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August 2015

Aug 24, 2015

Today, the Commission (with the help of our friends at the Justice Department) filed a proposed settlement in federal court to settle charges that three funds managed...

Aug 12, 2015

Today the FTC and DOJ released the FY 2014 Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report, which details the agencies’ merger review and enforcement program for October 1, 2013...

Aug 4, 2015

One of the key functions of the Bureau of Competition is to analyze mergers. Obtaining information through Second Requests is an essential aspect of our review process for proposed acquisitions. Even though the FTC and DOJ on average issue a Second Request in less than 5 percent of filed...

July 2015

Jul 20, 2015

Every day, the PNO receives many inquiries for interpretations of the Hart-Scott-Rodino statute and rules. Recently, several questions have related to transactions involving rental property, which implicate 16 C.F.R. 802.5, the rule that exempts acquisitions of "investment rental property assets...

Jul 14, 2015

The ability to appoint a monitor is an important tool in building a successful merger remedy. The boilerplate-style language FTC uses in merger orders when appointing a monitor belies the unique and varied roles that monitors play in assuring that the order maintains or restores competition....

Jul 8, 2015

In a variety of industries, the FTC advocates for policies that promote competition. Why? Because studies show competition works, for our citizens and for our economy. Competition typically improves consumer welfare through lower prices, expanded output, better service and more innovation....

Jul 2, 2015

Is more information about prices always a good thing for consumers and competition? Too much transparency can harm competition in any market, including in health care markets.

Ideally, health care consumers need better information about the health care services they might buy, targeted to...

June 2015

Jun 25, 2015

The online ads offer consumers a “risk-free trial” of skincare products from companies that claim to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A- rating. How could that possibly be deceptive or unfair? Let us count the ways.

...

Jun 19, 2015

I am pleased to announce that Ben Gris has been promoted to Assistant Director of the Mergers II Division. Ben joined Mergers II in 2006 from private practice, and became a Deputy Assistant Director of the shop in 2011. His work has spanned the breadth of industries handled by Mergers II, from...

Jun 16, 2015

Everywhere these days, folks are talking about big data. (Apparently, even machines are talking amongst themselves using big data in an ecosystem called the Internet of Things.)  Last week, Chairwoman Ramirez...

Jun 1, 2015

Homeopathy has been around for centuries. But what was once a niche product formulated for an individual user has grown into a multibillion-dollar over-the-counter marketplace. Just what is homeopathy? How are homeopathic products advertised? And how does the FTC Act apply to ad claims?...

May 2015

May 27, 2015

FTC staff has doggedly tracked down information about competition in the pet medications industry for the past several years. Why? Because it’s a large and growing consumer market. With 65 percent of American households owning a pet, and retail sales of prescription pet medications expected to...

May 20, 2015

These days, the sharing economy is all around us. One person might use her smartphone to get an Uber ride to a dinner arranged through Feastly. Another might hire a Taskrabbit to clean up his garden for spring and order custom pots for his flowers from a seller on Etsy. But do these new services...

May 18, 2015

Consumers frequently contact the Bureau of Competition to alert us that the cost of a prescription drug suddenly spiked up, and ask if the FTC can take antitrust action to bring the price back down. The answer in a nutshell is that it depends on the reason for the price change.

We’ve...

May 11, 2015

A fundamental principle of competition is that consumers – not regulation – should determine what they buy and how they buy it. Consumers may benefit from the ability to buy cars directly from manufacturers – whether they are shopping for luxury cars or economy vehicles. The same competition...

April 2015

Apr 28, 2015

UPDATE:  June 6, 2016 – This blog is no longer current.  See our new blog, "Wiring your HSR filing fee just got easier," for current information on paying...

Apr 24, 2015

According to the Bureau’s Statement on Negotiating Merger Remedies, the goal of a structural merger remedy is to maintain or restore competition in the markets affected by the merger while allowing the parties to...

Apr 17, 2015

Spring has come again, and with it, flocks of antitrust lawyers and economists have returned to Washington, DC for the ABA’s annual Antirust Law Spring Meeting. I have once again prepared the...

March 2015

Mar 31, 2015

In recent investigations of hospital mergers, the merging parties often make the argument that the acquired firm is flailing, if not outright failing. Thus, the argument goes, the transaction is necessary to keep the acquired hospital in operation. But courts have set stringent requirements for...

Mar 16, 2015

From time to time, the Commission revises its rules of practice in the interest of fairness, flexibility and efficiency—in other words, to improve the process it relies on for its investigations, studies and adjudicative proceedings. For instance, in 2009, the Commission made comprehensive...

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