Antitrust & Competition

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Antitrust & Competition

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS NEWS: UK competition authority provisionally concludes Microsoft-Activision merger will harm UK video gamers

The Competition and Markets Authority expressed special concern for the impact of the proposed merger on competing cloud gaming service providers. The United Kingdom’s antitrust enforcer, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), announced that it...

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS NEWS: UK competition authority provisionally concludes Microsoft-Activision merger will harm UK video gamers
Law Firms Mentioned:Cozen O’Connor | Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP | Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP | Fox Rothschild LLP | Ice Miller LLP | Parsons Behle & Latimer | Treehouse Law, LLP
Organizations Mentioned:Activision Blizzard, Inc. | Albertsons Companies, Inc. | American Antitrust Institute | BASF Corp. | Bureau of Competition | CHS, Inc. | Corteva | Corteva, Inc. | Cozen & O'Connor, PC | Cravath Swaine & Moore, LLP | Dalziel Law Firm | Desert Newco LLC | Desert Newco, LLC | Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP | Fox Rothschild, LLP | GoDaddy Inc. | GoDaddy Operating Company, LLC | GoDaddy.com LLC | Godaddy, Inc. | Ice Miller, LLP | Kroger | Kroger Co. | Lowey Dannenberg, PC | Microsoft | Microsoft Corporation | Parsons Behle & Latimer, PLC | PlayStation | Radice Law Firm, PC | Saraya USA, Inc. | Scott Rigsby Foundation, Inc. | Syngenta Corp. | Syngenta Crop Protection AG | Twitter
ADVERTISING—N.D. Cal.: Granola bar maker did not violate California consumer protection laws
February 8, 2023
Thomas K. Lauletta, J.D.

“Sweetened with monk fruit,” did not promise the product was entirely or predominantly sweetened with monk fruit. The federal district court in San Francisco, California dismissed a consumer’s complaint, which alleged that the label on the defendant’...

ANTITRUST—JPML: Private pesticide loyalty program antitrust actions centralized in North Carolina
February 8, 2023
Seth Abrams, J.D., M.A.

Suits exist alongside FTC and states’ attorneys gGeneral action based on the same facts and allegations filed in September 2022. The Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized antitrust actions in the Middle District of North Carolina for antitrus...

PRIVACY—9th Cir.: GoDaddy qualifies for domain registrar immunity under anti-cybersquatting law
February 8, 2023
George Basharis, J.D.

GoDaddy found not liable for third-party use of domain name previously held by a nonprofit organization. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a motivational speaker against GoDaddy accusing ...

ANTITRUST NEWS: American Antitrust Institute sends its concerns about Kroger-Albertsons merger to FTC Chair
February 8, 2023
Kenneth H. Ryesky, M.B.A., J.D.

Letter assails planned pre-merger divestment of individual stores, citing failures of similar schemes in previous acquisitions approved by the FTC, including one involving Albertsons itself. Diana L. Moss, Ph.D., President of the American Antitrust I...

PRIVACY NEWS: Blumenthal Urges FTC Probe of Twitter’s Privacy, Security Practices
February 8, 2023
Lynn Stanton

TR Daily His letter to FTC Chair Khan cites whistleblower testimony to Congress, concern over national security. Responding to recent whistleblower allegations, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) has urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate...

Antitrust & Competition

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION—D. Md.: Liberty Tax Service burned by failure to timely sue franchisee guarantor on promissory notes

Enforcement of the several notes, together totaling over $1.4 million, was barred by the Maryland statute of limitations. The federal district court in Baltimore, Maryland held that the franchisor JTH Tax, d/b/a Liberty Tax Service (“Liberty”) could ...

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION—D. Md.: Liberty Tax Service burned by failure to timely sue franchisee guarantor on promissory notes
Law Firms Mentioned:Cooper, Barton & Cooper | Fedder & Janofsky LLC | Sheff & Cook, LLC | Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
Organizations Mentioned:Barton, LLP | Benteler Steel & Tube Manufacturing Corp. | Bureau of Consumer Protection | Clark County School District | Fox News Network LLC | Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP | JTH Tax LLC d/b/a Liberty Tax Service | Maverick Tube Corp. | Meta Platforms Inc. | Tenaris, S.A. | Troutman Pepper | Wayne Johnson For Congress Inc. | Within UnLtd., Inc. | ZyCal Bioceuticals Healthcare Co., Inc.
CONSUMER PROTECTION NEWS—ZyCal BioCeuticals barred from deceptively marketing health supplements
February 7, 2023
Wendy Biddle, J.D.

