• On July 21, the American Medical Association asked the DOJ’s Antitrust Division to thoroughly investigate the proposed acquisition of PacifiCare Health Systems by UnitedHealth Group through a letter sent to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.
  • On July 18, the Financial Times reported that DOJ’s Antitrust Division is closely evaluating antitrust implications of mergers proposed by both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. The Nasdaq has proposed buying Instinet’s electronic trading network, and the NYSE proposes merging with electronic rival Archipelago.
  • On July 14, KLA-Tencor announced that the Antitrust Division notified it that the DOJ has closed its investigation of KLA’s offer to acquire August Technology Corp. As a result of the closed investigation, KLA-Tencor anticipates that, in the event that it is able to reach an agreement to acquire August, the DOJ would not issue a “second request” for additional information pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, but would instead permit the transaction to proceed.
  • On July 13, the DOJ announced that it reached a settlement with the Kentucky Real Estate Commission under which real estate brokers in Kentucky will be able to offer rebates and inducements to consumers. The proposed settlement would resolve the DOJ’s competitive concerns and lawsuit against the Commission. On March 31, 2005, the DOJ filed a civil antitrust lawsuit challenging the Commission’s regulations that prohibited Kentucky real estate brokers from offering rebates and other inducements to attract customers. The complaint alleges that the Commission’s regulations restricted competition and caused consumers to pay higher prices for real estate services. Under the proposed settlement agreement, the Commission agreed to cease enforcement of its regulations prohibiting rebates or other inducements. The proposed final judgment also states that any disciplinary action initiated by the Commission against any broker for offering a rebate, discount, or other inducement is null and void, and the Commission must note that in its records.
  • On July 12, Rudolph Technologies, Inc. announced that it has been advised by the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, that the DOJ has closed its investigation into the competitive effects of the proposed merger of Rudolph and August Technology Corporation.
  • On July 11, Adobe Systems announced that they have received a second request for additional information and documentary materials from the DOJ in connection with Adobe’s pending acquisition of Macromedia. The second request is limited to information about the companies’ products in the areas of web authoring/design and vector graphics illustration.
  • On July 6, Alltel Corp. agreed to divest assets in rural areas of Arkansas, Kansas, and Nebraska to proceed with its $6 billion acquisition of Western Wireless. DOJ’s Antitrust Division contended that the deal, as originally proposed, would have resulted in higher prices, lower quality, and diminished investment in network improvements for consumers of mobile wireless services in those affected areas. The complaint alleged that the proposed deal would result in substantially reduced competition for mobile wireless telecommunications services in 16 areas where both Alltel and Western Wireless operate. In these areas, DOJ asserted, Alltel and Western Wireless are each other’s most significant competitors. To resolve these concerns, the proposed consent decree would require the merged firm to divest Western Wireless’ mobile wireless services business–including spectrum and customers–in nine Nebraska markets, six Kansas markets, and one Arkansas market.

Authored by:
Andre P. Barlow