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 federal district court in New York City ruled last week that the Department of Justice was entitled to seek disgorgement as a remedy for an alleged Sherman Act violation. The court approved a consent decree, which required KeySpan Corporation to surrender $12 million to the U.S. Treasury to settle a federal antitrust lawsuit brought…

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…

On October 18, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Michigan sued Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (“Blue Cross”), a not-for-profit insurance provider, under Section 1 of the Sherman Act and analogous state law to enjoin Blue Cross from including most-favored-customer (aka, ‘most favored nation’ (MFN)) clauses in its contracts with…

The federal district court in Sacramento, California, has refused to dismiss an antitrust claim alleging that SK Foods L.P.—a now-defunct food products distributor—conspired with others to eliminate competition in the market for processed tomato products. The private action brought by competitors of SK Foods parallels a closely-watched federal probe of anticompetitive conduct in the industry….

It has been more than a decade since the U.S. Justice Department has brought an antitrust challenge to enjoin the use of “most favored nation” clauses in the health care industry. Many of the more recent, civil non-merger actions against industry participants have targeted alleged boycotts and fee-setting arrangements by providers. Today, the U.S. Justice…

The Department of Justice and seven states have filed a civil antitrust suit against the three largest credit and charge card transaction networks in the United States, challenging rules that allegedly restrict price competition at the point of sale. MasterCard and Visa have agreed to settle the charges; however, American Express announced that it had…

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…

On August 19, 2010, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued the final revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines in order to reflect changes to the agencies’ merger review process and to assist businesses in understanding how the agencies evaluate proposed mergers and acquisitions. The current guidelines are…