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,…

The Attorneys General of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington have signed on to the U.S. Justice Department’s complaint challenging AT&T, Inc.’s proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA. An amended complaint, adding the seven states, was filed on September 16. On the same day, a proposed scheduling order was also filed in…

The U.S. Department of Justice today moved to block AT&T Corporation’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc.  According to the Justice Department, the proposed acquisition would combine two of the four largest providers of mobile wireless telecommunications services. These four national carriers—AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile—control over 90 percent of the national cell phone market….

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…

Automated teller machine maker Nautilus Hyosung Holdings Inc. has been charged with obstruction of justice for submitting false documents to the government in its attempt to obtain U.S.antitrust approval of its proposed acquisition of a competing manufacturer of ATM systems in 2008. The altered documents allegedly misrepresented and minimized the competitive impact of Nautilus Hyosung…

Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) have withdrawn their proposal to acquire NYSE Euronext in the face of antitrust objections from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Justice Department issued a statement on May 16, saying that it had informed the companies that it would file an antitrust lawsuit to block the deal. Under…

Time will tell whether it is a good idea to consummate an acquisition while the Department of Justice Antitrust Division is still investigating. On May 10, the Antitrust Division filed a complaint in the federal district court in Harrisonburg, Virginia, challenging the acquisition of a Tyson Foods Harrisonburg chicken processing complex by George’s, Inc.—the 15th…

A decision to watch for this year is the Eighth Circuit’s pending consideration of FTC v. Lundbeck, Inc., 2010-2 Trade Cases ¶77,160; 2010 WL 3810015 (D. Minn. Aug. 31, 2010).  (While I helped draft an amicus brief in that case, on behalf of the American Antitrust Institute, the views here are strictly my own.) If…

The FTC has suffered a setback in its challenge to Laboratory Corporation of America’s acquisition of Westcliff Medical Laboratories, Inc. The federal district court in Santa Ana, California, on February 22 denied the agency’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent integration of the firms pending the outcome of an administrative trial challenging the transaction….