Justice Department Issues Favorable Business Review Letter To ISDA For Proposed Amendments To Address Interest Rate Benchmarks

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it has completed its review of the proposal by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association Inc. (ISDA) to amend its standardized model documentation for derivatives to account for the potential discontinuation of certain interbank offered rates (collectively referred to as “IBORs”).  The department has concluded, based on the representations in ISDA’s letter request, including its description of certain safeguards, that ISDA’s proposed amendments to its standardized documentation are unlikely to harm competition.  Therefore, the department does not presently intend to challenge ISDA’s proposed amendments to its standardized documentation for derivatives.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Issues Favorable Business Review Letter To ISDA For Proposed Amendments To Address Interest Rate Benchmarks

Former Cancer Center President Indicted For Participation In Long-Running Antitrust Conspiracy

A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Dr. William Harwin, founder and former President of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute LLC (FCS), for conspiring to allocate medical and radiation oncology treatments for patients in Southwest Florida, the Department of Justice announced today.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Former Cancer Center President Indicted For Participation In Long-Running Antitrust Conspiracy

Antitrust Division Supports Modernizing Merger Filing Exemptions For Certain Investments

On Monday, September 21, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim concurred in the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Federal Register publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the premerger notification rules (the Rules) that implement the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act (HSR).

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Antitrust Division Supports Modernizing Merger Filing Exemptions For Certain Investments

Justice Department Requires Divestiture In Order For Anheuser-Busch To Acquire Craft Brew Alliance

The Department of Justice announced today that it is requiring Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (ABI), its wholly-owned subsidiary Anheuser-Busch Companies LLC (AB Companies), and Craft Brew Alliance Inc. (CBA) to divest CBA’s entire Kona brand business in the state of Hawaii and to license to the acquirer the Kona brand in Hawaii in order for AB Companies, a minority shareholder in CBA, to proceed with its proposed acquisition of the remaining shares of CBA.  The department has approved PV Brewing Partners, LLC as the acquirer.  The proposed settlement will maintain competition in the beer industry in Hawaii benefitting consumers.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Requires Divestiture In Order For Anheuser-Busch To Acquire Craft Brew Alliance

International Competition Network Addresses Enforcement And Policy Challenges of the Digital Economy at United States-Hosted 19th Annual Conference

The International Competition Network (ICN) held its 19th annual conference on September 14-17, 2020.  Co-hosted by the Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the conference was the ICN’s first virtual conference.  

Source: DOJ Press Releases, International Competition Network Addresses Enforcement And Policy Challenges of the Digital Economy at United States-Hosted 19th Annual Conference

Former Foreign Exchange Trader Sentenced To Prison For Price Fixing And Bid Rigging

Akshay Aiyer, a former currency trader at a major multinational bank, was sentenced to serve eight months in jail and ordered to pay a $150,000 criminal fine for his participation in an antitrust conspiracy to manipulate prices for emerging market currencies in the global foreign currency exchange (FX) market, the Justice Department announced today.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Former Foreign Exchange Trader Sentenced To Prison For Price Fixing And Bid Rigging

United States Antitrust Agencies Co-Host the 19th Annual International Competition Network Conference

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are co-hosting the International Competition Network’s (ICN) 19th annual conference, which opens today and runs through Thursday, September 17, 2020.  Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim and FTC Chairman Joseph J. Simons are leading the U.S. agencies’ participation in the ICN’s first virtual conference.  Assistant Attorney General Delrahim and Chairman Simons will deliver opening remarks and speak on the conference’s showcase program addressing the challenges of enforcement in the digital economy.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, United States Antitrust Agencies Co-Host the 19th Annual International Competition Network Conference

Justice Department Updates 2015 Business Review Letter To The Institute Of Electrical And Electronics Engineers

The Justice Department today issued a supplement to its Feb. 2, 2015 Business Review Letter from the Antitrust Division to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated (IEEE) (“the 2015 Letter”).  The 2015 Letter analyzed proposed revisions to the IEEE’s Patent Policy of that same year pursuant to the department’s Business Review Procedure, 28 C.F.R. § 50.6.  The Antitrust Division took this step to address concerns raised publicly by industry, lawmakers, and former department and other federal government officials that the 2015 letter has been misinterpreted, and cited frequently and incorrectly, as an endorsement of the IEEE’s Patent Policy.  Additionally, aspects of the 2015 letter had become outdated based on recent jurisprudential and policy developments.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Updates 2015 Business Review Letter To The Institute Of Electrical And Electronics Engineers

Department Of Justice And U.S. Patent And Trademark Office To Host Public Workshop On Promoting Innovation In The Life Science Sector

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division (DOJ) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host a virtual public workshop on Sept. 23rd and 24th, 2020 to discuss the importance of intellectual property rights and pro-competitive collaborations for life sciences companies, research institutions, and American consumers. 

