating electricity prices.

  • February 4, 2016

    EU Orders Telecoms To Shed Customers For $1.5B Deal

    The European Commission on Thursday cleared Liberty Global's €1.3 billion ($1.46 billion) acquisition of Belgium's BASE mobile carrier as long as the companies agree to sell some of BASE's operations and customer base to broadcaster Medialaan.

  • February 4, 2016

    Feds Arrest Texas Town Officials In Bribery Scheme

    Federal authorities on Thursday morning arrested most of the elected leadership of the small southwest Texas town of Crystal City, after a federal grand jury indicted six individuals on bribery charges.

  • February 4, 2016

    NY County Exec Cops To Rigging $311M In Contracts

    The Chief Information Office of New York’s Monroe County pled guilty to rigging bids for a $99 million information technology contract and a $212 million public safety contract, the third man to admit to his involvement in the scheme, New York’s attorney general announced Wednesday.

  • February 4, 2016

    Water Treatment Chemical Antitrust Suits Land In NJ

    Nineteen suits over an alleged price-fixing and bid-rigging scheme for a water-treatment chemical used by municipalities and paper companies were consolidated Thursday in New Jersey federal court, where a related criminal action against the former executive of a chemicals manufacturer is pending.

  • February 4, 2016

    Anheuser Looks To Cut Off Beer Drinkers' $100B Merger Fight

    Anheuser-Busch asked an Oregon federal judge Wednesday to dismiss an antitrust suit brought by a group of beer consumers who want to block the company’s $100 billion merger with SABMiller, arguing the deal will not increase its share of the U.S. beer market.

  • February 4, 2016

    DOJ Antitrust Chief Backs FCC Set-Top Box Rule Review

    The U.S. Department of Justice's top antitrust enforcer on Thursday backed the Federal Communications Commission's plan to weigh revisions to rules on set-top video boxes, suggesting the existing regulations were out of date with current technology.

  • February 4, 2016

    FTC Says Leucadia Settlement Doesn't Need Extra Review

    The Federal Trade Commission urged a court Wednesday to approve, as is, a settlement with Leucadia National Corp. for not reporting to antitrust authorities its conversion of an ownership interest to shares worth about $173 million, rather than apply review steps normally reserved for injunctions.

  • February 4, 2016

    LA Port Police Chief Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion Charges

    The Port of Los Angeles’ former top police official pled guilty to tax evasion and lying to the FBI as the agency was investigating whether he took a bribe for the social networking software slated to become the port’s official smartphone app, just as his jury trial was set to begin Wednesday.

  • February 4, 2016

    Swipe Fee MDL Attys Say New Docs Can't Nix $7B Deal

    Co-lead counsel for retailers involved in swipe-fee antitrust litigation against Visa and MasterCard told a New York federal judge on Wednesday that recently produced documents about improper attorney communications aren’t grounds to vacate a $7.25 billion settlement.

  • February 4, 2016

    Ex-NYPD Cop Eyes Plea Over Private Investigator's Bribes

    A former New York City Police Department officer is in the "final stages" of plea negotiations over an alleged scheme to accept bribes from a private investigator in exchange for confidential information about potential witnesses in criminal cases, a federal prosecutor said Thursday.

  • February 4, 2016

    Charter-TWC Deal Needs To Help Independent TV, FCC Told

    Leaders of a television network dedicated to horse culture pushed the Federal Communications Commission for a condition on the tie-up between Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks that would require the new entity to launch more independent channels, according to a filing Thursday.

  • February 4, 2016

    Chicago Doc Wants Out Of Pending Jail Time Amid Appeal

    A Chicago doctor due to spend three months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud federal health programs at the city’s now-defunct Sacred Heart Hospital asked an Illinois federal court Wednesday to let him stay free until his Seventh Circuit appeal is decided.

  • February 4, 2016

    EU Watchdog Greenlights Western Digitals $19B SanDisk Deal

    Europe’s competition watchdog approved California-based Western Digitals’ planned $19 billion acquisition of SanDisk, after finding the two major overlaps between the data storage manufacturers will still feel pressure from a handful of strong rivals, according to a Thursday statement.

  • February 3, 2016

    Fla. Laser Spine Clinic Is Owed Punitive Damages, Court Says

    A Florida laser spine surgery institute that accused a private equity firm of stealing away doctors and patients and setting up a rival center will have another shot at punitive damages after an appeals court Wednesday said the facts support damages greater than the $1.6 million already awarded.

  • February 3, 2016

    Gamma Knife Center Defends Hospital Antitrust Claim

    A center specializing in Gamma Knife therapy to treat cancer told a Tennessee federal court Wednesday to not dismiss its antitrust claim, because a former partner hospital’s actions to withhold the alternative treatment from patients constituted anti-competitive conduct.

  • February 3, 2016

    Biogen Escapes 1 Of 4 FCA Suits Over Alleged Kickbacks

    One of four whistleblower complaints accusing Biogen Inc. of violating the False Claims Act by paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to doctors as incentives and rewards for prescribing the company’s multiple sclerosis drugs to Medicare patients was voluntarily dismissed from Massachusetts federal court Wednesday.

