Antitrust & Competition

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Antitrust & Competition

TOP STORY: Justice Department charges more contractors with bid-rigging

The news is the latest in a barrage of bid-rigging cases tied to U.S. military contracts. A federal grand jury in Atlanta, Georgia returned an indictment charging military contractors with an alleged fraudulent scheme involving the rigging of bids on...

TOP STORY: Justice Department charges more contractors with bid-rigging
ADVERTISING—D. Ariz.: Therapy light manufacturer’s Lanham Act counterclaims were sufficiently bright, but RICO counterclaims were dim
June 24, 2022
Justin Marcus Smith, J.D.

The inference of competitive injury, which the defendants relied upon as the basis of their Lanham Act counterclaims, did not apply to their Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) counterclaims, because the latter required a sho...

ANTITRUST—D.P.R.: Physician failed to allege standing for tying claims against hospital and medical device manufacturer
June 24, 2022
Nicole D. Prysby, J.D.

The physician’s allegation that the tying caused harm through limited choices in the medical devices he could utilize failed to sufficiently plead standing because the injury—the result of the vertical distribution of a product—was too remote. A phys...

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION—W. Va. Sup.: Fraud must be specific to the forum-selection clause, not contract inducement, to invalidate such clause
June 24, 2022
Seth Abrams, J.D., M.A.

A lower court improperly applied the law governing forum-selection clauses in a distribution agreement dispute, said the West Virginia state high court. The West Virginia state high courtgranted a petition for a Writ of Prohibition in a forum-selecti...

CONSUMER PROTECTION NEWS: FTC seeks comments on proposed rule addressing deceptive acts, practices in motor vehicle marketplace
June 24, 2022
Christopher M. Longo, J.D.

The Commission seeks to eliminate deceptive practices and provide consumers with protection from junk fees and deceptive advertising. The FTC is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would prohibit motor vehicle dealers from making misrepresentatio...

PRIVACY NEWS: House panel amends, approves federal privacy bill
June 24, 2022
Lynn Stanton

TR Daily Members expect further work on the bill, especially with regard to state law preemption and private rights of action. The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s consumer protection and commerce subcommittee yesterday approved by voice vote an...

WORTH NOTING—Other Antitrust and Trade Regulation developments
June 24, 2022
WK Editorial Staff

A periodic roundup of other items of interest to the Antitrust and Trade Regulation community. ANTITRUST—S.D. Cal.: In a price fixing class action against producers and processors of packaged-seafood products, commercial food preparers (CFPs) moved f...

Antitrust & Competition

TOP STORY—Cal App.: Arbitrator’s award of gas station was a transfer that triggered ROFR in franchise agreement

Because all claims brought by the individual awarded the gas station were predicated on allegations that the ROFR under the station’s franchise agreement was never triggered by the arbitrator’s award of the station, all claims failed. A franchisor pr...

TOP STORY—Cal App.: Arbitrator’s award of gas station was a transfer that triggered ROFR in franchise agreement
AVERTISING—S.D. Cal.: Second preliminary settlement agreement rejected in General Mills deceptive labeling suit
June 23, 2022
Thomas K. Lauletta, J.D.

The court found that the settlement agreement was not “fair, reasonable, or adequate.” A second proposed settlement agreement between General Mills and consumers in their deceptive labeling suit has been denied preliminary approval by the federal dis...

ADVERTISING NEWS: Justice Department, Meta settle housing discrimination action
June 23, 2022
Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D.

Meta allegedly engaged in disparate treatment and a pattern or practice of prohibited discriminatory advertising in violation of the Fair Housing Act; company to pay fine and develop a new system for housing ads to address disparities for race, ethni...

ANTITRUST NEWS: Court requests China’s assistance in obtaining documents from Tencent in FTC case against Facebook
June 23, 2022
Martin A. Steinberg, J.D.

The letter was prompted by the unopposed motion of Meta Platforms, Inc. (Meta), the parent company of Facebook. The federal district court in Washington, D.C., has sent a formal request to the People’s Republic of China to assist in obtaining documen...

BLOG TRACKER—Noteworthy blog posts and other commentary
June 23, 2022
WK Editorial Staff

The week’s most insightful, intriguing, or entertaining blog posts regarding antitrust and trade regulation issues. Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog, Horizontal Collusion and Parallel Wage-Setting in Labor Markets , by D. Daniel Sokol Antitrust La...