Product was advertised as causing bone and cartilage to grow. The FTC has reached a settlement with dietary supplement manufacturer ZyCal Bioceuticals Healthcare Company, Inc. (ZyCal) and its president James J. Scaffidi that permanently enjoins them ...

RICO—M.D. Ga.: Congressional candidate cannot proceed with implausible RICO claims against Fox News, opponent
February 7, 2023
Justin Marcus Smith, J.D.

The court rejected the plaintiff candidate’s attempt to convert a grievance about unequal airtime on Fox News into an unlawful racketeering claim. A plaintiff congressional candidate and his campaign failed to state plausible RICO claims against Fox ...

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS NEWS: FTC will not appeal injunction denial in Meta-Within Unlimited case
February 7, 2023
Lynn Stanton

TR Daily And in another proposed merger case where the government raised competition concerns, Benteler has abandoned its merger with Tenaris. The FTC does not plan to appeal a federal district court’s denial of the agency’s motion for a preliminary ...

ANTITRUST NEWS: Deputy Antitrust AAG delivers keynote address at global anticompetition enforcement conference
February 7, 2023
Kenneth H. Ryesky, M.B.A., J.D.

Antitrust Division to focus upon anticompetitive information exchanges by updating its guidance to the new technologies, and coordinating enforcement with other government agencies in the USA and beyond. Doha Mekki, the Principal Deputy Assistant Att...

ANTITRUST NEWS: Justice Department withdraws ‘outdated’ healthcare antitrust policy statements
February 7, 2023
Peter Reap, J.D., LL.M.

The Antitrust Division said the withdrawal of the decades-old policy statements was prompted by significant changes to the healthcare landscape. The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has announced the withdrawal of three “outdated” antitrust po...

Antitrust & Competition

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS—N.D. Cal.: Order denying the FTC’s move to block Meta’s acquisition of VR app maker Within Unlimited unsealed

The court was unconvinced that Meta’s considerable resources meant that it would enter the virtual reality (VR) dedicated fitness app market de novo , if it could not acquire Within and its Supernatural app, partly due to Meta’s need for content. The...

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS—N.D. Cal.: Order denying the FTC’s move to block Meta’s acquisition of VR app maker Within Unlimited unsealed
Law Firms Mentioned:DLA Piper LLC | Hogan Lovells US LLP | Jones Day | Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel and Frederick, P.L.L.C. | Law Office of Joel Shapiro, LLC | Maloney Lauersdorf Reiner PC | Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP | Squire Patton Boggs [US] LLP
Organizations Mentioned:AT&T | Aegis Spine, Inc. | Charter Communications | Comcast Corporation | DLA Piper | Equifax | Experian Corp. | Facebook | Fédération Internationale de Natation | G6 Hospitality | G6 Hospitality Franchising, LLC | G6 Hospitality, LLC | Google LLC | Gordon & Rees, LLP | Hogan Lovells, LLP | IE Hotel Group, LLC d/b/a Studio 6– | Jones Day, LLP | Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, PLLC | Life Spine, Inc. | Lululemon Athletica, Inc. | Meta Platforms Inc. | New Orleans Archdiocesan Cemeteries | Portland | Quinn Emanuel Urquart & Sullivan, LLP | Squire Patton Boggs, LLP | T-Mobile US | TransUnion Corp. | Verizon Communications | Within UnLtd., Inc.
STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVES: New U.S. suit against Google, FTC rulemaking on noncompetes among January highlights
February 6, 2023
Jeffrey May, J.D.

In case you missed the in-depth antitrust law coverage in the January 2023 issues of Antitrust Law Daily , here are highlights of some of last month’s most notable developments. The Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the FTC are continuing ...

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION—D. Or.: Trafficking tort claims for actions at franchised motel can go forward against franchisor
February 6, 2023
Seth Abrams, J.D., M.A.

Court found sufficient facts alleged to support direct liability and vicarious liability but did not find necessary allegations to support direct liability under relevant Oregon statute. The federal district court in Portland, Oregon granted in part ...

