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Category Archives: FTC Developments

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Agencies Sign New Cooperation Agreement with Colombia

Posted in DOJ Developments, FTC Developments

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced on September 16 that the DOJ and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have entered into a new antitrust cooperation agreement with Colombia’s Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, stating that the “agreement will enable the antitrust agencies in the two countries to further enhance their law enforcement relationship.” According [...]

North Carolina Dental Board Urges Reversal of FTC’s “Radical” Stance on State Action Immunity

Posted in FTC Developments

North Carolina’s State Board of Dental Examiners has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) “radical departure” from decades of established precedent that offers state actors immunity from antitrust scrutiny, arguing that the FTC’s approach contradicts the federalist principles that originally gave rise to the state action immunity doctrine. Earlier [...]

FTC Employs SAFE WEB Act to Assist Canada’s Competition Bureau

Posted in FTC Developments

On July 30, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland denied Aegis Mobile LLC’s motion to quash a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) subpoena seeking information related to an investigation by the Competition Bureau of Canada (Competition Bureau).  Aegis, based in Columbia, Maryland, contracted with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) to collect [...]

FTC Promotes Competition Among Professionals Through Advocacy, Enforcement

Posted in FTC Developments

On July 16, 2014, Andrew Gavil, Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), testified on the subject of “Competition and the Potential Costs and Benefits of Professional Licensure” before the House Committee on Small Business.  Gavil explained the FTC’s rationale for evaluating the competitive effects of different licensing regimes [...]

FTC and DOJ Host Conditional Pricing Programs Workshop

Posted in DOJ Developments, FTC Developments

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and United States Department of Justice (DOJ) hosted a workshop on June 23, 2014 discussing the law and economics of “conditional pricing” programs.  Most panelists were academics, including economists and law school professors.  The bulk of the presenters advocated a more aggressive posture towards these arrangements than the courts have [...]

FTC’s Reporting Rule for Pharmaceutical Patent Transfers Upheld

Posted in FTC Developments, IP Antitrust

On May 30, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a dispute with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) regarding the Commission’s authority to require the pharmaceutical industry to report certain transfers of exclusive patent rights under the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) [...]

FTC and DOJ Release FY 2013 HSR Annual Report

Posted in DOJ Developments, FTC Developments

On May 21, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) released the Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report covering Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 (October 1, 2012 – September 30, 2013).  The report describes key merger enforcement actions over the past year and provides interesting data regarding the agencies’ antitrust enforcement activity. Specifically, the report [...]

Perspectives from the Federal Antitrust Enforcement Agencies

Posted in DOJ Developments, FTC Developments, Healthcare Antitrust

At the recent Antitrust in Health Care conference in Arlington, Virginia, representatives from the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division discussed important health care and antitrust topics.  Speakers stressed that the Affordable Care Act is not an opportunity for anticompetitive consolidation and conduct.  Providers and payers alike should continue to analyze [...]

FTC Asks Court to Reverse Payment Decision

Posted in FTC Developments, IP Antitrust

On May 2, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit requesting that the court reverse the district court’s decision in Lamictal Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, finding that a “no authorized generic” agreement between branded and generic drug makers does not qualify as [...]

DOJ and FTC to Hold Conditional Pricing Practices Public Workshop

Posted in DOJ Developments, FTC Developments

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on Tuesday, May 6, that the agencies will jointly hold a public workshop on June 23, 2014, to consider the economic effects and antitrust law treatment of conditional pricing arrangements. Conditional pricing arrangements, such as loyalty discounts or bundled product discounts, are programs [...]

Patent Enforcement Protected by First Amendment?

Posted in FTC Developments, IP Antitrust

After receiving a draft complaint and a stipulated order from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banning its allegedly deceptive letters to infringers of its scanning technology, MPHJ Technology Investments LLC (MPHJ) filed suit against the FTC in the Western District of Texas, alleging violations of the First Amendment.  The complaint alleged that the FTC’s investigation [...]

Terrell McSweeny Confirmed as Fifth FTC Commissioner

Posted in FTC Developments

10 months after President Obama nominated her, Terrell McSweeny has been confirmed as the fifth FTC commissioner.  The vote was 95-1 for McSweeny with David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana, voting against her nomination. McSweeny’s confirmation marks the first time in history that four women have served as FTC commissioners at the same time.  It [...]

