Back in 1998, the must-have toy was a Furby, and if you were a parent with a kid of a certain age, you had to find one. In those days, Toys “R” Us was the nation’s largest toy retailer, and the company attracted antitrust attention when it announced that it would stop carrying toys made by any manufacturer that sold the same toys to discount club stores, such as Costco. That policy would have prevented nearby club stores from carrying the same Furby sold at Toys “R” Us (creating problems for that parent hoping to avoid a toddler meltdown).
“The clock” is a central part of a merger lawyer’s life. HSR merger review is all about managing the clock effectively. Here are some things we’ve been known to say: Is the clock running? When does the clock start? How much time is on the clock?
It is a time of unprecedented change in the way health care services are provided and paid for in this country. As with other sectors of our economy that have experienced dramatic change, industry participants are reacting by developing new models, learning from their experiences, and adopting best practices.
If anything qualifies as a not-to-be-missed event in the antitrust world, it is happening next Mon., June 23. That’s the day that the FTC and the Department of Justice will hold a joint public workshop on conditional pricing practices.
When the Federal Trade Commission looks at competition in the retail sector today, it typically considers the significance of online sales. Sometimes the competition from online retailers drives the analysis. In closing the Office Depot-Office Max matter, the Commission pointed to “the explosive growth of online commerce, which has had a major impact” on the sale of office supplies.
Today the FTC and DOJ released the 36th Annual Hart-Scott-Rodino Report, a document full of interesting data about federal merger review. The report covers transactions in which the merging parties filed HSR notification between Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013, and federal merger enforcement actions during the same time period. Here are some notable numbers from the report:
Here’s a very common question, and the writer is usually a retailer who sells products from different manufacturers.
Once again, I have the privilege of announcing that some incredibly talented lawyers in the Bureau have been promoted to management positions.
The Anticompetitive Practices Division, which handles the Bureau’s enforcement efforts against anticompetitive conduct in industries other than health care, has two new Deputy Assistant Directors:
Antitrust enforcers have always been concerned about the potential for harm arising from the activities of trade groups made up of competitors. From its earliest days, the FTC has examined the conduct of trade associations. For example, here’s a passage from the FTC’s first annual report circa 1916:
Consumers once shopped predominantly at their local stores; but first mail order catalogs and today the Internet have created new ways to shop for and purchase a wide range of goods and services. Similarly, consumers once arranged for taxis by hailing one from a street corner or by calling a dispatcher; yet today, smartphones and new software applications are shaking up the transportation industry, creating new business opportunities and new services for consumers.
These procedures have been changed as of May 1. Please see the new instructions for delivering HSR filings.
Do bike messengers read blogs about Hart-Scott-Rodino? Maybe not. But anyone who needs to file a HSR premerger notification form after April 25 should read on for information about how to deliver filings at the PNO’s new home on the fifth floor of the Constitution Center.
One of the most vibrant areas of recent economic development has been the “share economy.” Facilitated by popular smartphones and animated not only by economics, but also by many people’s interest in expanding social networks, peer-to-peer (P2P) software applications now facilitate services from shopping to local accommodations.
Engagement in multilateral dialogue and consensus building is a cornerstone of the FTC’s international antitrust program, and our active involvement in the International Competition Network (ICN), a collaborative network of antitrust agencies from 111 jurisdictions around the world, is at the heart of this work. The FTC is a founding member of the ICN and serves on the ICN’s Steering Group.
The FTC recently accepted a proposed settlement that would end its litigation to prevent Ardagh Group SA’s proposed acquisition of Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc. from reducing competition in the glass container industry. The proposed consent agreement requires Ardagh to divest six of its nine U.S.
Spring is a special time in Washington. Since the first trees were planted around the Tidal Basin in 1912, viewing the cherry blossoms has become a Washington tradition.
Another spring tradition: the Bureau Director’s annual report to the gathering of antitrust lawyers and economists in town for the ABA’s Antitrust Law Spring Meeting. This year, it is my privilege to report on the activities and accomplishments of the Bureau’s 300 lawyers and support staff.
On any given Sunday in Illinois, consumers can do their weekly shopping at various “brick and mortar” stores or turn to online vendors virtually 24-7. They can even purchase alcohol on Sunday after 11:00 a.m. But for decades they have been barred by law from purchasing a new or used automobile from a licensed car dealer.
Today, the Commission accepted for public comment a proposed order designed to preserve competition after the merger of CoreLogic and DataQuick, two of only three firms that license national assessor and recorder bulk data. The proposed order does this by facilitating the entry of RealtyTrac to replace the loss of DataQuick as an independent competitor.