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION—N.D. Ill.: Partial summary judgment granted in spinal implant distributorship case
February 6, 2023
Kenneth H. Ryesky, M.B.A., J.D.

Manufacturer had entered into distributorship agreement with U.S. subsidiary of its competitor, who conferred with and provided manufacturer's sample products to the competing parent corporation. The federal district court in Chicago has ruled on a s...

ANTITRUST NEWS: Antitrust outlook for wired, wireless carriers assessed
February 6, 2023
Lynn Stanton

TR Daily Difficulties predicted for antitrust regulators if they attempt to block future consolidations in cable broadband, wireless service provider industries. Antitrust regulators might have a “gut reaction” against allowing a merger of a top-two ...

CONSUMER PROTECTION NEWS: IRS and FTC present webinar on identity theft
February 6, 2023
Glenn Borst, J.D.

The event offered tips on protecting your identity, including that it is important not to trust the number appearing on your phone, since ID thieves can “spoof” Caller ID. On February 2, 2023, The Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Ser...

Antitrust & Competition

ANTITRUST—E.D.N.Y.: Retail employees alleging ‘no-hire’ agreement were timed out or needed market wide effect

The court noted that there had been significant developments in the jurisprudence regarding “no-poach” and “no-hire” agreements during the pendency of the instant motion to dismiss, so it gave the one timely employee a chance to amend. A group of lux...

ANTITRUST—E.D.N.Y.: Retail employees alleging ‘no-hire’ agreement were timed out or needed market wide effect
Law Firms Mentioned:Amin Talati Wasserman, LLP | Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz P.C. | Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings, PLLC | Davis Wright Tremaine LLP | Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP | Gutride Safier LLP | Hausfeld LLP | Kaliel Gold PLLC | Keller Postman LLC | Latham & Watkins LLP | Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP | Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP | Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP | Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP | Venable LLP | Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP
Organizations Mentioned:Amazon.com Inc. | Associated Wholesale Grocers Group, Inc. | Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. | Baker Donelson | Branstetter Stranch & Jennings, PLLC | Bumble Bee Foods LLC | Bumble Bee Foods, LLC | Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP | Facebook | Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP | Fusion Elite All Stars | Goldman, Ismail, Tomaselli, Brennan & Baum, LLP | Gutride Safier, LLP | Hausfeld, LLP | Home Depot | Home Depot USA, Inc. | Lafarge North America, Inc. | Latham & Watkins, LLP | MG Billing Ltd. d/b/a Probiller | Metropolitan Transportation Authority | Olean Wholesale Grocery Cooperative, Inc. | Open Markets Institute | Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, LLP | Quinn Emanuel Urquart & Sullivan, LLP | REBBL, Inc. | Saks & Co. | Saks & Co. LLC | Saks Fifth Avenue LLC | Saks Inc. | Saks, Inc. | Stueve Siegel Hanson, LLP | Varsity Brands, LLC | Venable, LLP | Weil Gotshal & Manges, LLP
ADVERTISING—N.D. Cal.: Claims over beverage label’s amount of digestible protein weakened
February 3, 2023
Wendy Biddle, J.D.

Court allowed the consumer to amend to address the inadequacy of her alleged remedies. A consumer’s claims that a manufacturer of “Plant Powered Elixir” beverages failed to show the correct amount of protein in its beverage based on Percent of Daily ...

ANTITRUST—3d Cir.: Expert testimony issue in Home Depot drywall price fixing lawsuit gets sent back
February 3, 2023
Donielle Tigay Stutland, J.D.

Third Circuit determines that the district court erred in excluding Home Depot’s expert testimony; issue preclusion does not apply to events in the MDL prior to Home Depot becoming a party in the case. The Third Circuit remanded a question related to...

STATE UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES—D. Colo.: Colorado court allows retroactive class certification in case against billing company
February 3, 2023
Donielle Tigay Stutland, J.D.

The Colorado Consumer Protection Act’s 2022 amendment to permit class actions can be applied retroactively because it is remedial. The Colorado federal district court held that a 2022 amendment to the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”) can be ...

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS NEWS: FTC refuses to order Chair Lina Khan’s recusal from Meta-Within merger case
February 3, 2023
E. Darius Sturmer, J.D.

