Musical chairs: The Tipline for 22 January 2021
GCR USA - 21 January 2021
Leadership is shuffling fast in the world of antitrust. President Joe Biden ensured Rebecca Kelly Slaughter had a seat once “Hail to the Chief” stopped playing, making her acting chair of the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday. Meanwhile, Gene Kimmelman is returning to the Department of Justice from the comfort of his home office. But antitrust cannot be done entirely remotely. The DOJ says security restrictions in downtown Washington, DC, are complicating physical document production for its Google case, while Parler remains almost entirely offline.
Pomp and Circumstance: The Tipline for 21 January 2021
GCR USA - 19 January 2021
Get a job at a US antitrust agency and you get polite congratulations on LinkedIn and a shoutout in Tipline. Get a job at the White House and you get a television special hosted by Tom Hanks with a fireworks finale synchronised to a live Katy Perry song. Lady Gaga may have forgotten to pay homage to departing Federal Trade Commission chair Joseph Simons on Wednesday, but GCR USA would never be so “Shallow”. Also in Tipline, Makan Delrahim makes a list of antitrust proposals on his way out, the Supreme Court takes on media ownership rules and one of Marvel’s Avengers weighs in on who should lead the Antitrust Division.
Sigh of the Times: The Tipline for 19 January 2021
GCR USA - 19 January 2021
Antitrust defendants let out a collective sigh of relief on Monday as President-elect Joe Biden announced his selection of Rohit Chopra to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It remains unclear who will fill Chopra’s seat at the Federal Trade Commission, but Biden may be hard-pressed to find a competition enforcer as aggressive as the outgoing Democrat. Also in Tipline, the ASCAP/BMI consent decrees survive another review and the FTC quarrels over healthcare advocacy. GCR USA will be back in your inboxes on Thursday following tomorrow’s public holiday for Inauguration Day in Washington, DC.
Makan waves: The Tipline for 15 January 2021
GCR USA - 14 January 2021
Assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim informed staff yesterday that he will be resigning on 19 January. GCR USA spoke with the outgoing enforcer about his legacy and proposed changes to US antitrust law. Also in Tipline, the Federal Trade Commission takes its section 6(b) powers to the healthcare industry as Connecticut reportedly takes on Amazon’s ebooks business. Enjoy the holiday weekend – we’ll be back in your inboxes on Tuesday.
Restitution from the wicked: The Tipline for 14 January 2021
GCR USA - 13 January 2021
It’s been another big week for the Federal Trade Commission, with the Supreme Court holding oral argument in a case that could diminish the agency’s ability to claw back ill-gotten gains. In other news, Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider gained a new trial partner and Amazon responded to conservative media site Parler’s lawsuit.
Card not authorised: The Tipline for 13 January 2021
GCR USA - 12 January 2021
We’ve all been there: in a rush at the checkout line, but the register won’t complete the transaction no matter how many times you swipe your card. Rather than wait for the manager to weigh in, Visa said on Tuesday that its planned purchase of Plaid was not worth its time. Also in Tipline, Illumina is accused of monopolising the market for next-generation DNA sequencing while a video platform popular among politically-conservative users alleges Google illegally rigged its search algorithms in favour of YouTube.
Déjà vu: The Tipline for 12 January 2021
GCR USA - 12 January 2021
The third time could be the charm for the merger of Staples and Office Depot – but first, Office Depot must agree to a deal. As the office supply company reviews Staples’ purchase proposal, Acacia Communications and Cisco Systems are wrestling with their own merger troubles. And Parler, the alternative social network favoured by conservatives, is fighting back against Amazon after finding itself essentially homeless on the internet.
Amendment One: The Tipline for 11 January 2021
GCR USA - 11 January 2021
Animosity towards major technology companies was bipartisan even before a violent mob stormed the US Capitol last week. Now that regulatory spotlight seems a bit brighter. Some Democrats say that Wednesday’s insurrection demonstrates the failure of platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter to curb the spread of misinformation and extremism. Some Republicans argue that platform bans for President Donald Trump and app store bans for Parler, a social media site popular among Trump supporters, amounts to political censorship. Regardless, it appears that “free speech” arguments may play a larger role in future antitrust debates. In other First Amendment-related competition news, a former Citigroup trader acquitted of price-fixing charges has secured permission to use “public” trial exhibits in administrative proceedings – despite the Department of Justice’s objections.
We didn’t start the hire: The Tipline for 8 January 2021
GCR USA - 08 January 2021
It may feel as though the world is always burning nowadays, but pat yourself on the back for almost making it through the first week of 2021. Celebrate with GCR USA as we dig into the Department of Justice’s highly anticipated criminal no-poach case. Also in Tipline, a patent aggregator beats antitrust claims lodged by Apple and Intel, and the Seattle Seahawks are cleared of allegations that they monopolised the number 12.
One of us: The Tipline for 7 January 2021
GCR USA - 07 January 2021
From the classrooms of Harvard Law School to the courtrooms of the prestigious US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, Judge Merrick Garland has built quite the antitrust resumé. While the assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division usually has a fair amount of independence from the attorney general, who could blame President-elect Biden’s pick for top cop for indulging in a little competition policy?