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June 2015

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UPDATE:  June 6, 2016 – This blog is no longer current.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...

Mar 16, 2015

Some will remember 1976 as the year of the nation’s bicentennial, but it was also the year that Congress gave the antitrust agencies an important tool to prevent harmful mergers before the harm occurs and before the assets and operations of the merging parties are joined in a way that precludes...

Mar 13, 2015

Recently, I appeared on a panel that discussed the Commission’s recent Section 5 cases. While my colleague, BCP Director Jessica Rich, addressed the use of Section 5 to combat modern-day fraud,...

Mar 9, 2015

There is still time to submit public comments on the FTC’s proposal to study the effectiveness of its remedial orders in merger cases. Fifteen years have passed since the Bureau’s previous Divestiture...

Mar 4, 2015

Although FTC staff often rely on voluntary requests for information in the early stages of an investigation, the use of official subpoena and civil investigative demands authorized by the Commission is essential to uncover potential law violations, and when necessary, to pursue a law enforcement...

February 2015

Feb 26, 2015

Yesterday, the Supreme Court affirmed the Fourth Circuit’s decision to uphold the FTC’s order against the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners In a tour-de-force opinion laying...

Feb 20, 2015

As anyone of a certain age can attest, the 1970’s were all about change. Hairstyles and hemlines were obvious signs, but in the world of antitrust, change came in the form of applying competition standards to the “learned professions,” and new thinking about the role of competition in helping...

Feb 18, 2015

Reminder: your appointment is coming up soon! Staff of the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division just posted the agenda for next week’s two-day health...

Feb 10, 2015

The Ninth Circuit today affirmed the district court’s ruling that the merger of St. Luke’s Health Systems, Ltd. and Saltzer Medical Group violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Nearly two years ago, the...

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