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…

When the FTC prevailed in narrowing the state action exemption in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners in February 2015, the hope of many commentators was that the result might be a reduction in excessive or unnecessary local regulation. While that still might be the ultimate result, the immediate reaction of some state legislatures has…

Finding a unifying theory to explain (almost) all the decisions of the Supreme Court in a substantive area can be a difficult task. Alden Abbott and Thom Lambert’s new article accomplishes it for the antitrust decisions of the Roberts Court.[1] They contend that these opinions can be seen as the Court implementing Professor (now Judge)…

So, the only real surprise about yesterday’s opinion in North Carolina State Bd of Dental Examiners v. FTC is that it wasn’t unanimous.  The strongly worded six-member majority opinion, already receiving early applause (see here and here), is further proof that the only thing the current Supreme Court dislikes more than antitrust plaintiffs is state…

Who would have thought that ductile iron pipe fittings would make for such an interesting antitrust case?  While the product might be prosaic, the convoluted facts of the McWane v. FTC case in the 11th Circuit could be used as a law school exam question (and some of us already have).  The issues are now…