On Feb. 5, 2021 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. These new thresholds will become effective March 4, 2021.
For nearly 75 years, the McCarran-Ferguson Act established a broad – although not unlimited – exemption from the application of federal law to “the business of insurance,” finding “the continued regulation and taxation by the several states [of that business] in the public interest.” As a result, McCarran-Ferguson exempted insurers from federal antitrust liability where their activity in question (1) was part of the “business of insurance,” (2) was regulated by state law and (3) did not constitute a “boycott, coercion, or intimidation.” With the passage of the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (CHIRA) into law on Jan. 13, 2021 however, the activities of health insurers, by and large, are no longer exempt from the federal antitrust laws.
Borrowers of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans – together with their affiliates – who have loans in excess of $2 million and seek loan forgiveness will potentially need to complete necessity questionnaires according to the Small Business Administration. There are separate forms for for-profit and non-profit businesses and will likely affect 52,000 borrowers.
My colleagues Jack Beeler, Cat Rice and Jack Meadows explain the purpose and questions asked in these questionnaires in this law alert.
As we adapt to the “new normal,” producers and suppliers at all levels of the distribution chain must continue to be cognizant of their pricing and the laws that seek to place a ceiling on those prices. Cases continue to be brought and legislation proposed.