USA Tipline

Not the FTC’s COPA tea: The Tipline for 13 April 2021

GCR USA - 13 April 2021

If a certificate of public advantage (COPA) is altered behind closed doors, does it make a sound? According to Prisma Health, LifePoint Health refused to go through with the sale of three of its hospitals unless South Carolina granted the deal antitrust immunity before the merger was announced. The state amended an existing COPA to exempt the deal from antitrust scrutiny without any public input, but the healthcare providers last week abandoned the tie-up after a state court found the transaction was not eligible for an antitrust waiver and the Federal Trade Commission raised competition concerns. Also in Tipline, Apple seeks sanctions against Epic Games and the FTC takes a closer look at the proposed tie-up of two farm supply retailers.

Trades & transfers: The Tipline for 12 April 2021

GCR USA - 11 April 2021

Moving a case to a different court is harder than moving players to a new team in the National Hockey League. With the NHL’s trade deadline today, teams are looking to add talent for a playoff push. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission is looking to keep all of its team in Washington, DC, for its challenge to Illumina’s proposed purchase of Grail. Also in Tipline, Lina Khan submits documents to the Senate Commerce Committee as the Biden Administration seeks approval for its second antitrust professor trade with Columbia Law School.

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.

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