On April 3, 2017, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it completed its review of Danone S.A.’s acquisition of The WhiteWave Foods Company Inc. In order to allow the 12.5 billion dollar acquisition to proceed, the Antitrust Division is requiring Danone to divest the Stonyfield Farms business to an independent buyer approved by the U.S. government.
Continue Reading DOJ Completes Review of Danone/WhiteWave Merger, Requires Divestitures

On February 3, 2017, the FTC released a staff report, The FTC’s Merger Remedies 2006-2012: A Report of the Bureaus of Competition and Economics, providing guidance to businesses and their counsel in evaluating the scope of possible remedies.
Continue Reading FTC Issues Staff Study on the Effectiveness of Merger Remedies from 2006-2012

As antitrust enforcement under the new Trump Administration comes into focus, a recent article from our 2016 Retail Industry Year in Review, Antitrust Merger Enforcement in the Retail Sector, looks back at retail antitrust in 2016 and looks forward to what changes the new administration may bring.
Continue Reading Antitrust Merger Enforcement in the Retail Sector

On November 17, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission released a report assessing the issues confronting consumers and regulators stemming from the rise of sharing economy apps such as Uber and Airbnb. The report describes how the Internet has allowed sellers and consumers to connect in order to provide services between individuals.
Continue Reading FTC Releases Report on “Sharing Economy” Platforms

Wal-Mart has alleged a price fixing scheme for canned tuna in Arkansas federal court. Wal-Mart’s complaint alleges several tuna companies engaged in large-scale price fixing in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act between 2008 and 2010.
Continue Reading Wal-Mart Seeks to School Tuna Fish Companies in Price-Fixing Complaint

This past week, the FTC and DOJ issued an 11-page guidance document aimed at protecting employees against anticompetitive conduct with respect to naked wage-fixing and anti-poaching agreements. The Guidance for human resource professionals and hiring managers relates to both hiring and compensation decisions.
Continue Reading FTC, DOJ Issue Antitrust Guidance for HR Professionals

The Department of Justice has cleared Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (“AB InBev’s”) acquisition of SABMiller. Approval of the $107 billion deal came with substantial divestitures, including SABMiller’s U.S. business. That business, which includes the Miller Lite and Miller High Life products, will be sold to Molson Coors for $12 billion. As part of the approval, AB InBev is also prohibited from conducting incentive programs that would discourage independent distributors from selling competitors’ import or craft beers. According to the Department of Justice, this will preserve the ability of small brewers, such as craft brewers, to compete against AB InBev.

Continue Reading Anheuser-Busch’s Deal Cleared in U.S.

On August 8, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission sued 1-800 Contacts, alleging that it entered into anticompetitive bidding agreements with 14 of its rivals. According to the administrative complaint, these bidding agreements are an unfair method of competition because they unreasonably restrain competition for bidding on online search advertising auctions and restrict truthful, non-misleading ads. Previously, 1-800 Contacts alleged that its rivals had engaged in trademark infringement by purchasing advertising space from online search engines when consumers searched for “1-800 Contacts.” Most of 1-800 Contacts’ rivals agreed to settle or avoid lawsuits by entering into the allegedly anticompetitive bidding agreements, which prohibit parties from bidding on their rivals’ trademarked terms. Additionally, all but one of the contracts also require the use of “negative keywords,” which will prevent an advertiser’s name from appearing if a rival’s name is used as a search term.

Continue Reading FTC Sues 1-800 Contacts, Alleges Anticompetitive Agreements Among Competitors for Online Search