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The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced, on August 12, 2016, they are seeking public comments on the first update to the Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property issued in 1995. The majority of the Proposed Guidelines update relevant authorities to reflect developments in court decisions, statutory law, the agencies’ practice, and the agencies’ guidance over the past 20 years, while leaving intact the…
In the manufacturing industry, parties have turned to most favored nation (MFN) clauses—or clauses having the same effect—as a means to assure the lowest possible input costs. MFN clauses offer pro-competitive, cost-saving benefits including efficiencies in negotiations; buyers need not haggle for the last nickel in cost reduction when an MFN clause guarantees the best available price. Despite these pro-competitive benefits, MFN clauses have drawn increased scrutiny for their possible misuse and potential for creating…
Both in the automotive and other industries, parties have turned to most favored nation (MFN) clauses—or clauses having the same effect—as a means to assure the lowest possible input costs. MFN clauses offer pro-competitive, cost-saving benefits including efficiencies in negotiations; buyers need not haggle for the last nickel in cost reduction when an MFN clause guarantees the best available price. Despite these pro-competitive benefits, MFN clauses have drawn increased scrutiny for their possible misuse and…
An interesting and growing debate in the antitrust arena is whether most favored nation (“MFN”) pricing provisions are pro-competitive or anticompetitive. For many years, MFN provisions have been considered a fairly noncontroversial contract term included by purchasers in an attempt to assure that other buyers do not receive a more favorable price. But not all agree that MFNs result in lower prices, including some economists and, more importantly, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (“DOJ”).…