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 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…

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,…

The Department of Justice today announced a total of $548 million in fines resulting from a second round of charges in the government’s ongoing investigation into collusive activity in the auto parts industry. Two more Japanese companies have agreed to plead guilty for their roles in multiple price fixing and bid rigging conspiracies in the…

Less than six months after her appointment as Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Sharis A. Pozen has announced her resignation, effective as of April 30, 2012. Late yesterday, the Justice Department issued a statement announcing the departure. There was no word on who would replace Pozen. However,…

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…

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…