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.

This year, the federal government’s new health equity regulations began taking effect. The regulations represent the government’s increased commitment to health equity advancement as a major part of its regulatory enforcement. As these changes go into effect, states and businesses have begun to implement laws and policies in order to comply with the updated regulatory framework.

A recent order from a federal magistrate judge provides helpful insight to parties concerning the destruction of evidence and the proof required to obtain the ultimate sanction of dismissal of a case as a result of such destruction. 

In McLaughlin v. Lenovo Global Tech. (United States) Inc., Magistrate Judge Gail Dein of the District of Massachusetts issued numerous sanctions against plaintiff but decided that dismissal of plaintiff’s case was too harsh a punishment after he wiped his company-issued laptop prior to returning it to defendant.

Increasing oversight of tech companies, particularly in the realm of consumer privacy, has been a rare example of bipartisan agreement. Despite data privacy being a growing concern for consumers, however, there has been relatively little federal policymaking. To counteract this lack of action, some states have stepped in to fill this void—and have enacted policies that could have large impacts on how businesses operate. The rapid rate at which these laws are being enacted – eleven have been enacted– indicates states are taking an increasingly protective view of consumers’ data privacy. Businesses need to be prepared to comply with these new mandates, or risk costly enforcement measures.

Addressing an issue of first impression, and one that is becoming increasingly important as the legal industry has become more comfortable with and dependent on video conference technology in the aftermath of the pandemic, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the 100-mile limitation under Rule 45(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure applies to remote testimony.

In In re John Kirkland, et al. v. USBC, Los Angeles, the petitioners, Mr. and Mrs. Kirkland who resided in California before relocating to the U.S. Virgin Islands, moved to quash subpoenas commanding them to testify via video conference at a trial before a bankruptcy court in the Central District of California. The bankruptcy court denied the motions finding that “good cause and compelling circumstances” existed to warrant the petitioners’ remote testimony pursuant to Rule 43(a), which provides that “[a]t trial, the witnesses’ testimony must be taken in open court unless a federal statute, the Federal Rules of Evidence, these rules, or other rules adopted by the Supreme Court provide otherwise[; and f]or good cause in compelling circumstances and with appropriate safeguards, the court may permit testimony in open court by contemporaneous transmission from a different location.” The bankruptcy court also concluded that Rule 45(c)’s “place of compliance” should be based on where a witness is located as requiring a witness to testify remotely from the witness’s home is not contrary to the purpose of Rule 45(c), which is to protect witnesses from the burden of having to travel extensively to testify at a trial or other proceeding.

On the heels of the historic proposed changes to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (“HSR”) merger review process, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission released the 2023 Draft Merger Guidelines for public comment. The single set of guidelines will replace the former horizontal and vertical guidelines, becoming

Buy-side executives in an M&A deal negotiate with their sell-side counterparts for months, plying them for information, assessing the seller’s weaknesses and pressure points, and even making informal entreaties when the parties’ standstill agreement says they shouldn’t —all to get the best deal for the acquirer. Under Delaware’s contractarian corporate regime—that would seem to be a good thing.