Antitrust & Trade Regulation

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the fierce debate over student-athlete compensation, with the justices unanimously affirming an injunction that struck down National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) restrictions on education-related compensation and benefits for student athletes in NCAA v. Alston, et al., No. 20-512 (June 21, 2021). The Court found the NCAA was not exempt from antitrust law and that the lower courts had applied the correct standard of scrutiny. Notwithstanding…
Bob Connolly    bob@reconnollylaw.com. The Supreme Court’s decision in Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Ass’n v. Alston, Nos. 20-512 and 20-520, 2021 WL 2519036, (U.S. June 21, 2021) is a boost for the Antitrust Division’s commitment to prosecute what it calls naked “wage fixing” and “no poach” agreements.  In the prosecutions it has brought to date (still in the early stages) defendants have argued that the rule of reason, not the per se rule, should apply, because…
Probably never before has there been introduced in Congress so many bills relating to antitrust.  At last count, over 25 different pieces of antitrust legislation have been introduced just this year, covering antitrust in general and distinct industries in particular, including pharmaceuticals, sports, news and oil. And more have been promised. While some proposed laws are bipartisan in nature, most are single-party efforts. Interestingly, while both sides want to battle mega-mergers and worry about increasing…
Bob Connolly   bob@reconnollylaw.com In a prior post I listed a number of ideas I thought it would be useful for the Biden Administration’s Antitrust Division to consider when the new leadership is in place.  The first item I wrote on was “A Call to Reopen the Atlanta and Dallas Field Offices.”  Below is a short note on another initiative I hope the DOJ Antitrust Division will consider: Support Senator Klobuchar’s Proposed Legislation to…
Following a period of relative leniency for pharmaceutical companies, a Multilateral Pharmaceutical Merger Task Force formed by key antitrust enforcement agencies has been established to review and update merger analysis. The task force includes representatives from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Canadian Competition Bureau, the European Commission Directorate General for Competition, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and the offices of state attorneys general. Read our full
There is no question that antitrust policy, at any time, is highly influenced by the prevailing economic thinking. Equally unquestionable is the fact that economic thinking is highly influenced by one’s political philosophy. With these principles established, the current debate over the purpose of the antitrust laws, and thus the standards they ought to employ, seems an inevitable conclusion to the shifting economic and political tides that have taken place over the last several decades.…
[In the near future there will be new leadership at the Antitrust Division.  But “near future” is a relative term so before I forget what I was thinking about, I offer this post. Bob Connolly, bob@reconnollylaw.com] When there is a new Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust she/he will no doubt have many new ideas for running the Division.  Attorney General Merrick Garland has a strong interest and background in antitrust and undoubtedly has also…