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.…
Borrowing from the immortal words of Paul Revere, the title consciously evokes images of a battle, though fought with words and ideas and (hopefully) not muskets and bayonets. The proper objectives of the antitrust laws and the appropriate level of antitrust enforcement has been discussed in mainstream media more over the last decade than perhaps at any point in time. Indeed, in both 2016 and 2020, the Democratic Party platform included a section on antitrust.…
An antitrust revolution is upon us. Numerous pundits and political leaders blame many of today’s societal and economic ills on what they claim is the increasing concentration of economic power in the hands of a few. Perceived lax antitrust enforcement and permissive antitrust laws, many claim, is the cause of that. Indeed, President Joe Biden has placed antitrust enforcement at the forefront of his administration and aims to use antitrust enforcement to remedy social inequities…
In a significant decision handed down last Thursday, April 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cannot, in the first instance, seek monetary remedies in federal court. Rather, it must first obtain a cease and desist order and, only after a violation of that order, can it seek penalties or other monetary relief, such as disgorgement.  Read on for why this should matter to you.…
Two recent actions aimed at maximizing domestically-produced goods, products, materials and services may have significant impact on contractors and supply chains. In January 2021, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council published a final rule “Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials” that amended the requirements for products to be classified as American-made under the Buy American Act (BAA). Less than a week later, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14005, titled “Ensuring…
A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the Superior Court and held that the 1996 amended catch-all provision of the Pennsylvania Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (CPL) imposes strict liability. Writing for the 4-3 majority, Justice David Wecht, based upon a professed review of the plain language of the statute, concluded the General Assembly’s addition of “or deceptive conduct” to the catch-all provision of the CPL dictated a lesser, more relaxed standard. Thus, the majority…
For nearly 75 years, the McCarran-Ferguson Act established a broad – although not unlimited – exemption from the application of federal law to “the business of insurance,” finding “the continued regulation and taxation by the several states [of that business] in the public interest.” As a result, McCarran-Ferguson exempted insurers from federal antitrust liability where their activity in question (1) was part of the “business of insurance,” (2) was regulated by state law and (3)…
Borrowers of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans – together with their affiliates – who have loans in excess of $2 million and seek loan forgiveness will potentially need to complete necessity questionnaires according to the Small Business Administration. There are separate forms for for-profit and non-profit businesses and will likely affect 52,000 borrowers. My colleagues Jack Beeler, Cat Rice and Jack Meadows explain the purpose and questions asked in these questionnaires in this law alert