On February 3, the White House announced President Barack Obama’s intention to nominate Bill Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. There was much speculation that Baer would be named to head the Antitrust Division after Sharis A. Pozen, the current acting assistant attorney general for antitrust,…

Having filed over 100 cases in the last 12 months, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division was especially active in 2011. The vast majority of those cases were criminal matters; however, 2011 will most likely be remembered for the Antitrust Division’s merger enforcement efforts. The Antitrust Division reviewed a number of mega-mergers in 2011. While…

Antitrust enforcement has certainly been revived at the Obama Justice Department. With recent cases against Comcast/NBC, health insurers and telecom firms, the DOJ has begun to demonstrate why antitrust enforcement is a critical bulwark for competitive markets. No area is in greater need of an infusion of sound enforcement than healthcare. The healthcare debate demonstrated…

Today, several federal agencies, including the federal antitrust agencies, issued rules and guidance for assisting health care providers in the formation of new accountable care organizations (ACOs). An ACO is a group of health care providers or suppliers or a network of groups—often affiliated with a hospital—collaboratively manage and coordinate care for Medicare beneficiaries. Under…

It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court denied a petition for review in a Federal Trade Commission antitrust enforcement action. There have been far…

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved legislation that, in addition to funding the Federal Trade Commission next year, would increase the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act premerger filing fees that help fund the agency. The legislation (S. 1573) also would block efforts to relocate the headquarters of the FTC from its current location at 600 Pennsylvania Avenue,…

What really has the world come to when a merger to monopoly followed by a 1300% price increase survives Section 7 challenge? That, sadly, seems to be the final result in Federal Trade Commission v. Lundbeck, which the Eighth Circuit affirmed last Friday.   There the maker of one drug to treat a heart defect in…

Maureen K. Ohlhausen, a Washington, D.C. attorney and former Federal Trade Commission staffer, will likely be returning to the agency as a Commissioner. Yesterday evening, the White House announced President Barack Obama’s intention to nominate Ohlhausen to fill the position currently held by Commissioner William E. Kovacic. Kovacic’s term on the five-member Commission expires in…

Yesterday, I released a paper at the Center for American Progress on the Obama antitrust record. In the paper, entitled “Reinvigorating Antitrust Enforcement: The Obama Administration’s Progressive Direction on Competition Law and Policy in Challenging Economic Times,” I assesses the Obama administration’s antitrust enforcement up to now and offer recommendations to strengthen that enforcement going forward. …