HSR Filing Fees For Large Acquisitions May Be Increased

On May 13th, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved  and sent on to the full Senate the “Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2021.” The Bill, sponsored by Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley, and approved with bipartisan support, would raise the filing fees under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act for large mergers and would require the fees to be adjusted annually based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. (Currently, the HSR Act’s size-of-person and size-of-transaction tests are adjusted annually, but not the filing fees.) Continue Reading

The European Commission Adopts a Proposal for a Regulation on Foreign Subsidies Distorting the Internal Market

In August 2020, we wrote a blog post about the adoption by the European Commission (“Commission”) of a White Paper on Foreign Subsidies. On 5 May 2021, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market after an extensive consultation process with stakeholders. This post updates our previous entry and considers the implications of the newly proposed regulation. Continue Reading

Taboola the Latest Target of DOJ’s Aggressive Antitrust Scrutiny of Hiring Practices

The Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) continues to investigate hiring practices in a number of industries for potential antitrust violations as part of its effort to scrutinize, and in some instances, criminally prosecute, companies and individuals who enter into agreements with their competitors regarding hiring, wages, and solicitation of employees. Continue Reading

The State of Competition in the U.S. Healthcare Industry

The U.S. healthcare system has been undergoing significant changes since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, which helped precipitate a wave of hospital and healthcare system consolidation, as providers sought out ways to achieve scale to reduce costs and improve quality. Continue Reading

Vertical Deals in Healthcare: Key Antitrust Takeaways for Private Equity Firms

As it continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare sector will face increased antitrust scrutiny from the Biden administration, with the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) and Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (the “DOJ”) (together the “Agencies”) as the Agencies ramp up their reviews not just of “horizontal” transactions (i.e., deals between competitors), but also of “vertical” transactions (i.e., deals that combine market participants at different levels of the healthcare industry, such as payors, hospitals, and physician practices). Continue Reading

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Crossing the Enforcement Gulf for Digital Platforms

This 1970 hit by Simon & Garfunkel is a beautiful song about giving a helping hand to someone caught in a situation of distress.  And there is also broad consensus around the world that the digital platform markets are caught in troubled waters. A few mighty rivers run so high and so fast that they are drowning smaller creeks around them and carrying away anyone riding them. Different attempts to contain these massive flows have been made, but they were not strong enough. This has led to a widely visible enforcement gap, because the tools needed to build solid bridges for smaller rivals and consumers were either missing or not properly applied so far. Continue Reading

Congress Misses Opportunity to Bolster Flagging Cartel Enforcement through Whistleblowers

Congress recently took two steps towards incentivizing private participation in federal cartel enforcement:  the permanent adoption of ACPERA, and enactment of the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act.  While now companies may have permanent incentives to self-report cartel activity, and whistleblowing employees may be better protected from employer retaliation, no surge in individual cartel reporting should be expected absent direct whistleblower financial incentives, such as found in other federal enforcement regimes. Continue Reading

Digital Platforms Face New EU Regulations

With digital platforms present in every aspect of our lives, it was only a matter of time before regulators started to think about how to manage the new issues and competition concerns they raise. Leading platforms have grown in size and market power raising concerns for regulators about dominance and market foreclosure. Continue Reading

Lower Filing Thresholds for HSR Act Premerger Notifications and Interlocking Directorates Announced

  1. Lower Thresholds For HSR Filings

On February 1st, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission announced revised, lower thresholds for premerger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The filing thresholds are revised annually, based on the change in Gross National Product (GNP) and had not been lowered since 2010. Continue Reading

Amended California Price Gouging Law Closes Potential Loopholes

California Penal Code § 396 prohibits price gouging in California during a state of emergency. California enacted a few amendments to Section 396 that are effective now.  As explained in more detail below, among other things, the amendments close potential loopholes relating to e-commerce, sales of new products, and the relevant benchmark date for pre-emergency prices. Continue Reading

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