Earlier this month, President Biden announced the formation of a “Strike Force on Unfair and Illegal Pricing.” This strike force will be an interagency group co-chaired by the FTC and DOJ. President Biden stated the group will focus on industries including “prescription drugs, health care, food and grocery, housing, [and] financial services.” While the exact makeup of the strike force is not clear, it has been reported that FTC Chair Lina Khan and Jonathan Kanter, Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, will co-chair it. 

The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division released a joint statement reiterating document preservation obligations for companies and individuals that are the subject of government investigations and litigations, emphasizing messaging platforms, such as Slack and Google Chats, that automatically delete communications. Both agencies announced updated language in their standard preservation letters, specifications for “second requests” used in pre-merger review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, voluntary access letters, and grand jury subpoenas, to address these instant messaging platforms. The agencies emphasized that companies’ obligation to preserve information on such platforms is nothing new, explaining their clarification is to prevent companies from feigning ignorance if communications are not preserved after preservation obligations are triggered.

Pricing algorithms are nothing new. They are, generally speaking, computer programs intended to help sellers optimize prices in real time, or close to it. These programs can use data on demand, costs, or even competitors’ prices to “learn” to set the prices of products. What is new is the proliferation of these programs across industries and the emergence of artificial intelligence-driven pricing algorithms. 

The Federal Trade Commission has announced revisions to HSR Act and Clayton Act Section 8 thresholds, which are indexed annually in alignment with prior year economic activity. The article identifies the adjustments that are likely to be the most relevant to our clients and reiterates several important practice tips.

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On December 18, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the 2023 Merger Guidelines. Following a 60-day public comment period that solicited over 30,000 comments from a variety of stakeholders, the finalized guidelines take a somewhat softer approach than the draft guidelines

With great promise comes great scrutiny. As artificial intelligence (“AI”) has become part of industries’ and individuals’ daily repertoire, it has also come under focus by antitrust regulators. The DOJ, in its so-called “Project Gretzky,” is gearing up with data scientists and others to be a tech-savvy version

With Hollywood celebrities speaking out both in favor of and against the use of drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy for weight loss, it was only a matter of time before demand outpaced supply. Although most might believe that increased demand is a good problem to have, a recent case involving Ozempic shows that pharmaceutical companies with popular drugs might face increased competition, without the ability to obtain legal remedies against their competitors.

On January 18, 2022, Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, one of the world’s most-valuable gaming companies, was announced. In April 2023, the United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked the deal on concerns that the deal could “alter the future of the fast-growing cloud gaming market, leading to reduced innovation and less choice for UK gamers over the years,” a decision that Microsoft appealed to a Competition Appeal Tribunal. A few months later, in July 2023, as previously reported in Minding Your Business, the FTC’s challenge to the deal in the United States fell short, leaving the UK as the only competition authority preventing the closing of the deal.