The Department of Justice recently filed a complaint to prevent Booz Allen Hamilton’s $440 million acquisition of “agile and innovative” competitor EverWatch, Inc. Among the notable aspects of the complaint is its definition of the relevant market as a single NSA contract and its assertion that the merger agreement itself constituted a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
Leo Caseria is a partner in the Antitrust and Competition Practice Group in the Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles offices.
There has been a nationwide shortage of infant formula following a recall and temporary closure of a major infant formula manufacturing facility in February 2022. This facility supplied as much as 40% of the nation’s infant formula. In the wake of these events, state attorneys general are on the lookout for unlawful price gouging of infant formula. Sellers of infant formula should make sure that they do not inadvertently run afoul of state price gouging restrictions.…
On February 9, the Treasury Department issued a report analyzing competition in the US alcohol industry (defined as beer, wine, and spirits), which outlined several proposed reforms aimed at improving competition in the sector.
Continue Reading Treasury Department Recommends Antitrust Reform in Alcohol Markets
FTC announces that its merger enforcement orders will once again require prior approval before the subject firm can make a future acquisition affecting any relevant market for which a violation was alleged.
On October 25, 2021, the FTC issued a Prior Approval Policy Statement (the “Statement”) reinstating its prior practice of routinely requiring merging parties subject to a Commission order to obtain prior approval from the FTC before closing any future transaction affecting any relevant market for which a violation was alleged. The Policy Statement implements the Commission’s July 21, 2021 vote rescinding its 1995 Policy Statement on Prior Approval and Prior Notice Provisions. The 1995 Statement rescinded the FTC’s long-standing practice of including prior approval and prior notice provisions in Commission enforcement orders concerning mergers.…
A California jury last week handed down what has been reported to be the first antitrust jury verdict involving the cannabis industry. As the cannabis industry continues to grow and evolve, cannabis-related antitrust disputes may well increase.
Continue Reading California Jury Awards Millions to Cannabis Company in Antitrust Case
Yesterday, the FTC announced certain changes in response to the continuing “massive surge” in HSR filings. See Reforming the Pre-Filing Process for Companies Considering Consolidation and a Change in the Treatment of Debt | Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov).…
Many have been wondering when FTC and DOJ will resume granting early termination of the HSR waiting period in deals that present no anticompetitive concerns. Early termination does not appear to be coming back anytime soon.
Continue Reading FTC, Under Pressure from “Tidal Wave” of HSR Filings, To Begin Issuing Close-At-Your-Own-Risk Letters
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 HSR Filing Fees For Large Acquisitions May Be Increased
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 Taboola the Latest Target of DOJ’s Aggressive Antitrust Scrutiny of Hiring Practices
- 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 Lower Filing Thresholds for HSR Act Premerger Notifications and Interlocking Directorates Announced
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 Amended California Price Gouging Law Closes Potential Loopholes