The Federal Trade Commission announced on Friday that Chairman Jon Leibowitz is planning to leave the Commission effective February 15. Leibowitz has chaired the agency since March 2009 and has been a commissioner since September 2004. Leibowitz did not offer any details of his plans following his departure from the agency.
When Leibowitz began serving as chairman, he anticipated continuity at the agency. He told attendees of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. in March 2009 that he intended to build on the accomplishments of past FTC chairs.
Leibowitz’s tenure was marked by consistency. There were a number of significant accomplishmen [...]
The Federal Trade Commission’s investigation of the now-abandoned merger between Integrated Device Technologies and PLX Technology was the topic of remarks delivered by FTC Commissioner Julie Brill at Skadden’s and Compass/Lexecon’s annual “Antitrust in the Technology Sector” program in Palo Alto, California, on January 28. “The issues raised by IDT/PLX spanned the Merger Guidelines,” Brill said.
In December 2012, the FTC issued an administrative complaint seeking to prevent Integrated Device Technology’s proposed $330 million acquisition of PLX Technology, Inc. The FTC’s complaint alleged that the combined company would possess a near-monopoly on the production of PCIe swit [...]
In order to assert an antitrust injury, a plaintiff needs to be a consumer or a competitor in the restrained market, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled yesterday. If a company makes the choice not to compete, then it will lack standing to pursue antitrust claims.
Ethypharm S.A. France, a French pharmaceutical company, brought an antitrust action in 2008 against Abbott Laboratories. Ethypharm alleged that the failure of its branded fenofibrate drug, Antara, to compete with TriCor, which was developed by a French company named Laboratories Fournier and distributed by Abbott in the United States, was a direct result of Abbott’s anticompetitive conduct.
Ethypharm did not sell A [...]
Canada’s first competition legislation was enacted in 1889, with the intention of combatting the price-fixing and other anti-competitive conduct of so-called “combinations.” Trade and professional associations figured prominently among the “combinations” alleged to have engaged in this anti-competitive behaviour. As one observer commented at the time, “there are few branches of trade in this or any country which are not represented by associations which seek to prevent unprofitable competition”.
Fast forward to 2012, and it is apparent that Canadian competition authorities continue to harbour similar concerns about the legality of certain trade and professional association acti [...]
We all remember the movie “Reversal of Fortune” that retells the real life story of Claus von Bulow, accused of attempting to kill his super-wealthy wife. When the movie begins life looks extremely bleak for Claus – he has been convicted of murder, the factual evidence seems compelling and he seems like a wholly unsavory character. Yet Alan Dershowitz arrives on the scene, and although he believes Claus is guilty, he finds new legal avenues, undermines the key evidence, and reverses the conviction.
Google’s opponents probably feel like Claus with the news that the decision in the ongoing Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation has been delayed. The FTC seemed poised to close [...]
The Senate late on January 1 confirmed Joshua D. Wright to serve as an FTC commissioner. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee issued a statement on January 2, saying that Wright’s nomination, among others, had been discharged from the Committee and confirmed by the Senate.
Wright will replace FTC Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch—a fellow Republican—whose term expired in September. The White House announced the intended nomination on September 10.
The George Mason University (GMU) Law Professor was confirmed despite tough questioning at a Commerce Committee hearing on December 4. Wright, an economist, has written extensively on antitrust law and economics and is a re [...]
The U.S. Senate today confirmed William Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. The vote was 64 to 26.
Baer was nominated by the President on February 6. His nomination was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 20.
“Bill is a highly-skilled and well-respected antitrust lawyer who understands the importance of promoting competition in order for consumers to reap the benefits of lower prices and better quality products and services,” said Attorney General Holder in a December 30 statement, welcoming the confirmation. “I have no doubt that he will lead the Antitrust Division effectively in its vigorous enf [...]
The press has been reporting that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has completed its in-depth 19-month investigation of Google and decided not to take action on the allegation that Google “intentionally manipulates search results to harm competitors.” For the last year and a half, Google’s corporate rivals have bellowed about the company’s supposed “abuses,” and lobbied the Commission to take the harshest possible action, at times even suggesting that the agency should become a day-to-day regulator of search and that Google should be constrained from adapting its product to meet consumer preferences. However, it seems that the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation has determined that Goo [...]
Keep an eye out for the Court’s decision on certiorari in McCray v. Fidelity Nat’l Ins. Co., 682 F.3d 229 (3rd Cir. 2012). I have my fingers crossed that it may be the case in which the Court finally does the right thing with the accursed “filed rate doctrine.” I filed a brief in support of certiorari in the case on behalf of myself, eighteen leading antitrust scholars, and the American Antitrust Institute.
Pretty much everybody who is not a regulated industry is in agreement about the FRD, an old rule now commonly associated with Louis Brandeis’s famous opinion in Keogh v. Chicago & Nw. Ry. Co., 260 U.S. 156 (1922). Specifically, they all pretty much agree that the FRD is ba [...]
My U.S. colleagues Lee van Voorhis and Brian Rafkin wrote an excellent client alert on the Bosch case and I asked them to prepare the following short summary for the Kluwer readership:
On November 26, 2012, the FTC and Robert Bosch GmbH entered into a Consent Agreement that resolved the FTC’s inquiry into Bosch’s $1 billion acquisition of SPX Services. As part of the Consent Agreement the FTC required that Bosch agree to license on FRAND terms certain SPX patents. This is the first case where the FTC alleged an antitrust violation where a patent owner sought injunctions against willing licensees of FRAND-encumbered standard-essential patents. Moreover, the FTC obtained a consent agreemen [...]