The FTC has suffered a setback in its challenge to Laboratory Corporation of America’s acquisition of Westcliff Medical Laboratories, Inc. The federal district court in Santa Ana, California, on February 22 denied the agency’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent integration of the firms pending the outcome of an administrative trial challenging the transaction….

News headlines suggesting an uptick in merger activity in 2010 were validated by the Federal Trade Commission’s 33rd “Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Annual Report,” which was released today by the FTC with the concurrence of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. According to the report, the number of transactions notified to the federal antitrust agencies grew by…

The federal district court in New York City ruled last week that the Department of Justice was entitled to seek disgorgement as a remedy for an alleged Sherman Act violation. The court approved a consent decree, which required KeySpan Corporation to surrender $12 million to the U.S. Treasury to settle a federal antitrust lawsuit brought…

The State of New York was not entitled to an order enjoining mattress manufacturer Tempur-Pedic International, Inc. from restricting discounting by its authorized retailers, a New York state court has ruled. The New York Attorney General alleged that Tempur-Pedic violated New York General Business Law Sec. 369-a, which renders minimum resale price agreements unenforceable. These…

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commission today conditionally approved a joint venture between Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co.’s subsidiary NBC Universal Inc. The  joint venture, which was announced in December 2009, combines Comcast–the nation’s largest cable operator and Internet service provider–and NBC Universal’s cable networks, filmed entertainment, and television…

Antitrust plaintiffs asserting price fixing claims do not need a “smoking gun” to avoid dismissal of their complaint and proceed to discovery. Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago decided that consumers plausibly alleged a conspiracy among the nation’s leading wireless service providers to fix the price of text messaging services in violation of…

A decision from a divided U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta earlier this month continues the debate over the appropriate pleading standard for antitrust plaintiffs under Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly (2007) 550 U.S. 544. The appellate court held that consumers failed to support their resale price fixing and horizontal price fixing claims against the…

The federal district court in Sacramento, California, has refused to dismiss an antitrust claim alleging that SK Foods L.P.—a now-defunct food products distributor—conspired with others to eliminate competition in the market for processed tomato products. The private action brought by competitors of SK Foods parallels a closely-watched federal probe of anticompetitive conduct in the industry….

It has been more than a decade since the U.S. Justice Department has brought an antitrust challenge to enjoin the use of “most favored nation” clauses in the health care industry. Many of the more recent, civil non-merger actions against industry participants have targeted alleged boycotts and fee-setting arrangements by providers. Today, the U.S. Justice…

The Department of Justice and seven states have filed a civil antitrust suit against the three largest credit and charge card transaction networks in the United States, challenging rules that allegedly restrict price competition at the point of sale. MasterCard and Visa have agreed to settle the charges; however, American Express announced that it had…