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…

As 2016 comes to a close, a number of important trends in antitrust have emerged that will likely have lasting effects on competition law enforcement in the coming years. A new administration will put its mark on federal antitrust policy, but the following five developments witnessed at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and FTC…

There has been a lot of speculation about what impact the election of Donald J. Trump will have on antitrust enforcement over the next four to eight years. Some commenters have suggested that Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail signals dramatic changes. Candidate Trump spoke of blocking AT&T Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc….

Long-stalled efforts proposed by some federal lawmakers to bring “reform” to the FTC will likely be reintroduced in the 115th Congress. With a Republican majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate, and President Donald J. Trump in the White House, measures that could not get sufficient support in in the current Congress and…

In a press release issued on October 20, 2016, the Antitrust Division and the FTC issued antitrust guidance for human resource (HR) professionals and others who are involved in hiring and compensation decisions.   While the guidance on how the antitrust laws apply to hiring is useful, the big news in the press release is:…

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…

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…

The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of the petition for certiorari in the McWane case on Monday dashed the hopes of many antitrust practitioners that the Court might provide some much-needed clarity on the antitrust implications of using exclusive dealing arrangements. The denial also makes it highly unlikely that the High Court will be issuing any…

Federal lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would eliminate differences in the procedures used by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division in challenging unconsummated acquisitions and mergers. The proposed “Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules Act of 2015” or “SMARTER Act” is intended to address concerns that…