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Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) have withdrawn their proposal to acquire NYSE Euronext in the face of antitrust objections from the U.S. Department of Justice.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….

Information sharing between merging parties is a crucial part of pre-merger due diligence, yet courts have rarely weighed in to clarify when, if ever, such information exchanges run afoul of the antitrust laws. On January 10, 2011, a federal appeals court spoke for the first time on the topic. In Omnicare, Inc. v. UnitedHealth Group,…

News headlines suggesting an uptick in merger activity in 2010 were validated by the Federal Trade Commission’s 33rd “Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Annual Report,” which was released today by the FTC with the concurrence of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. According to the report, the number of transactions notified to the federal antitrust agencies grew by…

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Communications Commission today conditionally approved a joint venture between Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co.’s subsidiary NBC Universal Inc. The  joint venture, which was announced in December 2009, combines Comcast–the nation’s largest cable operator and Internet service provider–and NBC Universal’s cable networks, filmed entertainment, and television…

The 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines give increased treatment to a topic that was not well developed in previous Guidelines – namely, mergers that threaten to restrain innovation. The 1968 Guidelines had contained a statement on innovation to the effect that: the Department has used Section 7 to prevent mergers which may diminish long-run possibilities of…

The FTC’s efforts to substantially revise the Horizontal Merger Guidelines for the first time since 1992 were among the recent agency accomplishments touted by FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in remarks delivered last week to attendees of Georgetown Law School’s Fourth Annual Global Antitrust Enforcement Symposium and Fordham Competition Law Institute’s International Antitrust Law & Policy…