USA Tipline

Wild Oscar: The Tipline for 23 November 2020

GCR USA - 23 November 2020

An assistant attorney general, a former solicitor general and the chairman of Cravath Swaine & Moore walk into a zoom... No, it is not the setup for a bad joke, but a quick run-through of the prominent legal minds who participated in Friday’s oral arguments in Oscar Health’s antitrust battle with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. Also in Tipline, third parties have weighed in on discovery in US v Google and the Federal Trade Commission has tightened its belt.

Home alone: The Tipline for 20 November 2020

GCR USA - 20 November 2020

Buying a home comes with several uncertainties. Is it big enough? Does the world’s worst death metal band rehearse next door? Did Macaulay Culkin leave rigged booby traps behind? The Department of Justice cannot help you with those questions, but it did reach a settlement with the largest US real estate trade association on Thursday to make the home-buying process a bit more transparent. Also in Tipline, the head of the Senate antitrust subcommittee seeks to eliminate the Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of competition as FTC commissioner Christine Wilson hints at how Democratic leadership at the agency may look.

The Long Night: The Tipline for 19 November 2020

GCR USA - 19 November 2020

Winter is coming so it might be best to stock up resources while you still can. Perhaps some more attorneys and coffee? In Washington, DC, it certainly looks as though antitrust reinforcements are assembling on the other side of the wall. In a report published this morning, a group of competition enforcers from the Obama administration recommended nearly tripling the budgets of the two US antitrust agencies and doubling the enforcement actions they bring. Also in Tipline, an update from GCR Interactive: Women in Antitrust and discovery squabbles in USA v Google.

Breaking barriers: The Tipline for 18 November 2020

GCR USA - 18 November 2020

Federal Trade Commission member Rebecca Kelly Slaughter kicked off GCR Interactive: Women in Antitrust yesterday with the tidbit that Senator Kamala Harris completed a summer internship at the FTC while studying at Howard University. “So she has been part of our community of women in antitrust for quite some time,” Slaughter said. Earlier this month, Harris made history as the first female, first black and first Asian-American US vice-president-elect. “We have to take time to celebrate when barriers are broken,” Slaughter said.

Show me the money: The Tipline for 17 November 2020

GCR USA - 17 November 2020

There is a lot that the Federal Trade Commission could have done with $21.3 million. It could have purchased each staff member a mid-sized sedan. It could have bought out two-thirds of the Washington Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg contract to have him pitch for the agency’s softball team. Instead, the FTC spent the money on outside economic consulting groups over the last fiscal year. The seven-digit figure accounts for about 6% of the commission’s total budget and is a growing expense that the agency says poses a “top risk” going forward. In today’s Tipline, GCR USA takes a look at the FTC’s latest financial report plus an $11 billion banking merger.

Here’s the deal: The Tipline for 16 November 2020

GCR USA - 16 November 2020

It will be another busy week in the antitrust world, with GCR hosting its Women in Antitrust conference tomorrow and Wednesday. The event features multiple former and current Federal Trade Commission officials, including Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter. In the meantime, we’ve got news about the FTC’s latest merger challenge plus a Q&A with former New York antitrust enforcer Beau Buffier.

Autumn assembly: The Tipline for 13 November 2020

GCR USA - 13 November 2020

Senator Amy Klobuchar is declaring war on antitrust… or at least on the word. The ranking Democrat on the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee told the American Bar Association’s antitrust section yesterday that it may be time to “ease out” the word “antitrust” from our vocabulary in favour of “competition”. “It’s competition we’re trying to protect. It’s competition that’s a driving force of our economic success,” she said. In today’s Tipline, we have a rundown from the ABA’s Fall Forum – including the chair of the Federal Trade Commission endorsing shades of the “balance of harms” test.

The final re-countdown: The Tipline for 12 November 2020

GCR USA - 12 November 2020

We’re back after our middle-of-the-week public holiday. Who likely didn’t get a break? Vote counters in Georgia, who are now expected to recount the state’s five million votes for president by hand. At the start of a speech on Tuesday, Federal Trade Commission member Noah Phillips gave his standard caveat that the views he expressed were his own and did not necessarily reflect the views of his fellow commissioners. He said this disclaimer was “particularly apt right now, given the possibility of a really dramatic change in focus and even change in law” relating to competition policy.

The show must go on: The Tipline for 10 November 2020

GCR USA - 10 November 2020

After a few postponements, GCR’s 10th Annual Awards Ceremony has finally arrived. For the first (and hopefully last) time, the event is entirely virtual, giving you the opportunity to attend from wherever you can get a signal. As always, GCR is advertisement free. So while we may be GCR TV for the day, do not expect to find us wrapped up in the Local TV Advertising antitrust litigation.

Another cup of Joe: The Tipline for 9 November 2020

GCR USA - 09 November 2020

People from enough arbitrarily-drawn districts have informed a group of largely-unknown electors that they would like to order another cup of Joe. After seven terms in the Senate and two terms as the nation’s number-two in-command, President-elect Joe Biden will have the opportunity to appoint leadership at the two US antitrust agencies and utilise the bully pulpit to adjust the nation’s competition policy as he sees fit. Right now, it is not all that clear if he wishes to continue on the trail set during the Obama years or try to pave a new path as envisioned by today’s antitrust crusaders. If it's the latter, we may all need more coffee.

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