USA Tipline

As one door closes: The Tipline for 19 February 2021

GCR USA - 18 February 2021

Steves and Sons has lost out on $139 million in damages, but the 155-year-old doormaker can take solace in knowing it may have blazed a trail for a generation of private plaintiffs seeking to unscramble the egg. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit yesterday told rival doormaker Jeld-Wen that a lower court was within its authority in ordering the company to unwind its 2012 purchase of Craftmaster. Also in Tipline, Apple and Tesla weigh in on patent pools as Representative David Cicilline and his antitrust friends announce another set of hearings.

Word to the Weiser: The Tipline for 18 February 2021

GCR USA - 18 February 2021

Colorado attorney general Phil Weiser believes today’s antitrust reformers can learn a lot from the Chicago School revolution that replaced a “big is bad” enforcement mindset with a framework grounded in “actual economic consequences”. The former Department of Justice official said the Chicago School has led to an overcorrection, but modern reforms will still be best served by reflecting the same sort of “market realities”. In today’s Tipline, the DOJ takes a closer look at Salesforce/Slack, NewsCorp gets paid and Apple escapes the North Dakota legislature.

Apocalypse Now: The Tipline for 17 February 2021

GCR USA - 17 February 2021

Former Federal Trade Commission Chair Bill Kovacic thinks some of the current antitrust debate resembles the post-apocalyptic thriller Mad Max – but instead of fighting in a destitute wasteland over scarce water supplies, competition wonks are arguing over whether the US antitrust agencies have brought a case in the past 40 years focused on harm to innovation. Progressives certainly have not monopolised dystopian rhetoric. Senator Mike Lee warned of the “soft totalitarianism of a corporate shadow state” caused by “Big Tech” as he set out Senate Republicans' antitrust agenda for the 117th Congress.

The Badlands: The Tipline for 16 February 2021

GCR USA - 16 February 2021

Theodore Roosevelt travelled west to the Dakota Territory in 1883 looking to hunt bison. Epic Games, Spotify and other app store complainants have stolen a page out of the playbook of “the great trustbuster”, making their way to Bismarck, North Dakota, in hopes of capturing a few app stores through legislation. Also in Tipline, the Federal Trade Commission widens its investigation into the Great Outdoors and Commissioner Christine Wilson weighs a trek into the administrative wilderness of Magnuson-Moss rulemaking.

Antitrust-Focused Judiciary Day: The Tipline for 12 February 2021

GCR USA - 12 February 2021

GCR USA is off on Monday for President’s Day. Everyone is off tomorrow for Antitrust-Focused Judiciary Day, which celebrates the birthdays of Justice Robert Jackson and Cravath Swaine & Moore partner Katherine Forrest. In today’s Tipline, Tommaso Valletti and Fiona Scott Morton discuss the impact of lobbying and Texas attorney general Ken Paxton defends his decision to hire outside counsel for the state’s Google lawsuit.

Happy Birthday, Big Tech merger study: The Tipline for 11 February 2021

GCR USA - 11 February 2021

One year ago today, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it was requiring Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft to produce information on unreported mergers dating back to 2010. The former head of the FTC’s office of policy planning, Bilal Sayyed, has said the group reached “some tentative conclusions” from the study and that he hopes there will be a publicly-available report down the road. But more on that next week. In today’s Tipline, the private antitrust bar is making waves against Big Waves and a dismissal out of Mississippi shows that follow-on claims are easier to allege than prove.

Great Powers: The Tipline for 10 February 2021

GCR USA - 10 February 2021

There is a new competition sheriff in town. Richard Powers, who was the senior supervisory official at the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, has assumed the role of acting assistant attorney general, according to the agency’s directory. The former head of criminal enforcement at the division will have to wait to try the agency’s first criminal no-poach case after a Texas federal court granted Surgical Care Affiliates another seven months to prepare. Also in Tipline, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacates a decision that some experts said threatened the generic pharmaceutical industry.

Impeachment II: The Tipline for 9 February 2021

GCR USA - 08 February 2021

There’s not much of an antitrust angle to the second Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump – except, of course, that the attorney leading the former president’s defence, Bruce Castor, was the Pennsylvania solicitor general who supported the Federal Trade Commission in its successful appeal against the Hershey/Pinnacle Health merger in 2016. In today’s Tipline, Hollywood’s antitrust lawsuit rolls the credits, the antitrust law section of the American Bar Association asks for clarity from the Biden administration and Relevent Sports looks to save its claims against the US Soccer Federation.

Not all sports metaphors are clichés: The Tipline for 8 February 2021

GCR USA - 08 February 2021

Tom Brady’s pearly whites likely stared you down as you picked up your morning newspaper, but it was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ defence that dethroned the defending champs last night. The Bucs front four narrowed in on a hobbled Patrick Mahomes like a US antitrust agency selecting its relevant product market. Mahomes zigged and zagged like the burden of proof, but it was hardly enough to rebut the prima facie case established on the Bucs’ home field. In today’s Tipline, acting FTC chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter defends the pause of early terminations and a prominent practitioner calls for more context with “hot docs”.

ETs, Phone Home: The Tipline for 5 February 2021

GCR USA - 05 February 2021

Participants in the first day of GCR Interactive’s annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum already had plenty to discuss. Yesterday’s developments only added to the list. The federal antitrust agencies revealed what was behind the suspicious lack of early terminations in recent weeks and the initial status conference in Texas v Google dug into the mystery of the source of leaks to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

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