Minding Your Business

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

Tag Archives: Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Four Key Takeaways from the FTC Director’s Remarks on the Proposed Rule to Ban Non-Compete Agreements

On January 11, 2023, Elizabeth Wilkins, the FTC’s Director of the Office of Policy Planning, spoke to the Capitol Forum about the FTC’s proposed rule to ban non-compete agreements.  This conversation was the most significant discussion of the proposed rule by the FTC since it was announced on January 5.  Below are the four most … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Commission Proposes Sweeping Ban on Non-Compete Clauses

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) proposed an expansive new rule which would impose a near-complete ban on the use of non-competes (the “Proposed Rule”) by employers. The Proposed Rule is the culmination of the FTC’s recent efforts, following President Biden’s July 9, 2021 Executive Order on promoting competition in the economy, … Continue Reading

Three Notable Antitrust & Tech Updates That May Have Flown Under Your Radar

Antitrust and tech is in the legal news almost daily, and often multiple times a day.  Here are a few recent developments with notable implications that may have flown under the radar: 1) renewed focus on gig economy issues; 2) potential enforcement efforts regarding director overlaps; and 3) challenges to MFN pricing. … Continue Reading

“Unconscionable” Standard Need Not be Clean Cut: NY Appellate Court Reverses Lysol Price Gouging Case

One of the bellwether price gouging cases from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic was recently reversed and remanded by New York’s First Judicial Department of the Appellate Division.   New York Attorney General Letitia James announced in May 2020 that her office had filed a lawsuit against a wholesale grocery distributor – Quality King … Continue Reading

New York AG Files Suit to Compel Tyson to Comply with Price Gouging Subpoena

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has filed a petition to compel Tyson Foods to comply with a subpoena in connection with ongoing price gouging investigations by the state.  New York’s price gouging statute imposes civil penalties on sellers of essential goods charging unconscionably excessive prices during an abnormal disruption of the market.  The … Continue Reading

$264 Million Settlement in EpiPen Price Gouging Litigation

On July 11, 2022, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas approved a $264 million settlement against Mylan and certain of its subsidiaries in the case In Re EpiPen (Epinephrine Injection, USP) Marketing, Sales Practices, and Antitrust Litigation in a matter broadly tagged as price-gouging litigation. Plaintiffs filed class action lawsuits against … Continue Reading

FTC Report Warns Against Overconfidence in AI Tools to Combat Online Harm

Last month, the FTC issued a report to Congress advising governments and companies to exercise “great caution” in using artificial intelligence (“AI”) to combat harmful online content.  The report responds to Congress’s request to look into whether and how AI may be used to identify, remove, or otherwise address a wide variety of specified “online … Continue Reading

Infant Formula Shortage Update

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and California have taken recent steps to further protect the infant formula market from price gouging. On June 7, 2022, the D.C. Council passed the “Infant Formula Consumer Protection Emergency Act.” The Act, which will remain in effect for 90 days, targets companies selling baby formula at extremely high prices. The … Continue Reading

FTC Announces Inquiry into the Infant Formula Shortage

On May 24, 2022, the FTC announced a widespread inquiry into the ongoing infant formula shortage. The agency had been tasked by the White House with investigating any price gouging or unfair market practices in the industry. The agency is seeking public comments on “various factors that may have contributed to the infant formula shortage…as … Continue Reading

Price Gouging Updates: Federal Price Gouging Legislation; Addressing Infant Formula Shortages; Resolution of Online Merchants Guild

Two federal price gouging bills were recently introduced in Congress. Senator Elizabeth Warren led the introduction of the Price Gouging Prevention Act of 2022. The bill prohibits “unconscionably excessive price[s]” at any point in a supply chain or distribution network during an “exceptional market shock” triggered by a range of events – including public health … Continue Reading

It’s Not a Threat, It’s a Promise: Timeline of the DOJ’s Statements and Actions Against Wage Fixing and No Poach Agreements

Over the past year, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has increasingly been hot on the heels of suspected anti-competitive labor violations.  To date, the DOJ has brought a few actions against employers across industries relating to wage-fixing and no-poach agreements.  As these cases take hold, and potentially even head toward trial, this article examines the … Continue Reading