CONSUMER PROTECTION NEWS: Harley-Davidson and Westinghouse warranties targeted by FTC
June 23, 2022
Peter Reap, J.D., LL.M.

The agency is taking action to require the companies to remove illegal terms and recognize consumers’ right to repair. The FTC has announced that it has filed complaints against Harley-Davidson Motor Company Group, LLC , which manufactures motorcycle...

Antitrust & Competition

TOP STORY—N.D. Ill.: Pharmacies’ second amended complaint in prescription routing litigation survives motion to dismiss

Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes the dismissal of claims, not legal theories, hence state law theories saved claims otherwise subject to Illinois Brick dismissal, and the pharmacy plaintiffs otherwise plausibly alleged that a loyalty program resulted in excl...

TOP STORY—N.D. Ill.: Pharmacies’ second amended complaint in prescription routing litigation survives motion to dismiss
ANTITRUST—5th Cir.: On rehearing, court finds Continental Automotive Systems failed to state claims under Sherman Act
June 22, 2022
Patricia K. Ruiz, J.D.

The court previously found that allegations under the Sherman Act were speculative. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the Northern District of Texas holding that Continental Automotive Systems, Inc., (Continental) failed to state claims unde...

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION—M.D.N.C.: Amazon prevails over delivery contractor in suit questioning arbitration agreement
June 22, 2022
Patricia K. Ruiz, J.D.

The delivery company failed to provide evidence that the program agreements signed did not contain arbitration clauses. The federal district court in Greensboro, North Carolina granted a motion to dismiss and compel arbitration in favor of Amazon Log...

RICO—M.D. La.: Former LSU athletic department employee’s RICO complaint related to cover-up and corruption dismissed
June 22, 2022
Donielle Tigay Stutland, J.D.

RICO allegations of the coverup of sexual harassment complaints against a former football coach could not be traced to the former employee’s alleged injuries. A federal district court in Louisiana dismissed claims brought by the former associate athl...

STATE UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES—Cal. App.: Dismissal of hospital patient’s suit alleging deceptive emergency room billing upheld
June 22, 2022
E. Darius Sturmer, J.D.

Appellate panel holds that hospital was properly found to have complied with disclosure laws and that hospital had no further duty under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act to disclose its EMS fees to prospective patients through additional emergency roo...

ANTITRUST NEWS: Chinese vitamin manufacturers oppose American purchasers' certiorari petition to review judicial foreign law deference
June 22, 2022
Kenneth H. Ryesky, M.B.A., J.D.

This is the second Supreme Court visit for the 15-year multi-district dietary supplement antitrust litigation; manufacturers characterize purchasers' request to invite Solicitor General's to weigh in as "petitioners' last gasp." Chinese manufacturers...

Antitrust & Competition

TOP STORY: Class action asserts that T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom intended Sprint merger to reduce competition

A mixture of AT&T and Verizon customers in Indiana and Illinois asserted that by bringing this action they were seeking to vindicate their rights under the antitrust laws, undo the T-Mobile merger with Sprint, and recover damages for overcharges. A g...

TOP STORY: Class action asserts that T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom intended Sprint merger to reduce competition
ADVERTISING—N.D. Cal.: Consumers advance fraud claims over ‘Maximum Strength’ label on lidocaine patch
June 21, 2022
Elizabeth C. Pope, J.D.

The consumers asserted the drug marketer knew the prescription version of the patch contained more lidocaine than did the over-the-counter product it labeled “Maximum Strength.” Claims that the maker of a lidocaine patch knowingly mislabeled its prod...

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION— Fla. App.: Medical device distributor’s claims revived on appeal
June 21, 2022
Martin A. Steinberg, J.D.

The trial court erred by looking beyond the four corners of the amended complaint filed by a medical device distributor against the manufacturer and failed to accept as true all properly pleaded allegations when it granted the motion to dismiss. A Fl...

ANTITRUST NEWS: Companies show support for online competition bill, sidestepping Amazon’s efforts to rally opposition
June 21, 2022
Patricia K. Ruiz, J.D.

