My partner Lee Van Voorhis in Washington drafted some thoughts on this transaction, which I thought would be of interest to the Kluwer readership.
DOJ Sues to Block Further Anheuser-Busch InBev/Grupo Modelo Linkage
On January 31, 2013, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that it filed a complaint in federal district court seeking to block Anheuser Busch InBev (“ABI”) from acquiring the portion of Grupo Modelo (“Modelo”) it does not already own. The challenge highlights the importance of company documents, the risks of an upfront remedy and other antitrust tips for merging parties.
The Complaint’s allegations
ABI currently has a 43 percent voting [...]
The press is reporting that FairSearch and the other Google opponents have trotted down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Department of Justice Antitrust Division asking them to take over the antitrust investigation of search now that the Federal Trade Commission is poised to close its investigation.
Although it’s Christmas time and we all like Christmas shopping, this is the wrong type of shopping: forum shopping. This last-ditch effort by Google’s competitors doesn’t make sense and is bad for innovation and consumers. Fortunately there is no way it will work.
In the United States we have the mixed blessing of having two antitrust agencies: the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division o [...]
George Mason University (GMU) Law Professor Joshua D. Wright has been picked by the Obama Administration to replace Federal Trade Commission member J. Thomas Rosch—a fellow Republican—whose term expires later this month. The White House announced the intended nomination on September 10.
In addition to serving as a professor at GMU School of Law and holding a courtesy appointment in the Department of Economics, Wright is the Research Director and a Member of the Board of Directors of the think tank International Center for Law & Economics. He has written extensively on antitrust law and economics and is a regular contributor to Truth on the Market blog. Wright previously served as the ina [...]
Recently the DOJ announced its approval, with conditions, of the complex set of commercial agreements entered into by a cadre of cable companies (Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Cox Communications) and Verizon Wireless, 55 percent of which is owned by the cadre’s competitor Verizon Communications. While some may try to portray the DOJ’s decision as some sort of continuation in vigorous antitrust enforcement, nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that the modest concessions made by the parties is nothing more than garnishment on a series of deals that eliminates competition in many critical video and broadband markets, facilitates collusion by companie [...]
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of William Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. Baer was nominated in February, shortly after then Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen announced her intention to resign effective as of April 30.
“Antitrust enforcement is best when it has a sound analytical foundation and when it focuses on behavior that poses serious risk of economic harm to the American people,” said Baer in his opening remarks at the July 26 hearing. He pledged to work with the Antitrust Division’s staff to pursue enforcement policies “that are vigorous, th [...]
The government’s successful prosecution of AU Optronics Corporation, its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, and two former company executives serves as a cautionary tale. The case marks the first time a company has gone to trial over charges resulting from a U.S. investigation into an international cartel. It highlights the dangers of participating in a price fixing conspiracy and perhaps more importantly the risks of fighting the Justice Department’s charges in court.
A recent decision of federal district court in San Francisco is a reminder of these hazards. On June 11, the court issued an order denying the defendants’ motions under Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure for acquitt [...]
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division “remains committed to taking all appropriate investigatory and enforcement action against conduct threatening harm to competition in agricultural markets,” according to a report released earlier this month.
The report, entitled “Competition and Agriculture: Voices from the Workshops on Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement in our 21st Century Economy and Thoughts on the Way Forward,” is intended to share with the agriculture and antitrust communities what the Antitrust Division learned at a series of five workshops hosted by the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture in 2010.
The report identifies recurring themes heard at the wor [...]
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, announced her intention to resign just over one week ago (see January 24 blog post). Pozen plans to leave the Justice Department at the end of this month to return to private practice.
Bill Baer is currently the head of the antitrust group at the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter, LLP. Baer held a number of high-level positi [...]
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 sale of parts to automobile manufacturers in the United States. The Antitrust Division announced that Japanese suppliers of automotive electrical components—Yazaki Corporation and DENSO Corporation—have agreed to pay a total of $548 million in criminal fines.
The latest fines, when taken together with a $200 million fine imposed last November on Fur [...]
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, there is speculation in the media that Bill Baer, head of the antitrust group at the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter, LLP. might be on the short-list of candidates. Baer has held a number of high-level positions at the Federal Trade Commission, including director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.
The current deputy assistant a [...]