The Administrative State Under Attack: Potentially Far Reaching Implications of Supreme Court’s Decision to Hear Challenge to FTC Administrative Review Process

In 1984, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that courts must defer to an administrative agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute. But last year, the Supreme Court stripped the FTC of its ability to seek equitable monetary remedies such as disgorgement or restitution. And a couple weeks ago, the Supreme Court dismantled the Occupational Safety … Continue Reading

Law360 Expert Analysis: How To Navigate The Coming Antitrust Policy Tests

The FTC has announced penalties in two separate enforcement actions totaling almost $2 million for alleged violations of the HSR Act. The matters: U.S. v. Clarence L. Werner c/o Werner Enterprises, Inc.; and U.S. v. Biglari Holdings Inc. include claims of failures to file notification under the HSR Act and failures to observe the required … Continue Reading

Without Equitable Monetary Relief, No Need for Asset Freeze or Receivership to Preserve Resources, and More Takeaways from the Eleventh Circuit

The Eleventh Circuit’s opinion last month in FTC v. On Point Capital Partners LLC, et al., clarifies the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s ruling in AMG Capital Management regarding the prohibition of equitable monetary relief under Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTCA”). Section 13(b) of the FTCA authorizes the Federal Trade Commission … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Overturns FTC Antitrust Decision Against 1-800-Contacts Involving Trademark Settlement Agreements

Earlier this month, the Second Circuit overturned a decision by the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) holding 1-800-Contacts violated antitrust law by entering into trademark settlement and related agreements that restricted bidding on auctions held by companies that operate search engines. 1-800 Contacts v. Federal Trade Commission. Although the Second Circuit recognized that trademark settlement … Continue Reading

Illuminating Vertical Merger Challenges: FTC Challenges Illumina’s Reacquisition of a Nascent Company it Founded

After a bit of hiatus on aggressively challenging vertical mergers, regulators both here in the United States and abroad have resumed initiated actions to challenge vertical mergers. Traditionally a difficult lift for the FTC, vertical vergers involve companies above and below each other in the supply chain. Instead of directly competing, an upstream company acquires … Continue Reading

The FTC’s Enforcement Power: How AMG Reshapes the Landscape

In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Section 13(b) of the FTC Act does not authorize the Federal Trade Commission to seek monetary relief in the form of restitution or disgorgement, despite the agency’s redoubled practice of seeking such relief under the Act since 2012. The Court’s opinion significantly reshapes the FTC’s … Continue Reading

Zillow Change to Its Platform Poses New Antitrust Questions

A major technology innovator finds itself on the defensive this week after a start-up company filed an antitrust lawsuit for alleged deceptive business practices. A tech-based online broker named Rex alleged that the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) and Multiple Listing Services (“MLS”) operate as a cartel to control access to real estate markets, and … Continue Reading

The Future of the FTC, Part II

A previous blog post discussed FTC Chairwoman Slaughter’s first priority as the newly designated chairwoman – the COVID-19 pandemic. The FTC’s second priority, racial equity, can be broken down into two sub issues. First, the FTC plans to investigate biased and discriminatory algorithms that target vulnerable communities. As the FTC acknowledges, the analysis of data … Continue Reading

The Future of the FTC, Part I

On January 21, 2021, President Biden designated Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as acting chair of the FTC. Soon thereafter in one of her first speeches in her new role, Chairwoman Slaughter announced two substantive areas of priority for the FTC – the COVID-19 pandemic and racial equity. Read the full … Continue Reading

Could the FTC Pass the Torch to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Oversee the Fintech Industry?

The change in the White House administration combined with a potential ground-breaking Supreme Court decision may move the oversight and enforcement for marketing by the fintech sector from the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”).  This would be a tectonic shift.… Continue Reading

Clearance to Reduce Capacity May Not Be Clearance to Raise Prices: Can Business Review Letters Impact Price Gouging Compliance?

In response to the current pandemic, antitrust enforcers at the Department of Justice have been issuing business review letters at record pace. One of these business review letters addressed an inquiry from the pork industry about reducing supply based on the COVID pandemic disruption. This raises the question as to whether the DOJ letter about antitrust … Continue Reading
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