Small and medium-sized businesses say tech behemoths use their dominance to tilt the competitive scales in favor of their products and services. In a letter addressed to all members of the U.S. Senate, more than 60 small- and medium-sized companies a...

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION NEWS—Petition by Domino’s Pizza asks Court to answer question it ‘expressly left open’ in recent FAA decision
June 21, 2022
Brandi O. Brown, J.D.

In its Saxon opinion, the petitioner contends, the Court left open a question regarding classes of workers who carry out duties removed from actual border crossings, and it argued that this petition offers the perfect opportunity to address it. In a ...

PRIVACY NEWS: Louisiana governor signs law prohibiting unauthorized commercial use of identity
June 21, 2022
Thomas Long, J.D.

‘Allen Toussaint Legacy Act,’ named after famed New Orleans musician and composer, creates post-mortem publicity rights for individuals who were domiciled in Louisiana, as well as rights for living Louisianans. Louisiana residents—living or dead—have...

SUPREME COURT DOCKET—Recent decisions, cases, and petitions pending High Court review
June 21, 2022
Jody Coultas, J.D.

The decisions, arguments, briefs, and petitions concerning antitrust and trade regulation issues before the October 2021 Term of the U.S. Supreme Court are presented in this Antitrust Law Daily feature. The Supreme Court continues to clear the docket...

Antitrust & Competition

TOP STORY—S.D.N.Y.: Price fixing claims go forward against six European Government Bond sellers

The European Government Bond (EGB) sellers previously lost a motion to dismiss claims that they conspired to raise EGB prices and the court declined to reconsider the decision allowing the claims to move forward. A federal district court in New York ...

TOP STORY—S.D.N.Y.: Price fixing claims go forward against six European Government Bond sellers
NOTE TO SUBSCRIBERS
June 17, 2022

Antitrust Law Daily will not publish on Monday, June 20, due to the Juneteenth holiday. We will resume publication on Tuesday, June 21, with the extensive coverage you’ve come to expect. Info

ADVERTISING—D. Mass.: D. Mass.: Breyers ‘Vanilla Bean’ ice cream labelling was not deceptive
June 17, 2022
Thomas K. Lauletta, J.D.

The plaintiff conceded that extract of the vanilla bean may have been used to create the product’s vanilla flavor. The U.S. district court in Springfield, Massachusetts dismissed a complaint alleging that Breyer Vanilla Bean ice cream was materially ...

FRANCHISING & DISTRIBUTION—D.P.R.: Supplier need not continue to fill purchase orders in Puerto Rico Law 75 foodservice distribution case
June 17, 2022
Seth Abrams, J.D., M.A.

Just cause also existed under Law 75 to terminate the unwritten agreement. The federal district court in Puerto Rico denied foodservice distributor José Santiago Inc.’s motion for a preliminary injunction that would have ordered Smithfield Foods to c...

RICO—D. Md.: RICO claims against protective facemask distributors dismissed
June 17, 2022
Martin A. Steinberg, J.D.

The plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege a continuity of unlawful activity by the defendants. AMA Systems, LLC (AMA) and Bluemar Promotions, LLC (Bluemar) filed suit against the defendants 3B Tech, Inc. (3B Tech), Pro-Com Products, Inc. (Pro-Com)...

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS NEWS: FTC considering effect on workers in its investigation of Microsoft-Activision merger
June 17, 2022
Patricia K. Ruiz, J.D.

Chair Khan confirmed the agency’s commitment to investigating mergers, acquisitions with a focus on potential harm to workers. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a letter from Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan sent in response t...

ANTITRUST NEWS: EU Court of Justice partially annuls decision that ODD suppliers breached EU antitrust rules
June 17, 2022
Nicole D. Prysby, J.D.

The court partially annulled the European Commission decision fining eight optical disc drive (ODD) suppliers a total of €116 million for having coordinated their behavior in relation to procurement tenders organized by two computer manufacturers, bu...

WORTH NOTING—Other Antitrust and Trade Regulation developments
June 17, 2022
WK Editorial Staff

A periodic roundup of other items of interest to the Antitrust and Trade Regulation community. ANTITRUST—6th Cir.: Under Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. § 103.465), a non-solicitation clause barring a president and CEO of plastic-manufacturing business Pen...