USA Tipline

Silver linings: The Tipline for 9 April 2021

GCR USA - 09 April 2021

The pros and cons chart for covid-19 is infinitely lopsided, but Federal Trade Commission member Noah Phillips thinks there may be some positive competition takeaways. The Republican commissioner is pushing for a section 6(b) study on the impact of rules and regulations that have been rolled back amid our socially distanced world. Also in Tipline, Epic Games and Apple present their proposed findings of fact and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission joins in on the antitrust action.

Be wary: The Tipline for 8 April 2021

GCR USA - 08 April 2021

Federal Trade Commission member Noah Phillips expressed doubt yesterday that adopting more regulations – as Democratic commissioners have suggested – could help resolve antitrust issues. “I think it is true that antitrust, litigation at least, is a slow process,” Phillips said at an event hosted by Stanford University. “One proposal to deal with this is just to adopt a lot more ex ante rules. There’s a theory we can do this at the FTC. I’m sceptical of it.” The Republican’s comments follow the announcement last month that acting chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter has launched a new group intended to “activate” the agency’s competition rulemaking authority. “Rules can be good because they give you notice, but they can be overcorrecting,” Phillips said on Wednesday.

Fishing for predominance: The Tipline for 7 April 2021

GCR USA - 06 April 2021

Canned tuna purchasers thought they had reeled in class certification, but a federal appellate court has let Starkist and Lion Capital off the hook – for now. Meanwhile, Goodwin and Bona Law add to their antitrust rosters and advertising foes Apple and Facebook spar over subpoenas in Epic Games’ antitrust dispute.

Super Tipline: The Tipline for 6 April 2021

GCR USA - 06 April 2021

We’re back with all the Tipline that’s fit to print after a four-day weekend. Justices Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas take opposing views on the abilities of Oracle and Google to lock out potential market entrants, Illumina tries to get the Federal Trade Commission’s merger challenge shipped out west and Republicans look to punish Major League Baseball for opposing Georgia’s controversial election law.

Another kind of court: The Tipline for 1 April 2021

GCR USA - 31 March 2021

Former student athletes were at a court this week, but no basketballs were in sight. As March Madness heads towards its final days, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on whether the National Collegiate Athletic Association can impose limits on compensation for student participants. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, an avid sports fan, started his first line of questioning by stating that “antitrust laws should not be a cover for exploitation of the student-athletes, so that is a concern, an overarching concern here”. GCR USA is off tomorrow and Monday for the Easter weekend, but we’ll return to your inbox on Tuesday.

The FTC and the Holy Grail: The Tipline for 31 March 2021

GCR USA - 31 March 2021

The Federal Trade Commission and Illumina are squaring off once again. This time, the agency is suing to block a vertical deal involving the world-leader in next-generation DNA sequencing. The commission alleges that Illumina’s purchase of Grail could allow it to raise prices or foreclose competition from rivals racing Grail to launch a new cancer screening test. Also in Tipline, Judge Amit Mehta encourages the Department of Justice to narrow its discovery demands from Google and the Antitrust Division files another round of criminal wage-fixing charges.

Headwinds: The Tipline for 30 March 2021

GCR USA - 30 March 2021

Acting Federal Trade Commission chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter has advertised a willingness to take more enforcement risks, but trying to sway the conservative-stacked Supreme Court to rule in the agency’s favour on a novel intellectual property case was seemingly not the place to start. The FTC will not be petitioning the high court to review the Qualcomm case given “the significant headwinds” it is facing, Slaughter said on Monday. Also in Tipline, technology platforms move to woo the centre-left of the Democratic party and Arizona's app bill loses steam.

See you next spring meeting: The Tipline for 29 March 2021

GCR USA - 28 March 2021

Speaking on the final panel of the American Bar Association’s antitrust spring meeting on Friday, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager expressed how much she cannot wait until the competition community can meet again in person. “I never thought I would miss a room with no windows and 2,000 lawyers, but I tell you, I do,” she said. We agree. Today in Tipline, we have more coverage from the spring meeting, a $13 billion health insurance deal receives a second request and a bookstore sues Amazon.

Rulemakers unite: The Tipline for 26 March 2021

GCR USA - 25 March 2021

Day three of the American Bar Association’s antitrust spring meeting delved into the nitty-gritty. Federal Trade Commission acting chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter weighed in on the fate of the vertical merger guidelines, Judge Amit Mehta discussed the role of economic experts and Representative Ken Buck drew lines in the legislative sand. And while it has been a rough year for the nightlife scene, the FTC has announced the grand opening of Club Rulemaking inside its office of the general counsel.

Escape the Labyrinth: The Tipline for 25 March 2021

GCR USA - 25 March 2021

It’s much easier to begin watching a panel session at the American Bar Association’s antitrust spring meeting by pressing “play” than trying to navigate the depths of the Marriott Marquis hoping to find the right room. Speaking during the Department of Justice’s agency update panel yesterday, acting assistant attorney general Richard Powers said the Antitrust Division has “not hesitated and will not hesitate” to move investigations forward and bring cases during the department’s transition to new leadership under the Biden administration. In non-spring meeting news, a group of US states reportedly plans to bring another antitrust case against Google, this time focusing on the company’s Google Play app store.

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