I recently spoke at a conference at the American Antitrust Institute.
As the calendar makes clear, summer is nearly over. For some, the transition to fall provokes thoughts of falling leaves, sharpened pencils, and warm beverages. For others, the end of summer means mulling over player rankings, sleepers, and early round strategies. While others have to work to create the perfect fantasy football roster, the Bureau already has an amazing team—as evidenced by some recent internal promotions.
Our recent civil penalty action involving Berkshire Hathaway’s failure to file the required Hart-Scott-Rodino notification is a reminder to investors to be alert to common filing mistakes. It is also a reminder that every investor—companies and individuals alike—needs to have a program in place to ensure compliance with HSR filing obligations.
The PNO handles Hart-Scott-Rodino Premerger Notification Filings for well over a thousand transactions each year. When you submit an HSR Form with all the required information, the PNO can quickly review the filing, and if necessary, forward it to the investigative staff who will focus on determining whether the acquisition presents competitive issues that warrant further review.
This is the email that the sender thought was a friendly introduction to two competitors but ended with today’s charges that the sender violated the FTC Act:
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.
In a recently published article, we discuss our finding that generic drug companies successfully use low-pricing strategies to discourage entry by new competitors in certain circumstances.
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.
Updated as of May 1. Here is a printable version of the 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.