Antitrust Law Source

Access to “data” – the new competitive battlefield

Data is a buzzword popular in the media today. Most often we hear or read the word in conjunction with a breach of a major retailer or healthcare company. It is also used by companies to target us with behavioral advertising. But it also has become the new coin of the realm. Being neither a physical asset nor intellectual property, data has become the engine that powers much of our new commerce. And for precisely that reason, access to data is becomingly more of a competitive, and hence an antitrust, concern. Continue Reading

Don’t wannacry? Help your IT staff prevent ransomware

The latest cyberattack  making the news (and some say the largest to date) is the “Wannacry” ransomware.  The ransomware looks for computers containing an operating system vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows platform and then appears to infect computers… without a single click required.  My colleague, Brian Hall, outlines the risks employers may face when dealing with cyberattacks  — as well as how human resource departments can help protect their organizations in his recent blog post “Don’t wannacry? Help your IT staff prevent ransomware“.

NAD shoots down Bowflex’s claims of dramatic weight loss as unsupported; disclaimer not enough

Nautilus’s Bowflex TreadClimber just became the latest example of enforcement action against a health and fitness product by the National Advertising Division (NAD), a voluntary advertising self-regulatory body administered by the Better Business Bureau. More specifically, the NAD determined that Nautilus could not support its claim that one could lose substantial weight solely by using its product.

The TreadClimber combines the movements of a treadmill, a stepper and an elliptical machine. The television advertisement for the product, which featured the slogan “all you have to do is walk,” included a section where a man and two women discussed their substantial weight loss (60, 110, and 130 lbs), which was reinforced with visual images (such as picture of a woman when she was substantially heavier). It also discussed the mechanism of the TreadClimber with the claim that it could “burn up to two and a half times the calories of a treadmill in as little as 30 minutes three times a week.”

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FTC revises HSR and interlocking directorate thresholds

Last week, 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. 27, 2017. The FTC also adjusted the safe harbor thresholds that govern interlocking directorates in competing companies. Continue Reading

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