The Federal Trade Commission’s new Economic Liberty Task Force, launched by FTC Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen, is an important step that addresses concerns from this blogger and others that the FTC’s commissioners should do more to head off the competitive restraints imposed by certain state licensing requirements. The move is consistent with recent efforts by…

On January 25, 2017, the Trump administration designated Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen as Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. Because Ohlhausen has been a Commissioner since 2012 (and held other FTC positions before that), she certainly left plenty of tea leaves for antitrust practitioners to read as they tried to guess how she would act…

Like students going back to school, members of the antitrust community returned last week from summer vacations and started debating the finer points of antitrust policy at various conferences. As is often the case, the highlights included speeches by top antitrust enforcers. And there were plenty of speeches – multiple speeches by each of the…

Occupational licensing has been under antitrust attack in the last several years, from two Supreme Court cases narrowing the state action exemption to numerous reports on local regulations such as taxi medallions. The proposed Alternatives to Licensing that Lower Obstacles to Work Act (ALLOW) Act could prove to be another step in lightening the load…

The most recent edition of the ABA Antitrust Section’s Antitrust Law Journal has yet another thoughtful piece from Dick Steuer. Titled “Antitrust Overhaul” this is not the first time Steuer has covered a big-picture antitrust question in a thought-provoking, readable piece. Here, he suggests that an “overhaul” of the language of the U.S. antitrust laws…

On April 27, 2016, the FTC entered an administrative complaint against Invibio, Inc., accusing it and its parent company, Victrex, of violating FTC Act Section 5 through exclusive dealing contracts. The companies agreed to a consent order, also issued that day. Because the antitrust aspects of exclusive dealing remain unsettled, practitioners (and their clients) would…

Antitrust is hot! Well, as hot as antitrust gets: the mainstream media has covered antitrust issues a few times recently, and policy discussions have broken out in Congress and on the campaign trail. While I disagree with many of the comments, I think it is great that such questions are being discussed by policymakers, reporters,…

In 2009, It’s My Party, Inc. (IMP) sued Live Nation (LN) in federal district court in Maryland alleging anticompetitive tying, bundling, and other forms of monopolization. In February 2015, the court granted Live Nation’s second summary judgment motion. IMP appealed, surely thinking that it was LN’s turn to cry. Instead, in February 2016, the Fourth…

All antitrust lawyers (and, we hope, all our clients) understand the dangers of price discussions with competitors. But even vertical price discussions—those with suppliers or retailers—can later raise antitrust issues. The most recent vivid examples are the cases Johnson & Johnson is defending against Costco and others after it imposed a Colgate program following discussions…