The potential for government investigation increases during periods of rapid and extreme movement in price. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently reiterated its focus on prosecuting violations of antitrust laws, especially in areas affected by the coronavirus outbreak. On March 9, 2020, the DOJ announced that individuals or companies engaging in price fixing, bid-rigging,
- DTE and Enbridge’s natural gas pipeline joint venture, Nexus, agreed to purchase the Generation Pipeline (Generation).
- Generation was owned by a group of sellers including North Coast Gas Transmission (North Coast).
- Generation’s primary asset is a 23-mile pipeline that serves the Toledo, Ohio, area.
- North Coast continues to own a competing pipeline near Toledo, Ohio.
- The purchase agreement contained a non-compete provision that prevented the sellers, including North Coast, from competing in three counties surrounding Toledo, Ohio, for three years.
- After an investigation, the FTC announced a settlement with DTE, Enbridge and Nexus to remedy the FTC’s concern with the non-compete provision by requiring the purchase agreement to be amended to remove the non-compete provision.
- The FTC Commissioners were unanimous in their conclusion that the challenged non-compete was unlawfully broad, though several Commissioners issued concurring statements regarding the import of the FTC’s action in this case.
The second quarter of 2019 proved to be a busy season for antitrust matters. In the United States, agencies continued to be aggressive and blocked transactions or required significant remedies. They cleared three mergers where divestitures were required; and in the face of FTC or DOJ opposition, companies abandoned several transactions, including between Republic National…
Companies involved in the government contracting industry should take note that the government is honing in on anticompetitive conduct affecting government procurements. The federal government has demonstrated an increased interest in this area, and companies should refresh and audit their compliance programs to avoid hefty civil and criminal penalties and potential prison terms for implicated…
2018 saw a significant upswing in antitrust litigation against health care providers; 27 cases were filed in 2018 versus 17 in 2017. In the latest Antitrust Update for Health Care Providers, we discuss what caused the notable rise, what kinds of cases were brought over the past two years and how they were decided,…