The majority of Commissioners concluded that her prior statements about Facebook did not warrant recusal because they were not sufficiently related to the present case to rebut the presumption of impartiality. The Federal Trade Commission yesterday d...

WORTH NOTING—Other Antitrust and Trade Regulation developments
February 3, 2023
WK Editorial Staff

A periodic roundup of other items of interest to the Antitrust and Trade Regulation community. ANTITRUST—W.D. Wash.: In a putative class action by third-party sellers on Amazon.com’s website alleging that a pricing policy that requires them to offer ...

Antitrust & Competition

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS NEWS: Judge issues sealed order in FTC challenge of Meta-Within merger

TR Daily Meta’s proposed acquisition of Within Unlimited can move forward. In a sealed order, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose) has apparently ruled against the FTC in i...

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS NEWS: Judge issues sealed order in FTC challenge of Meta-Within merger
Law Firms Mentioned:BakerHostetler LLP | Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP | Columbia Square | Covington & Burling LLP | Dow Jones & Company, Inc. | Feerick Nugent MacCartney PLLC | Fox Rothschild LLP | Goldstein Law Group | Hogan Lovells US LLP | Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP | K&L Gates LLP | Kelley Drye & Warren LLP | Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel and Frederick, P.L.L.C. | Proskauer Rose LLP | Squire Patton Boggs US LLP | Steptoe & Johnson LLP | Sullivan & Cromwell LLP | Venable LLP | Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP [#1, #2]
Organizations Mentioned:Bryan Cave, LLP | CKH Industries, Inc. | Competitive Enterprise Institute | Computer & Communications Industry Association | Covington & Burling, LLP | Dow Jones & Co., Inc. | Fox Rothschild, LLP | Greenberg Traurig, LLP | Hogan Lovells, LLP | Hunton Andrews Kurth, LLP | Intuit | Intuit Inc. | Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP | Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, PLLC | Lululemon Athletica, Inc. | Major League Baseball | Meta Platforms Inc. | Nostalgic Partners, LLC, d/b/a Staten Island Yankees | Proskauer Rose, LLP | Roomster Corp. | Safe Step Walk-In Tub Co. | Squire Patton Boggs, LLP | State of California | Steptoe & Johnson, LLP | Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP | Venable, LLP | Weil Gotshal & Manges, LLP [#1, #2] | Within Unlimited, Inc.
CONSUMER PROTECTION—S.D.N.Y.: FTC’s suit against roommate matching service Roomster survives
February 2, 2023
Donielle Tigay Stutland, J.D.

Lawsuit brought by the FTC and six states can proceed against website Roomster for deceptive advertising and the use of fake reviews on the platform. The federal district court in New York City has denied a motion to dismiss in a suit brought by the ...

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION—S.D.N.Y.: Discovery disputes in walk-in bathtub franchise action resolved
February 2, 2023
Kenneth H. Ryesky, M.B.A., J.D.

Purported franchisee claimed that franchisor's acquisition by third party entity was part of scheme by franchisor to directly compete with its franchisee. In a suit brought a manufacturer of walk-in bathtubs against a dealer of its products that also...

ANTITRUST NEWS: Justice Department brief calls for elimination of MLB’s antitrust exemption
February 2, 2023
E. Darius Sturmer, J.D.

The government’s friend-of-the-court brief in dispute between MLB and several minor league teams argues that the exemption is “of dubious quality.” The Department of Justice Antitrust Division filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Court of ...

BLOG TRACKER—Noteworthy blog posts and other commentary
February 2, 2023
WK Editorial Staff

The week’s most insightful, intriguing, or entertaining blog posts regarding antitrust and trade regulation issues. SSRN, Price-Fixing Allegations in the Canned Tuna Industry: A Look at the Data , by Minhae Kim, Ryan Mansley, Nathan Miller, Marc Reme...

CONSUMER PROTECTION NEWS: FTC commissioners nix staff motion for summary decision against Intuit, Inc., reject affirmative defenses
February 2, 2023
Justin Marcus Smith, J.D.

The commissioners reasoned that an assessment of Intuit’s entire course of conduct would facilitate a more complete and cohesive opinion addressing all of the relevant but varied advertising claims at once. In the false advertising case brought by th...