Header graphic for print
Antitrust Alert A Global Resource for Compliance Officers & Legal Advisors

Category Archives: FTC Developments

Subscribe to FTC Developments RSS Feed

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 [...]

FTC and DOJ Accepting HSR Filings During Shutdown

Posted in DOJ Developments, FTC Developments, Mergers & Acquisitions

by Gregory Heltzer The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) both announced that they will have limited staff on hand to accept Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) premerger notification filings during the U.S. federal government shutdown.  The HSR Act requires that parties subject to the Act must wait 30 days before closing their transaction.  This [...]

FTC Reaches Unique Settlement with Phoebe Putney Health System Resolving Lengthy Hospital Merger Challenge

Posted in FTC Developments, Healthcare Antitrust, IP Antitrust, Mergers & Acquisitions

by Carrie G. Amezcua and Stephen Wu The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Phoebe Putney Health System settled the FTC’s complaint that the health system’s merger with Palmyra Park Hospital violated the antitrust laws.  Unique state statutes and regulations effectively prevented the FTC from obtaining its usual remedy for unlawful mergers or acquisitions, a [...]

FTC Takes a Broad, “Generic” Approach to Actavis in Amicus Brief

Posted in FTC Developments, Healthcare Antitrust, IP Antitrust

by Daniel Powers The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) battle against “reverse-payment” settlements continues.  In an amicus brief recently submitted in the case of In re Effexor XR Antitrust Litigation, the FTC advanced a broad interpretation of the Supreme Court’s decision in FTC v. Actavis that looks beyond the labels applied to agreements between brand pharmaceutical [...]

FTC Testifies Before Congress on Impact of Patent Hold-up on Competition and Standard-Essential Patents

Posted in FTC Developments, IP Antitrust

by Karne Newburn On July 30, 2013, Suzanne Munck, Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, on the impact of patent hold-up on competition, and standard-essential patents (SEPs).  The hearing covered standard-essential patent disputes and [...]

North Carolina Dentists Seek Rehearing En Banc After Losing Bid for Antitrust Immunity

Posted in FTC Developments, Healthcare Antitrust

by Lincoln Mayer North Carolina’s dentists were not smiling when a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit sided with the Federal Trade Commission in a challenge to the State Board of Dental Examiners’ policy that only dentists could perform teeth whitening.  On July 15, 2013, the board filed [...]

Barry Diller to Pay $480,000 Fine for Failure to File HSR

Posted in FTC Developments

by Carla A. R. Hine The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement today with Barry Diller for failing to file a Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) notification in connection with his acquisition of shares of Coca-Cola over the course of 2010-2012.  Diller will pay $480,000 in civil penalties. Diller acquired Coca-Cola voting securities, and as a result [...]

HSR Rules on Automatic Withdrawal of Filings

Posted in FTC Developments

by Carla A. R. Hine Following the publication of proposed rules back in February, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued final rules to establish procedures for the withdrawal of Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) filings.  The rules, which do not differ from those originally proposed in February, codify the informal “pull and refile” practice parties sometime use [...]

“Reverse Payment” Settlements Subject to Greater Antitrust Scrutiny: Implications of Supreme Court FTC v. Actavis Ruling

Posted in FTC Developments

by Jeffrey W. Brennan By rejecting the “scope of the patent” test and holding that reverse payment patent settlements “can sometimes violate the antitrust laws,” the Supreme Court of the United States subjects such settlements to greater antitrust scrutiny.  But, by establishing the rule of reason as the operative standard for adjudicating the cases, with [...]

$720,000 Civil Penalty for Failure to File HSR

Posted in DOJ Developments, FTC Developments, Mergers & Acquisitions

by Carla A. R. Hine Today the Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), announced a settlement with MacAndrews & Forbes for failing to file Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) in connection with the acquisition of voting securities of Scientific Games (SG).  MacAndrews & Forbes, which is a wholly-owned holding company of Ronald [...]

FTC Commissioner Wright’s Policy Statement Proposes Section 5 Limitations

Posted in FTC Developments, Monopolization/Abuse of Dominance

by Michelle Lowery On June 19, 2013, Commissioner Joshua Wright of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a Policy Statement on the FTC’s enforcement authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair methods of competition.  According to Commissioner Wright, the intent of his proposed Policy Statement is to initiate a discussion on [...]

ACOs and Antitrust Are Aligned and Compatible, Says Commissioner Brill

Posted in FTC Developments, Healthcare Antitrust, Joint Ventures/Competitor Collaboration, Mergers & Acquisitions

by Carrie G. Amezcua FTC Commissioner Julie Brill addressed attendees at the 2013 National Summit on Provider Market Power on June 11.  The focus of her remarks were on the intersection of antitrust, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).  She first touched on the ACA.  Noting the empirical evidence shows that [...]