USA Tipline

The Fall Classic: The Tipline for 1 October 2020

GCR USA - 01 October 2020

Playoff baseball is here. While the Washington Nationals are not on the hunt to defend their crown, it is the Federal Trade Commission that finds itself challenging the umpire’s strike zone. A ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Wednesday took a whack at the commission’s disgorgement powers. It might not be too late for the agency to make a call to the bullpen and see if House antitrust subcommittee chair David Cicilline can draw up some new legislation cementing some monetary equitable relief powers before today’s hearing.

The best revenge is massive success: The Tipline for 30 September 2020

GCR USA - 30 September 2020

It’s a Federal Trade Commission-heavy briefing from us today. A Missouri federal judge sided with the agency in its suit to block Peabody Energy’s proposed joint venture with Arch Coal. And on the East Coast, a federal court in Philadelphia resumed a preliminary injunction hearing over the FTC’s challenge to Jefferson Health’s acquisition of Albert Einstein Healthcare Network.

The Wild West: The Tipline for 29 September 2020

GCR USA - 29 September 2020

“As we frequently are in the Northern District of California, we’re in a new world,” said Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers yesterday when discussing Apple’s closed iOS ecosystem – and the potential competition issues it may have caused. “They don’t call us the Wild West for nothing.” The California federal judge is presiding over Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple, which appears likely to go to trial next July. New frontiers in antitrust apparently await us.

Competitor welfare standard: The Tipline for 28 September 2020

GCR USA - 28 September 2020

Federal Trade Commission chair Joseph Simons and the agency’s Democratic members voted in favour of asking the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to take a second look at its Qualcomm ruling. Has Simons been cheering for the case from the beginning or is he merely concerned with controversial aspects of the ruling – such as the finding that harms to customers are not “anticompetitive in the antitrust sense”? That is not clear. Either way, the FTC claimed the panel got it “exactly backwards”.

Plaintiff-minded: The Tipline for 25 September 2020

GCR USA - 25 September 2020

There’s never a good time for an antitrust injury, but now seems like as good a time as any for those harmed by anticompetitive behaviour to seek their vindication. Former Paul Weiss partner Jonathan Kanter is starting his own plaintiff-focused antitrust boutique, while customers of a Florida oncology network will no doubt soon become aware that its founder has been charged with one count of conspiring to allocate markets for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

No rest for Google: The Tipline for 24 September 2020

GCR USA - 24 September 2020

Google antitrust lawyers and lobbyists must be busy these days. Republicans further voiced their concern about an “anti-conservative bias” on digital platforms at the White House yesterday. The Department of Justice is also expected to file an antitrust complaint against the tech company as soon as this month. We’re looking out for updates.

What’s in a name: The Tipline for 23 September 2020

GCR USA - 23 September 2020

Antitrust officials from the US and EU yesterday praised the catchiness of the term “killer acquisition”. “I think it is a great phrase that obviously has captured a certain zeitgeist within the antitrust community,” said Ian Conner, director of the Federal Trade Commission’s competition bureau, before expressing concern over the broad application of the expression. But Conner also added that the most important contribution the phrase may have had over the past year is raising the profile of acquisitions of nascent competitors, flagging “the difficulties in challenging those transactions under the potential competition doctrine.”

Changing of the seasons: The Tipline for 22 September 2020

GCR USA - 22 September 2020

Today is the autumn equinox, an ideal time to swap out your telework t-shirts for your commute-free cardigans. The leaves are beginning to change and the requirements for Hart-Scott-Rodino merger filings may be too. The US antitrust agencies are taking notice of potential anticompetitive harm from common ownership and looking to make it more challenging for merging companies to hide the identity of their stakeholders.

RBG: The Tipline for 21 September 2020

GCR USA - 21 September 2020

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87. While not particularly vocal on antitrust, Ginsburg will be remembered for advancing gender equality under the law and also blazing a path for a future generation of lawyers. “I'm sometimes asked, 'When will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court]?' and I say 'When there are nine,’” she once said.

John Pierpont Morgan: The Tipline for 18 September 2020

GCR USA - 18 September 2020

Is “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” a phrase people use earnestly or just something a PR representative tells a client when things go haywire? JPMorgan Chase sent some traders home this week after a positive covid-19 test, just days after the bank announced it would be requiring other traders to return to the office on Monday. Collaboration isn’t always such a great thing anyway. Just ask the ex-JPMorgan trader who received an eight-month prison sentence on Thursday for working a little too closely with the competition.

Get unlimited access to all Global Competition Review content