Antitrust Law Source


Episode 26
Part one: Privacy matters

In this three-part series, Jay speaks with attorneys across Porter Wright’s departments and practices about privacy and data security. Today’s podcast begins with Christina Hultsch who talks about the options available for European Union companies to transfer data.

Episode 25
Consumer data breaches

What happens if your personally identifiable information is stolen, but no harm has come to you…yet? Do the eyes of the court feel that simply the fear of harm warrants relief? Jay and Ryan Graham discuss the differing decisions to date and how things may evolve in the future.

Episode 24
Representative evidence – Good, bad? The Supreme Court speaks

As we’ve reported previously, Tyson was challenging the certification of a class of employees who sued for unpaid time related to donning and doffing protective gear. Jay discusses the implications of the Supreme Court’s allowance of representative evidence to prove classwide liability and how the Court’s ruling may (or may not) impact future class actions.


Craft brew drinkers’ private action at crossroads as DOJ approves beer merger

Soon your Miller Lite will be brewed by a new company.

Last December, we wrote about a complaint filed by craft beer drinkers in an effort to block the merger between brewing titans Anheuser-Busch Inbev (ABI) and SABMiller. The post pointed out the unusual enforcement posture—private plaintiffs leapfrogging the federal antitrust enforcers and filing suit significantly prior to a decision by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or Department of Justice (DOJ). At that time we prognosticated, “a private plaintiff decrying a merger in court as illegal is left in an awkward position if the FTC or DOJ subsequently approves the deal.”

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Antitrust & politics: A match made in…

After eight years of antitrust enforcement under the Obama administration that some consider robust, while others are more critical, it is fair to wonder what we can expect from a Trump or Clinton administration. Of course, it is often difficult, if not dangerous, to make such prognostications, but it is worth considering the question nonetheless.

Donald Trump has had little to say so far on his position concerning antitrust enforcement. But, he has had one high profile run-in with the antitrust laws that may inform his perspective on the topic. Way back in 1986, Mr. Trump owned the New Jersey Generals football team, which was part of the now defunct United States Football League (USFL). The USFL held their games only in the spring until Mr. Trump came along and convinced other owners they should move the games to the fall with the idea that the league might eventually merge with the NFL. When the USFL was unable to secure a broadcast television contract for showing fall games, he backed a lawsuit against the NFL for violations of the Sherman Act. Ultimately, the jury found that the NFL had violated Section 2 of the Act, but they rejected the USFL’s primary claim that the NFL had monopolized the television market or attempted to do so. As a result, the jury awarded just $1 in damages (trebled to $3). An appeal to the 2nd Circuit did not overturn the verdict, and the league disbanded.

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DOJ challenges healthcare system’s use of anti-steering clauses

In its continuing fight against rising healthcare costs, the Justice Department (DOJ) has sued Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest healthcare system for using a common healthcare contracting tool, the anti-steering clause. U.S. and the State of North Carolina v. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority, d/b/a Carolinas Healthcare System (CHS), Case No. 3:16-cv-00311, filed on June 9, 2016.

A few years ago, the DOJ attacked another healthcare contracting tool, the most-favored-nation clause, which insurers employed to guarantee they would receive the lowest rates on any given service. According to the DOJ, those clauses, when utilized by dominant healthcare systems, stifle competition and contribute to rising healthcare costs because providers cannot offer lower rates to other insurers without violating the most-favored-nation clause. The DOJ’s work had an effect too, as legislation banning the clauses has passed in a number of states. Now, the DOJ and the state of North Carolina have placed anti-steering clauses in their crosshairs. Continue Reading

New FDA food safety rule spans stakeholders from farm to fork

My colleagues Brian Augustine and Phil Calabrese recently authored an informative piece on a new FDA rule which impacts stakeholders in the food, transportation and hospitality industries. As many in the agribusiness will find this of interest, I wanted to take a moment to share the article with you.

From “FDA New Food Safety Rule Spans Stakeholders From Farm to Fork:”

“The rule imposes a broad array of new regulatory requirements that apply to shippers, receivers, loaders, and carriers by motor vehicle and rail engaged in the transportation of food, whether or not the food is offered for or enters interstate commerce. The core provisions impose new requirements relating to vehicles and equipment, formalized quality assurance operations, required training programs for employees and a host of new record-keeping and reporting requirements.”

Read the full publication here.