The Department of Justice Antitrust Division opened 90 merger investigations and filed 13 merger cases in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 (October 1, 2010, to September 30, 2011). The uptick in enforcement activity over the past couple of years was in response to an increase in merger activity. Increase in HSR Filings According to recently released…

The next Term may see significant SCOTUS consideration of the state action immunity, the first such case since 1992. The decision below in the defendants’ favor was quite plainly wrong, and so it might also become only the second antitrust case in twenty years in which the Court has ruled for a plaintiff.  That would…

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has blocked two mergers in the past several months, in each case after filing a lawsuit against the merging parties.  The first case involved a relatively small transaction in the digital tax business involving H&R Block and 2nd Story Software. The second case was the high-profile proposed acquisition by…

Despite a U.S. Department of Justice decision to clear the deal, the European Commission (EC) today blocked the proposed merger of NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse. The EC determined that the combination would have resulted in a quasi-monopoly in the area of European financial derivatives traded globally on exchanges. The two exchanges control more than…

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…

The prospects for the merger of Deutsche Börse AG and NYSE Euronext are looking a little brighter, since the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division conditionally approved the transaction yesterday. U.S. antitrust approval is a major hurdle; however, the combination of the two leading stock exchange groups, which was announced in February, still requires clearance…

The federal district court in Washington, D.C. yesterday released its Memorandum Opinion explaining its October 31 order enjoining H&R Block, Inc.’s proposed acquisition of 2SS Holdings, Inc.—the maker of “TaxACT” tax preparation software. The court took a traditional approach in reviewing the merger and concluded that the transaction, which would have combined the second and…

While Attorney General Eric Holder spent much of his time at today’s Senate Judiciary Committee Department of Justice Oversight hearing responding to question’s about the “Fast and Furious” law enforcement operation, he also was asked to provide his thoughts on some recent developments at the Antitrust Division. Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), chairman of the Senate…

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…

Federal district courts around the country have blocked AT&T Mobility LLC customers from pursuing arbitration to challenge the merger of AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA Inc.—a transaction valued at approximately $39 billion. At least four federal district courts have granted AT&T Mobility’s motions for preliminary injunctions, and a fifth federal district court did not reach the motion…