The U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia earlier this week reaffirmed the “bright-line” rule limiting federal antitrust standing to direct purchasers. The court upheld dismissal (CCH 2010-1 Trade Cases ¶77,043) of an antitrust action brought by a small Pennsylvania hospital, which sought to represent members of a proposed class, composed of other hospitals, clinics, and…

How far can a competitor go in an effort to convince a local government to block a potential rival from setting up shop in its area without running afoul of the antitrust laws? Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that a hospital was shielded from antitrust liability for allegedly making misrepresentations…

Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) have withdrawn their proposal to acquire NYSE Euronext in the face of antitrust objections from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Justice Department issued a statement on May 16, saying that it had informed the companies that it would file an antitrust lawsuit to block the deal. Under…

Time will tell whether it is a good idea to consummate an acquisition while the Department of Justice Antitrust Division is still investigating. On May 10, the Antitrust Division filed a complaint in the federal district court in Harrisonburg, Virginia, challenging the acquisition of a Tyson Foods Harrisonburg chicken processing complex by George’s, Inc.—the 15th…

Asserting a breach-of-contract defense based on the illegality of the contact under the Robinson-Patman Act appears to be as difficult as successfully alleging a Robinson-Patman Act claim itself. Earlier this week, the federal district court in San Francisco refused to allow a manufacturer of premium pet food to nullify its agreement with a retailer on the ground…

Today, the Federal Trade Commission released a plan for dealing with a government shutdown that would occur if Congress fails to enact appropriations by a midnight deadline. A shutdown looked likely as budget talks appeared to have broken down early Friday morning. As part of the FTC’s plan, the Commission’s Premerger Notification Office would remain…

Microsoft Corporation has filed a formal complaint with the European Commission (EC) against Google Inc. as part of the EC’s ongoing antitrust investigation into the search engine company. In a March 30 blog post, Brad Smith, Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel, said that the software company and search engine rival wanted to register…

Including an arbitration agreement in a commercial or consumer contract that requires your customer to pursue only individual claims in the arbitral forum will not necessarily protect you from class-wide arbitration. You will need to ensure that individual arbitration will allow your customers to enforce their statutory rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals in New…

Soon after Jon Leibowitz became the head of the Federal Trade Commission in March 2009, he told attendees of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. that they could expect continuity in enforcement at the agency. Leibowitz’s recent nomination to serve another seven years at the Commission points to…