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Department Of Justice And U.S. Patent And Trademark Office To Host Public Workshop On Promoting Innovation In The Life Science Sector

Ready-Mix Concrete Company And Individuals Indicted For Fixing Prices And Rigging Bids In Violation Of Antitrust Laws

A federal grand jury returned an indictment against one company and four individuals for their roles in a long-running conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate markets for ready-mix concrete in the greater Savannah, Georgia area, the Department of Justice announced today.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Ready-Mix Concrete Company And Individuals Indicted For Fixing Prices And Rigging Bids In Violation Of Antitrust Laws

Three Peruvian Men Sentenced To Significant Terms Of Incarceration For Overseeing Call Centers That Threatened And Defrauded Spanish-Speaking U.S. Consumers

Three Peruvian men have been sentenced to significant terms of incarceration for operating a large fraud and extortion scheme, the Department of Justice announced. 

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Three Peruvian Men Sentenced To Significant Terms Of Incarceration For Overseeing Call Centers That Threatened And Defrauded Spanish-Speaking U.S. Consumers

Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework With Australia, Canada, New Zealand, And United Kingdom

Today, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim signed a new competition enforcement framework between the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Trade Commission, and competition agencies in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Signs Antitrust Cooperation Framework With Australia, Canada, New Zealand, And United Kingdom

Antitrust Division Seeks Public Comments On Updating Bank Merger Review Analysis

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it is seeking public comments into whether the division should revise the 1995 Bank Merger Competitive Review guidelines (“Banking Guidelines”) to reflect emerging trends in the banking and financial services sector and modernize its approach to bank merger review under the antitrust laws. Today’s announcement is part-and-parcel of the division’s broader efforts and increased focus on protecting competition in the financial markets and follows the recent remarks and announcement by Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Makan Delrahim, concerning the realignment of commodities at the division.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Antitrust Division Seeks Public Comments On Updating Bank Merger Review Analysis

Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Announces Re-Organization of the Antitrust Division's Civil Enforcement Program

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it is creating the Office of Decree Enforcement and Compliance and a Civil Conduct Task Force.  Additionally, it will redistribute matters among its six civil sections in order to build expertise based on current trends in the economy.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Announces Re-Organization of the Antitrust Division’s Civil Enforcement Program

Federal Court Terminates Paramount Consent Decrees

WASHINGTON – A federal court in the Southern District of New York today terminated the Paramount Consent Decrees, which for over seventy years have regulated how certain movie studios distribute films to movie theatres. The review and termination of these Decrees were part of the Department of Justice’s review of legacy antitrust judgments that dated back to the 1890’s and has resulted in the termination of nearly 800 perpetual decrees.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Federal Court Terminates Paramount Consent Decrees

Justice Department Sues To Block Geisinger Health’s Transaction With Evangelical Community Hospital

The U.S. Department of Justice sued today to block Geisinger Health’s partial acquisition of its close rival, Evangelical Community Hospital. The complaint alleges that the agreement fundamentally alters the relationship between the parties, raising the likelihood of coordination and reducing Defendants’ incentives to compete aggressively against each other. As a result, the transaction is likely to lead to higher prices, lower quality, and reduced access to high-quality inpatient hospital services for patients in central Pennsylvania. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Sues To Block Geisinger Health’s Transaction With Evangelical Community Hospital

Statement of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division on the Closing of Its Investigation of London Stock Exchange Group and Refinitiv

Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice issued the following statement today in connection with the closing of the division’s investigation into the proposed acquisition of Refinitiv by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG): “After an extensive review of the proposed transaction, the Antitrust Division determined that the combination of LSEG and Refinitiv is unlikely to result in harm to competition or American consumers.”

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Statement of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division on the Closing of Its Investigation of London Stock Exchange Group and Refinitiv

Statement Of AAG Makan Delrahim Thanking Participants In Workshop On Competition In The Licensing Of Public Performance Rights In The Music Industry

On Wednesday July 29, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division concluded its two-day virtual workshop on competition in the licensing of public performance rights in the music industry.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Statement Of AAG Makan Delrahim Thanking Participants In Workshop On Competition In The Licensing Of Public Performance Rights In The Music Industry

Antitrust Division Names Taylor Owings Acting Chief Of Staff

Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division today announced that Taylor Owings will serve as Acting Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel of the Antitrust Division.  Owings, who has served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General since February 2018, will replace outgoing Chief of Staff William Rinner.  Rinner will continue to serve as Senior Counsel until his planned departure from the Department in the coming months.

Source: DOJ Press Releases, Antitrust Division Names Taylor Owings Acting Chief Of Staff