The proceedings brought by the European Commission against Google are nearing a – provisional – end with the prospect of a decision making binding on Google a revised set of commitments (see here for the Commission statement and here for the full text of the proposed commitments). Independently of their merits in addressing the Commission’s…

Over the course of July and August, private practitioners and members of DG COMP alike leave Brussels for a few well-deserved weeks of holiday rest and recuperation.  What  reading material should the discerning competition specialist take to the beach this Summer?  He/she could do worse than District Judge Cote’s Opinion in United States of America…

On 16 July 2012, a U.S. appeals court issued a decision holding that pharmaceutical patent settlements that restrict generic entry and contain a payment to the generic company are presumptively unlawful under the U.S. antitrust laws.  The decision is a major victory for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s view of pharmaceutical patent settlements with so-called…

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has recently released two reports relating to the pharmaceutical industry. A significant theme in both reports is a concern that brand name pharmaceutical companies are using the threat of launching an authorized generic to make deals that delay generic entry. These reports shine a spotlight on the interplay between authorized…

Public discussion on merger control in the last few years of has put the spotlight on two elements of contemporary merger analysis: market definition and market concentration, of which the former has raised considerable debate, in particular. It has been asked if market definition has de facto become superfluous to merger analysis due to some…

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has issued a report analyzing the U.S. patent system from a competition policy perspective. The FTC recognizes that, like the competitive process fostered by competition law, the right to exclude provided by the intellectual property laws is intended to promote innovation and thereby benefit consumers. The FTC believes, however,…

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking to curb the use of so-called “most favored nation”  (MFN) agreements — a common business practice that the DOJ believes can sometimes result in anticompetitive effects when entered into by a dominant firm.  In October of last year, the DOJ commenced an action against Blue Cross Blue…

In August 2010, the U.S. antitrust agencies released the final version of their revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines, which they use to analyze the competitive implications of mergers between competitors. Whereas the prior (1992) version of the Guidelines had sought to provide a precise, step by step framework for analyzing horizontal mergers — centered around defining…

One of the inevitable facts of life in the U.S. after a government antitrust investigation becomes public – especially if it is a cartel investigation with an amnesty applicant or guilty pleas – is customer class actions. U.S. class action plaintiffs’ lawyers frequently bring “follow-on” cases on behalf of purchasers of the affected products within days (or at least weeks) of public disclosure of a cartel or other antitrust investigation.

Recent U.S. federal judicial decisions, however, have now placed significant hurdles in front of consumer antitrust plaintiffs in the form of stricter requirements for joining plaintiffs from multiple states together into a single class.

Welcome to our blog! I thought I would start my postings on U.S. developments with a broader point about recent U.S. case law in the antitrust area. Many of the most important U.S. judicial decisions in antitrust have been driven by judicial concern with aspects of the U.S. litigation process that are perceived by some…