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Please join McDermott Will & Emery partner, Todd Solomon, at a Worldwide Employee Benefits (WEB) Network Chicago Chapter event that will cover recent developments in same-sex partner benefits. A much-anticipated Supreme Court ruling overturned a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA. That much is clear. What is less clear is what long-term impact this will have on employer-sponsored retirement and health benefit plans.  How do the federal tax laws…
by Martina Maier, Philipp Werner and Robert Bäuerle The German Federal Cartel Office has just published new Guidelines on the Setting of Fines for antitrust law infringements.  With these guidelines, the German Federal Cartel Office departs from the method of setting fines used by the European Commission and other national competition authorities in Europe. As a result of the new guidelines, the potential liability for multi-product firms whose infringement concerned only a specific product…
by Joseph Adams, Todd Solomon and Brian Tiemann Earlier this morning, in the case of U.S. v. Windsor, the Supreme Court of the United States found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional. In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Kennedy, the Court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA deprived same-sex couples of the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Note that the…
by Frank Schoneveld Last week one of China’s antitrust regulators, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), imposed fines of RMB419 million (+/- US$72 million) on two of the most famous producers of Chinese liquor, Moutai and WuLiangye.  The fines were imposed for restricting the minimum price at which their distributors could resell the liquor. This was found to be illegal resale price maintenance. The fines are unprecedented in China and signal major new antitrust…
by Amy M. Gordon, Jacob Mattinson and Susan M. Nash As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released proposed regulations regarding the estimated amount of annual contributions that are required to be paid to HHS from employer-sponsored group health plans to finance state transitional reinsurance programs.  The reinsurance programs are intended to help stabilize premiums for coverage in the individual…
by Amy Gordon, Susan Nash, Maureen O’Brien Recent guidance issued by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor and the Internal Revenue Service clarifies health care reform rules regarding waiting periods and the definition of full-time employee for purposes of the employer requirement to provide health care coverage beginning in 2014.   The Internal Revenue Service has also issued guidance relating to the determination of wages for purposes of determining affordability of…
by Veronica Pinotti and Martino Sforza From 1 October 2012 until 30 October 2012, public limited companies based in Italy that have total revenues exceeding EUR 50 million must pay to the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) a new mandatory fee, which replaces the current filing fees for merger transactions. Entities Subject to the Fee Public limited companies (e.g., S.p.A. or S.r.l.) with total revenues—according to the latest financial statements (item A1 of the income statement)—exceeding…
by Ashley McKinney Fischer and Stephen Wu Federal antitrust enforcement agencies continue to challenge transactions in the health industry that they view as anticompetitive. This newsletter provides an update on recent public comments by government officials overseeing antitrust enforcement in the health industry and outlines some of the key steps that parties to certain types of transactions with potential competitive implications in the health industry should take to position themselves for defending against a government…
by Henry L.T. Chen, Frank Schoneveld and James Jiang Recently China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) approved Western Digital’s proposed acquisition of Hitachi’s hard disk drive business on a conditional basis.  Containing the most comprehensive clearance conditions ever imposed by MOFCOM, this decision mirrors previous guidance issued by the European Commission and illustrates that at least two authorities in two of the world’s major economies are working toward imposing similar clearance conditions in their respective…
by Joe Adams, Brett Johnson, Todd Solomon and Brian Tiemann Developments in state same-sex marriage laws have added complexity to the options and obligations of employers providing benefits for employees’ same-sex spouses and partners.  These conflicting developments—some legalizing same-sex marriage and others restricting marriage to an opposite-sex union—are occurring at an increasingly rapid pace.  Further complicating the issue is that changes are occurring by judicial action, legislative action and voter referendums. Judicial Actions…