Antitrust Law Source

Healthcare post-COVID-19 may look radically different

The confluence of forces due to COVID-19 is likely to affect the healthcare industry in serious and unpredictable ways. And the antitrust laws, as well as how they are enforced, will play a big part in shaping (or re-shaping) the industry.

With the contracting economy making capital more difficult to obtain and politicians calling for a moratorium on mergers, especially those which could reduce healthcare capacity, healthcare companies must think carefully and strategically about where they turn for resources and in which forms they come.

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What to expect in a post-COVID-19 world

Though at times a return to normalcy may seem far off, it makes sense to contemplate what the legal landscape will look like when the current COVID-19 crisis abates, and what we can do now to protect ourselves as best we can. That’s what we explore in our third and final installment on antitrust and consumer protection in a COVID-19 world. Be sure to read Part 1, “Antitrust law in a COVID-19 world: Do we care? Should we care?” and Part 2, “Price gouging during COVID-19: The flip side of competition law.”

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Price gouging during COVID-19: The flip side of competition law

In our first installment and podcast, we discussed antitrust enforcement in the COVID-19 era. Now, we’d like to discuss price gouging, which in many ways is the polar opposite of antitrust law. Antitrust laws are based, at least partly, on the principle that fair and open competition allows resources to be allocated most efficiently. It further assumes that fair and open competition allows goods and services to be priced efficiently, by the forces of supply and demand. Price gouging laws, on the other hand, seek to limit price increases even when those prices are being determined by fair and open competition and by the forces of supply and demand. While price gouging and other consumer protection laws certainly protect the public from the effects of hoarding and other predatory behavior during public emergencies, they also capture price increases that are a result of sharply increased demand or supply shortages that are not occasioned by any malfeasance.

In the COVID-19 era, governments at all levels have mobilized efforts to combat price gouging. State attorneys general are conducting investigations and filing suits; governors have issued executive orders declaring emergencies and expanding enforcement; the Federal government has invoked the Defense Production Act to handle problems traditionally addressed by price-gouging statutes. Companies must conduct a careful state-by-state analysis to fully appreciate the impact of these laws on their business. Continue Reading

Podcasts

Episode 45
COVID-19’s impact on the Health Care Industry

COVID-19 has had an impact on virtually every industry in the country, but none more so than on health care. In this episode, Jay talks with John Carney, chair of Porter Wright’s Health Care Practice and former Ohio state representative, about the changes that COVID-19 has wrought on health care and on some changes the industry is likely to experience in the future.

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Episode 44
Ohio’s COVID-19 qualified immunity legislation

COVID-19 has spurred all sorts of legislation. In this episode, Jay discusses some examples of COVID-19-related legislation with John Carney, Chair of Porter Wright’s Health Care Practice and former three-term Ohio state representative. The discussion includes Ohio’s recently-enacted qualified immunity legislation (HB 606) as well as some thoughts about future laws that may be on the horizon on the federal level.

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Episode 43
NCAA’s legal woes: Antitrust challenges from student-athletes continue

The NCAA’s legal challenges regarding a student athlete’s ability to financially benefit from their name, image and likeness has ramped up. The league was hit with another class action antitrust lawsuit last week. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a decision by the Ninth Circuit affirming a bench trial victory by student-athletes. In that case, the District Court largely held that the NCAA’s rules prohibiting certain Grant-in-Aid payments to student-athletes violated the antitrust laws.

Jay Levine talks with Luke Fedlam, head of Porter Wright’s sports practice, about all of these issues. Luke provides a unique insight as he represents over 100 student athletes. As Jay and Luke explain, the issues involved have a labyrinth of complexities for the multi-billion dollar college athletics industry and for the athletes themselves.

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