FTC Hosts Public Workshop, “Examining Health Care Competition”

Posted in FTC Developments, Healthcare Antitrust

During the last several years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken an active role in antitrust enforcement in the health care industry, particularly with respect to hospital and physician group acquisitions.  Last week, the FTC held a two-day public workshop to examine new trends and developments in the health care industry related to professional [...]

FTC Commissioners Disagree on Section 5 Authority

Posted in FTC Developments

Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act confers broad enforcement powers on the Commission to prohibit “unfair methods of competition.”  In her February 13, 2014 keynote address to the Competition Law & Economics Symposium at George Mason law school, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez argued that it would be a mistake for the Commission [...]

FTC Opinion Finds Domestic Pipe Fitter Unlawfully Maintained Its Monopoly

Posted in FTC Developments, Monopolization/Abuse of Dominance

On February 6, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its opinion and final order against McWane Inc., finding the company unlawfully maintained its monopoly by excluding competitors.  McWane Inc. is the largest domestic supplier of ductile iron pipe fittings, which are used in municipal and regional water distribution systems to change water flow or [...]

FTC Hit with Lawsuit by Target of its Fraudulent Patent Enforcement Investigation

Posted in FTC Developments, IP Antitrust

On January 13, 2014, MPHJ Technology Investment LLC (MPHJ) filed a seven-count complaint against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging various constitutional and other violations, including violations of MPHJ’s First Amendment rights and violations of the Separation of Powers Doctrine. The FTC began an investigation into MPHJ’s business practices and in December 2013 served MPHJ [...]

Federal Trade Commission Announces Revised, Higher Pre-merger Filing Thresholds

Posted in FTC Developments, Mergers & Acquisitions

On January 17, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced revised, higher Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) pre-merger notification filing thresholds.  The FTC adjusts the HSR thresholds annually to represent the increase or decrease in GNP.  These revised thresholds will become effective 30 days from the date on which notice is published in the Federal Register, which should occur within the [...]

FTC Commissioner Wright Renews Calls for Section 5 Guidelines

Posted in FTC Developments

Federal Trade Commission  (FTC) Commissioner Joshua Wright continues to press for a “policy statement” that would define, and perhaps limit, the scope of the FTC’s authority to police unfair methods of competition under Section 5 of the FTC Act.  Commissioner Wright first advanced his proposed policy statement in June 2013.  A lively debate has ensued, [...]

FTC Focuses Enforcement Efforts on Health Care, Technology and Energy Sectors

Posted in Energy/Commodities, FTC Developments, Healthcare Antitrust, IP Antitrust, Monopolization/Abuse of Dominance

On November 15, 2013, Chairwoman Edith Ramirez testified on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) before the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform on the topic of antitrust oversight and enforcement.  Ramirez explained that the FTC “focuses its enforcement efforts on sectors that most directly affect consumers, such as health care, technology and energy.” The [...]

Pay-for-delay to Stay FTC’s Top Priority

Posted in FTC Developments

In a recent interview, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Competition chairwoman Deborah Feinstein announced that targeting pay-for-delay arrangements by pharmaceutical companies would continue as a top priority for the FTC.  Pay-for-delay deals arise when pharmaceutical companies marketing branded drugs pay a pharmaceutical company to enter into a patent settlement with manufactures of generic drugs. [...]

Office Supplies Surprise: FTC Approves Office Depot-OfficeMax Merger

Posted in FTC Developments, Mergers & Acquisitions

On Friday, November 1, 2013 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ended a seven-month investigation of the proposed merger between Office Depot Inc. and OfficeMax Inc., allowing the transaction to move forward. The merger between the second and third largest office supply superstores (OSS) is not the first time the FTC has been interested in OSS [...]

Tweet: No Antitrust Problems Here

Posted in FTC Developments, Mergers & Acquisitions

by Lincoln Mayer The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved social media heavyweight Twitter’s $350 million stock acquisition of MoPub.  Twitter’s purchase of the mobile advertising exchange, which helps companies place ads on mobile devices, is expected to enhance Twitter’s ability to tailor mobile ads to users.  The size of the deal triggered the Hart-Scott [...]

FTC Initiates Inquiry Into Patent Assertion Entities

Posted in DOJ Developments, FTC Developments, IP Antitrust

by William Diaz Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its decision to seek public comment on a proposal to gather information from approximately 25 patent assertion entities (PAE).  The agency defines a PAE as a company whose business model focuses primarily on purchasing patents and then attempting to generate revenue by asserting the [...]