  • February 3, 2016

    EU Lawmakers Lay Down Markers For Services Trade Pact

    The European Parliament has finalized its recommendations for the Trade in Services Agreement, urging officials in Brussels to strike a deal that will ensure open procurement markets and fair competition with foreign financial, information technology and telecommunications service providers.

  • February 3, 2016

    Apple Renews Bid To Drop IPhone AT&T Antitrust Suit

    Apple renewed its efforts Tuesday to nix a putative antitrust class action challenging its original exclusive iPhone deal with AT&T, saying that the consumers had no grounds for their claim that the technology giant helped the cellular carrier monopolize the market.

  • February 3, 2016

    Ex-FCC Commish Warns Against Charter-TWC Deal

    A former commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, Michael Copps, has slammed the proposed merger of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable in an op-ed, calling it as serious a threat to competition as the abandoned Comcast and Time Warner Cable deal.

Expert Analysis

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: 2015 JPML Practice Trends

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    As with the recently created NFL “Sunday Ticket” MDL, with many overlapping putative class actions pending in different jurisdictions, the question regarding fantasy football will likely not be whether to create an MDL, but rather where the MDL will be located. Kaye Scholer's Alan Rothman discusses this and other issues in his broader look at recent trends at the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

  • Hart-Scott-Rodino: The Year Ahead

    Deidre Johnson

    Increased enforcement actions and the narrowing of select exemptions under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act will likely emerge as hallmarks of U.S. merger control this year. Investors planning minority acquisitions that do not pose competition concerns but exceed jurisdictional thresholds, as well as those investing in real estate, are likely to be most impacted, say attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Merger Investigations Set Records In 2015

    Paul T. Denis

    Antitrust merger investigation activity is up, and investigations are taking longer than ever to complete. Companies contemplating antitrust-sensitive transactions in 2016 need to build their deal timing around this reality, say Paul Denis and Michael Weiner of Dechert LLP.

  • 3 Traits Of Best-In-Class General Counsel

    Cynthia Dow

    New research paints an interesting picture of the attributes that facilitate the success of best-in-class general counsel. For one, best-in-class general counsel are 36 percent more likely to cut through bureaucracy. This is an astounding finding given that GCs are generally seen as the greatest champions of rules and regulations, say Cynthia Dow and Melissa Swift of Russell Reynolds Associates.

  • A Closer Look At China’s Draft Antitrust Guidelines For IP

    J. Gregory Sidak

    The implicit rationale behind the policy that China is now moving to adopt through its draft guidelines on the abuse of intellectual property rights assumes that challenging a patent’s validity unequivocally advances the public interest — even if the parties have already executed a license agreement. However, economic analysis shows that this assumption exaggerates the marginal benefit that identifying a few invalid patents might h... (continued)

  • Consequences Of EU's Belgium Tax Scheme Decision

    Dr. Salomé Cisnal de Ugarte

    The European Commission’s recent declaration that Belgium's "excess profits" tax regime violates the European Union's competition laws requires Belgium to recover taxes it did not collect in prior years, irrespective of any litigation that might follow. Meanwhile, this and other European state aid investigations have attracted the attention of U.S. government officials and Congress, say Salome Cisnal de Ugarte and David Blair of Cr... (continued)

  • Debating Old And New Trends In Auto Distribution

    Steven J. Cernak

    Discussions at the Federal Trade Commission's recent auto distribution workshop included the proper methods of regulating both old and new issues that affect not only the auto industry, but many others too. While the discussions are unlikely to result in any quick changes in policies, laws or enforcement, panelists did underscore several key debates, say attorneys at Schiff Hardin LLP.

  • New Data Takes Patent Royalty Theory To Task

    David J. Kappos

    The lobotomy, which (astoundingly) earned its inventor the Nobel Prize in 1949, was justified by a theory that recurrent, compulsive behaviors resulted from “sticky” nerve cells. The emergent theory of “royalty stacking” is fast becoming patent law’s analogue to the sticky nerve cell theory — intuitive, but utterly without evidentiary support, says David Kappos, a partner with Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP and former director of the U... (continued)

  • 'Old School' Tools May Hinder Attorney Collaboration

    Clare Foley

    Collaboration is both commonplace and highly valued among legal professionals, yet the tools and methods that teams use to perform case analysis and deposition preparation can be frustratingly primitive. That’s one of the key findings of a recent litigation practices survey of 650 U.S. legal professionals, according to Clare Foley of Opus 2 International Inc.

  • 6 Types Of Legal 'Mumbo-Jumbo' Attorneys Must Avoid

    Martin A. Schwartz

    Lawyers may be offended that the product of their craft is not appreciated by the general population, but should they be offended if they draft their documents in a language other than modern English? Martin Schwartz of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP describes some common legalisms that make it difficult, if not impossible, for an ordinary English speaker to glean the substance of a legal document.