USA Tipline

Spring break: The Tipline for 15 March 2019

GCR USA - 15 March 2019

The Notorious RBG turns 86 today. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had her fair share of contributions to antitrust case law during her four decades on the bench and she will have a chance to weigh in on Illinois Brick later this year when the Supreme Court rules in Apple v Pepper. GCR USA will be on spring break next week, but don’t worry, we’ll be back in your inboxes for all the excitement of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Spring Meeting.

No more no-poach: The Tipline for 14 March 2019

GCR USA - 14 March 2019

The states continue to take it to “no-poach” agreements. Four fast food franchisors agreed to drop clauses preventing employees of one location from moving to another, as part of a settlement with 14 states. Not to be outdone, the State of Washington, which was not one of the 14 states, intervened in three private class action lawsuits challenging alleged “no-poach” deals. The Department of Justice has been active in the area as well, and hopefully we’ll soon have some case law on the topic to dissect.

Shop like a European: The Tipline for 13 March 2019

GCR USA - 13 March 2019

Senator Richard Blumenthal’s concerns over Amazon’s allegedly anticompetitive pricing policy have been heard. The company has confirmed that it will no longer impose its price parity clauses on sellers using its Marketplace platform in the US – aligning with its policies in the EU and Japan. This news comes a few months after Blumenthal called out the company’s pricing tactics as violating US federal antitrust law and urged the Department of Justice to open an investigation.

You win some, you lose some: The Tipline for 12 March 2019

GCR USA - 12 March 2019

College basketball conference tournaments are now underway. The winners from the 32 Division I conferences will earn automatic entry into the NCAA’s March Madness tournament while another 36 wait to see if the league’s selection committee chooses them. Traditionally, the most successful teams have come from the “Power Five” conferences, but a California federal court ruling last week could lead to some more parity. Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that it would be up to the individual conferences, not the NCAA, to set restrictions on non-tuition academic-related resources. In competing to recruit top-talent, schools may now have the incentive to offer more to its student-athletes in the form graduate school scholarships, post-eligibility internships and school supplies.

It’s always campaign season in the US: The Tipline for 11 March 2019

GCR USA - 11 March 2019

In the briefing today: Anthem and Cigna finish up in Delaware; Federal Trade Commission chairman Joe Simons touts empirical economic evidence; a judge deems the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s caps on scholarship grants to be anticompetitive; and antitrust finds its way onto the campaign trail as Senator Elizabeth Warren discusses how she wants to break up Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook.

Eating lunch at the popular table: The Tipline for 8 March 2019

GCR USA - 08 March 2019

Today we have coverage of the new Democratic-led antitrust subcommittee’s first hearing, Cigna continuing to attack Anthem’s legal strategy in a fight about their failed merger, and Bumble Bee’s former chief executive looking to get unhooked. While the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice play the most prominent role in US competition policy, the federal overlap was on full display yesterday. The House of Representatives, the White House, the Federal Communications Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy all feature in today’s Tipline.

Anthem, Amazon and a glass of wine: The Tipline for 7 March 2019

GCR USA - 07 March 2019

Health insurers Anthem and Cigna continue to hash out the real reasons why their mega-merger failed. Also on the books for today are antitrust concerns about Amazon’s foray into the grocery market and Total Wine’s petition for a rehearing or en banc review of a court’s decision to dismiss its antitrust complaint against Connecticut state regulators. Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will hold a subcommittee hearing on the effects of consolidation and anticompetitive conduct in healthcare markets.

Stay in lane: The Tipline for 6 March 2019

GCR USA - 06 March 2019

Senators sparred yesterday about political intervention in competition enforcement. Senate antitrust subcommittee chairman Mike Lee warned that shifting away from the consumer welfare standard could cause antitrust enforcement to become politicised. But that has already happened, according to Senator Amy Klobuchar, if allegations that President Trump tried to intervene in the merger between AT&T and Time Warner are to be believed.

Belated Barry birthday: The Tipline for 5 March 2019

GCR USA - 05 March 2019

We neglected to wish deputy assistant attorney general Barry Nigro a happy birthday yesterday. On tap for today: the state of Washington’s suit against a medical group takes a hit; a pair of big names in “progressive” antitrust are on the move; and the plaintiffs in the foreign exchange litigation have sought class certification against the last remaining bank.

Making good time: The Tipline for 4 March 2019

GCR USA - 04 March 2019

Happy Monday! The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have discussed the benefits of their new model timing agreements, the Actavis litigation has officially closed, and the House of Representatives’ antitrust subcommittee is set to take a closer look at the pharmaceutical industry in its first hearing under Democratic leadership.