The Department of Justice Antitrust Division earlier this week rejected efforts by performing rights organizations American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) and the two largest music publishers to relax the terms of antitrust consent decrees that govern the collective licensing of musical works for public performance. The modifications to…

A long-running Department of Justice practice of avoiding Tunney Act procedures when seeking federal district court approval of civil penalty settlements in enforcement actions alleging Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act premerger notification violations is apparently coming to an end. This past week, the Justice Department published proposed final judgments and the related competitive impact statements for public…

As 2015 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back at some of the major federal antitrust enforcement highlights of the year. While headline-grabbing merger challenges dominated antitrust news, the year was marked by other important antitrust developments that are worth noting. Department of Justice Enforcement Merger enforcement. In the last 12 months, only…

UPDATE: On June 15, the Court denied review in Hsiung v. U.S., Dkt. 14-1121,  and Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., Dkt. 14-1122. Apparently, Dow Chemical Co. v. Industrial Polymers, Inc., Dkt. 14-1091, remains pending. The parties filed a joint motion to hold the petition in abeyance before release of the Supreme Court Order List, and…

The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issued a business review letter stating that it would not challenge the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.’s (IEEE) proposed revisions to its patent policy. These patent policy revisions seek to address the “wide divergence” in expectations between holders of patents essential to…

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division had another active year in antitrust enforcement in 2014. As for FTC antitrust enforcement efforts, FTC Bureau of Competition Director Deborah L. Feinstein was kind enough to provide a list of the “Ten Competition Happenings for 2014” on the agency’s Competition Matters blog. Her list…

The dangers of prematurely exercising operational control over an acquisition target, or at least appearing to operate organizational control, are highlighted by a Department of Justice Antitrust Division action announced yesterday against two particleboard suppliers that recently dropped their planned combination. Just five weeks ago, Flakeboard America Ltd. abandoned its proposed acquisition of rival SierraPine…

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco last week upheld the price fixing convictions of Taiwanese electronics manufacturer AU Optronics (AUO), its U.S. subsidiary, and two company executives. The appellate court also affirmed a $500 million fine against AUO, the only defendant to challenge the sentence. The case is U.S. v. Hsiung, No. 12-10492. In…

On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division held a workshop on “conditional pricing practices”—loyalty discounts, bundled discounts and similar pricing techniques.  Many economists, academic experts and practitioners, some of them even hailing from outside the Beltway, opined on the rationale for and against antitrust legality of such…

In case you missed some of those morning sessions at the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting last week, here are some of the highlights from the updates with federal and state enforcers. Agency Update with the Deputy Assistant Attorneys General There were some new faces on the panel this year at…