Minding Your Business

Proskauer’s perspective on developments and trends in commercial litigation.

Category Archives: Antitrust

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A Bogosian Shortcut Through the Mushroom Patch – The Latest Chapter of a Fairytale Doctrine

Few cases in the antitrust canon have been invoked more frequently, for the wrong reasons, than the Third Circuit’s 1977 decision in Bogosian v. Gulf Oil. For four decades now – culminating in the recent release of a decision certifying class in the long-running Mushrooms case – litigants and courts have cited a “presumption” or “short-cut” … Continue Reading

It’s Not an Illusion! DISH Not Required to Give Credit When Channels Go Dark

Expanded Basic. Choice. Choice Plus. Cable and satellite TV customers pay monthly fees for bundled channel packages of different sizes. The packages are becoming “skinnier,” allowing you to customize your service from a set of modules (i.e., the Family package, the Sports package, various language packages, etc.). But each module is still a pre-set bundle … Continue Reading

The Eighth Circuit Extinguishes Claims of Continuing Conduct in Propane Tank Conspiracy

Before plaintiffs could light the pilot on antitrust claims against two propane tank distributors, a split Eighth Circuit panel cut the gas. In doing so, the majority espoused a narrow view of the applicability of the continuing violations theory in antitrust litigation. In 2014, following an FTC administrative complaint, class plaintiffs brought suit against defendant … Continue Reading

A Sovereign Thumb on the Scale – Appeals Court Defers to China’s Interpretation of its Own Laws to Dismiss Antitrust Suit

The Second Circuit recently set aside a $147 million verdict against two Chinese companies accused of conspiring to fix the price and supply of vitamin C sold to U.S. buyers. In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation. The panel held that the complaint should have been dismissed after the Chinese government submitted an amicus curiae brief … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Blazes New Trail in Set-Top Box Cases: Cable Service and Boxes are Not Separate Products

Since 2008, cable customers have been suing cable operators across the country claiming operators violate the antitrust laws by forcing customers to lease set-top boxes from the operator to access “premium” cable services. Plaintiffs claim that the operators have “tied” one product (the service) to another product (the box) and that the arrangement is a … Continue Reading

Antitrust Agencies Propose Updates to IP Licensing Guidelines and Invite Comments

On August 12, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice proposed changes to the Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property, also known as the IP Licensing Guidelines. Since they were first issued in 1995, the agencies, courts, and businesses have relied on these Guidelines when considering or reviewing licensing practices. Therefore, … Continue Reading

When are Universities and Executive Agencies “State Actors” for Antitrust Immunity?

More than fifty years ago, the Supreme Court formalized the “state-action antitrust immunity” doctrine ─ a judge-made rule that certain state governmental conduct is immune from challenge under the federal antitrust laws. Since then, the courts have had a love-hate relationship with “Parker” immunity. The difficulties of that relationship are particularly important to public colleges and … Continue Reading

Surviving Settlement Provisions in Joint Defense Agreements

Anyone who watches Survivor or Game of Thrones knows that alliances are critical. And while they may be necessary to endure from one day to the next, alliances are inevitably broken. Co-defendants in antitrust cases can draw lessons from these shows. Like alliances, joint defense agreements (“JDA” or “JDAs”) help facilitate defendants’ common interests. JDAs … Continue Reading

Proposed West Virginia Hospital Merger Could Have Nationwide Effects

West Virginia recently passed legislation aimed at shielding an in-state hospital merger from antitrust review by the Federal Trade Commission, and if the West Virginia Health Care Authority and West Virginia Attorney General approve the merger, other states could follow suit. Recent developments, including the FTC’s reaction to West Virginia’s proposed legislation, preview how future … Continue Reading

Four Takeaways from the ABA Antitrust Section’s 2016 Spring Meeting

Antitrust practitioners, enforcers and industry professionals came together in Washington, D.C. for the 64th installment of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law’s annual Spring Meeting. The Spring Meeting provides a look at the year that was and predictions for the year to come. Proskauer was again on the scene to provide the key learnings and takeaways … Continue Reading

When Passive Investors Take a Stand – HSR Act Enforcement Put to the Test

Enforcement actions for violations of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (HSR) often are announced with substantial money penalties or other restrictions agreed in advance between the agency and the parties. Not so with the Department of Justice’s complaint filed April 4 against ValueAct Capital and its affiliated investment funds. ValueAct has said that it will vigorously defend … Continue Reading

A New Normal? Challenges to Market Definition Find a Foothold at 12(b)(6) Stage

Recent federal court opinions dismissing cases under Rule 12(b)(6) may provide an early off-ramp for antitrust defendants where a roadblock has often existed. Courts are increasingly dismissing cases at the 12(b)(6) stage for failure to properly plead market definition and therefore failing to meet the requirements of Twombly as to the market definition allegations of … Continue Reading

Market Definition Failure Dooms Golf Caddies’ Antitrust Class Action Against PGA Tour

An antitrust class action lawsuit brought by golf caddies against the Professional Golf Association will not be afforded a mulligan after a federal district court dismissed their complaint with prejudice. A putative class of similarly-situated golf caddies sued PGA Tour, Inc. over the “bibs” that caddies wear during Tour-sponsored golf tournaments. Plaintiffs alleged that, by … Continue Reading
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