USA Tipline

What fools these mortals be: The Tipline for 8 September 2020

GCR USA - 08 September 2020

We hope you all had a splendid three-day weekend. Before everyone logged off on Friday, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it approved a final order settling charges that AbbVie’s $63 billion acquisition of Allergan would violate federal antitrust law. Commissioner Rohit Chopra took another dig at the settlement, which he voted against back in May. “Public input received during the comment period from across the country also called into question the appropriateness of this decision, but the FTC went ahead anyway,” he tweeted.

It’s in the game: The Tipline for 4 September 2020

GCR USA - 04 September 2020

In the antitrust dispute between Relevent Sports and FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim is clearly sitting on the soccer game promoter’s side of the bleachers. The Antitrust Division chief intervened in private litigation between both of them to warn FIFA that it might be in violation of US antitrust laws by restricting the territory in which teams can play league games.

You’ve got a friend in me: The Tipline for 3 September 2020

GCR USA - 03 September 2020

The Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have signed an antitrust cooperation framework with their counterpart agencies in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. In separate announcements yesterday, both the DOJ and FTC said the framework aims to enhance cooperation and provides a foundation for a series of bilateral information-sharing agreements. While the various agency leaders could not be in one location to sign the document, a virtual signing ceremony appears to have worked well enough.

Time to Shine: The Tipline for 2 September 2020

GCR USA - 02 September 2020

After watching the non-horizontal merger guidelines receive oodles of attention in recent years, the banking merger guidelines now want their time in the spotlight. The Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that it is considering revising them.

Earth Wind & Rulemaking: The Tipline for 1 September 2020

GCR USA - 01 September 2020

The months of January through July were named for Roman goddesses and emperors. By September, those in charge apparently gave up, dubbing the remaining months by their original numerical order. In 2020, September does feel like the seventh month of the year. Time flies when you are locked inside. Hopefully the final stretch of election season will zip on past – and in the meantime, we have updates on antitrust matters involving Tik Tok, Cigna, Anthem and AMC Entertainment.

Behaving better: The Tipline for 28 August 2020

GCR USA - 28 August 2020

Assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim delivered a speech about behaviour on Thursday – and no, not about how “Big behaving badly is bad”. The head of the Antitrust Division said behavioural economics deserves serious consideration in the antitrust world. Meanwhile, the last remaining defendant in the Department of Justice’s case against an heir location services cartel hopes his cooperative behaviour will prevent his incarceration. GCR USA is off on Monday, but we'll return to your inboxes on Tuesday.

A big thanks to court reporters: The Tipline for 27 August 2020

GCR USA - 27 August 2020

There were a few tech hiccups yesterday during oral arguments for the Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge antitrust litigation – one of the cons of having court proceedings in the time of coronavirus. Long commutes and wardrobe dilemmas have been replaced by video system login issues and bad wifi connections. These new obstacles cannot make life any easier for court reporters, who still have to capture the words spoken by everyone in the court – even if a lawyer’s voice is going in and out on screen. Despite these issues, and very few breaks, the court reporter on Wednesday powered through.

Have it your way: The Tipline for 26 August 2020

GCR USA - 26 August 2020

Since 1974, Burger King has prided itself on offering customers choice, running the slogan “Have It Your Way” until 2014 and “Be Your Way” since then. A proposed class of current and former employees alleged that an illegal no-poach agreement between Burger King and its franchisees stripped them of their choices, but a Florida federal court did not see it that way. The Department of Justice often offers choices too: settle or go to court. Teva Pharmaceuticals has chosen the latter.

Court snacks: The Tipline for 25 August 2020

GCR USA - 25 August 2020

The courtroom is a judge’s domain, whether it is in person or on the web. Conducting arguments via Zoom though provides the bench with the ability to counter the attorney’s greatest strength: talking. California federal judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers used the mute button on Monday to silence an answer from counsel to Apple that she was not satisfied with. Hopefully she could not hear if any reporters tuning in were chomping down on pretzels.

Tart Tycoon: The Tipline for 24 August 2020

GCR USA - 23 August 2020

This might be a first: an antitrust-themed video game tournament. On Sunday, Epic Games held a #FreeFornite tournament, allowing gamers who scored enough points to unlock a “Tart Tycoon” character. Fornite also awarded players that ate the most virtual apples with prizes such as laptops, game consoles and cell phones. Epic may be winning in the court of public opinion, but it is unclear if the prizes will have any sway during today’s preliminary injunction hearing.

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