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Blog o’ Blogs June

 |  August 15, 2017

The approaching Summer heat appears to send the Antitrust community into a bout of introspection and planning for the future, facing possibly major developments over the months ahead. Efforts to coordinate with scholars and authorities in the increasingly interconnected world of e-commerce and other high-tech issues feature prominently, as well as questions of how to ensure compliance in this rapidly changing and multi-jurisdictional global community.

In years past, the focus of private international antitrust disputes was the United States. Over a century of experience, treble damages, class actions and the American rule for attorneys’ fees – plus robust enforcement by the Antitrust Division – have combined to make the United States the natural hub for private cases.
James L. McGinnis and Oliver Heinisch  (Sheppard Mullin Antitrust)
Antitrust Division’s Spring Update 2017: Insights Regarding DOJ’s Enforcement and Policy
The Antitrust Division recently issued its 2017 annual spring update. The update emphasizes the Division’s recent litigation victories, particularly in the merger context.  In his introductory remarks, Assistant Attorney General Brett Snyder noted the Division’s litigation docket is more active
J. Taylor Kirklin and Melissa R. Ginsberg  (Antitrust Update)
The International Competition Network (ICN), a “virtual” organization comprised of most of the world’s competition (antitrust) agencies and expert non-governmental advisors (NGAs), held its Sixteenth Annual Conference in Porto, Portugal from May 10-12.
Alden Abbott (Truth on the Market)
Global Inquiries into Drug Price Increases
European competition authorities announced this week an investigation into Aspen Pharmacare’s recent price hikes of five cancer drugs. The European Commission said in a press release that it had “information indicating that Aspen has imposed very significant and unjustified price increases of up to several hundred percent.”
Kathrina Szymborski and William F. Cavanaugh (Antitrust Update)
Over the past few years, sophisticated pricing algorithms and artificial intelligence have attracted the attention of antitrust and competition enforcers. These new technologies interpret and respond to market conditions with far more precision, agility, and consistency than their human counterparts.
 Dylan Ballard and Amar Naik  (Antitrust Law Blog)
On the 10 May 2017, the EU Commission announced the end of their e-commerce sector inquiry. What is notable about the end of this inquiry is the lack of policy or new legislation following it.
Roman Madej (EU Competition Blog/Bryan Cave)
Legal Professional Privilege in EU Merger Control
The European Commission increasingly issues large document requests in complex merger cases. The number of requested documents has increased significantly in recent years, from a few hundred to several hundred thousand, in particular in Phase I or Phase II cases that raise substantial issues.
Thomas Wilson (Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer)
Antitrust Compliance Programs in the US and the European Union
Companies that conspire with their competitors to fix prices, share markets, allocate customers, production or output limitation; have historically faced severe fines from antitrust enforcement all over the world.
Luis Blanquez (The Antitrust Attorney)
Brand owners: controlling internet sales while remaining compliant with competition law
Restrictions on internet distribution and competition law compliance generally do not mix. However, in a recent speech, Johannes Laitenberger, a high-ranking official within the Competition Directorate of the European Commission, stated that “while blanket internet sales bans are undoubtedly a hardcore restriction […] this does not apply to all restraints on online sales.”
(Norton Rose Fulbright)
Shamsher Kataria v. Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. – Great End, but Means?
The car spare-parts market in India is a closed one, because car manufacturers mandate that the authorized dealers source their spare parts only from the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) or the approved vendors.
Ayushi Singhal (Kluwer Competition)
D.C. Circuit Affirms Decision Enjoining Anthem-Cigna Merger; Will the Supreme Court Weigh In?
In a split decision, on April 28, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to issue a permanent injunction blocking the merger of Anthem, Inc. and Cigna Corp., two of the nation’s largest health insurance providers.
Jamison Davies and Melissa R. Ginsberg (Antitrust Update)
Review: A Brief Assessment of the Procompetitive Effects of Organizational Restructuring in the Ag-Biotech Industry
Over the past two decades, rapid technological innovation has transformed the industrial organization of the ag-biotech industry. One of the most striking characteristics of this organizational shift has been a steady increase in consolidation.
Geoffrey Manne (Truth on the Market)