Antitrust Law Source

Food & Agriculture Quarterly: March 2018

I am delighted to bring to you the second edition of Food & Agricultural Quarterly (FAQ). This industry-focused publication is designed to focus on the key issues food and agriculture industry stakeholders are facing – regardless of whether you are a small, family-owned farming operation or international food producer. This edition contains three very diverse articles that are informative and thought-provoking.

First, Emily Lane explains how agriculture is becoming ever more affected by “Big Data” and the Internet of Things (IoT). Interestingly, I recently attended the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives’ Annual Meeting, and one of the speakers discussed how the newer generation of farmers are seeking to make the most of their data and analytics. At breakfast, I discussed with California agriculture executives how their growing operations are changing due to IoT and drone technology, and they shared how they foresaw even more changes to come.

Next, we have the first in a two-part series by Will Sjoberg, one of our newest partners here at Porter Wright. He gives us a glimpse of what agriculture might look like without NAFTA, and why we should care.

Finally, Devan Flahive discusses consolidation in grain markets and how antitrust enforcement may react to pending mergers.

I am sure you will enjoy each article. As always, if there are topics of interest, please contact me and we will do our best to address them in upcoming editions. Missed the first edition? Find it here: Food & Agriculture Quarterly: October 2017. 

FTC revises HSR and interlocking directorate thresholds

On Jan. 26, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced the annual changes to the notification thresholds for filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR), as well as certain other values under the HSR rules. As background, the HSR Act requires that acquisitions of voting securities or assets that exceed certain thresholds be disclosed to U.S. antitrust authorities for review before they can be completed. The “size-of-transaction threshold” requires that the transaction exceeds a certain value. Under certain circumstances, the parties involved also have to exceed “size-of-person thresholds.” This year’s values, which are adjusted annually based on changes in the GNP, take effect on Feb. 28, 2018. The FTC also adjusted the safe harbor thresholds that govern interlocking directorates in competing companies.

HSR revisions

The most important change is that the minimum size-of-transaction threshold will increase from the current $80.8 million to $84.4 million. The size-of-person thresholds will also increase as follows: Continue Reading

Porter Wright presents Food & Agriculture Quarterly

Welcome to our inaugural issue of Food & Agricultural Quarterly (FAQ). This new, industry-focused publication was designed to focus on the key issues food and agriculture industry stakeholders are facing – regardless of whether you are a small, family-owned farming operation or international food producer.

In our first issue, we bring together three rather diverse articles. First, Emily Taylor describes the phenomenon of urban farming, and the challenges facing such would-be agrarians. Next, Devan Flahive provides us with an update on the USDA food labeling program as it relates to genetically-engineered products. Finally, I’ll walk you through the latest on a slew of antitrust class actions recently brought against major poultry processors.

We hope you enjoy the publication, and we urge you to send us your thoughts about topics you would like us to address in future issues!

DCMA agent requirements changing

Bob Morgan, our colleague at Technology Law Source, shares detail about the upcoming Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) agent filing change that takes effect Dec. 31.

This agent filing is a necessary element of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor provision (Title II of the DMCA (the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act)) — an Act which shields online service providers from liability for material posted by their users. If your company has an interactive website, social media presence, or message board it’s worth giving this a read:  DMCA agent requirements changing by end of year.