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Showing archive for:  “Mergers & Merger Enforcement”

Whose Failure Is the Failed Amazon/iRobot Merger?

The European Commission told Amazon in November 2023 of its preliminary view that the company’s proposed acquisition of iRobot restricted competition in the market for robot vacuum cleaners (RVCs) and could hamper rival RVC suppliers’ ability to compete effectively. The deal, the Commission asserted, would give Amazon incentive to foreclose iRobot’s competitors by engaging in ... Whose Failure Is the Failed Amazon/iRobot Merger?

What Do We Do with Presumptions in Antitrust?

Winter was coming, as it does. We knew the agencies were going to issue new merger guidelines, and then they did. On Dec. 18, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) jointly issued merger guidelines, supplanting 2023’s draft guidelines, the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines, and the 2020 (partially withdrawn) Vertical Merger ... What Do We Do with Presumptions in Antitrust?

A European Commission Challenge to iRobot’s Acquisition Is Unjustified and Would Harm Dynamic Competition

Once again, a major competition agency, the European Commission, appears poised to take an anticompetitive enforcement action—in this case, blocking Amazon’s acquisition of consumer robotic-manufacturer iRobot. iRobot, headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts, is an American success story: Founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists with the vision of making practical robots a reality, iRobot ... A European Commission Challenge to iRobot’s Acquisition Is Unjustified and Would Harm Dynamic Competition

The Conundrum of Out-of-Market Effects in Merger Enforcement

Section 7 of the Clayton Act prohibits mergers that harm competition in “in any line” of commerce. And, indeed, the Supreme Court’s decisions in Philadelphia National Bank and Topco are often cited on behalf of the proposition that this means any single cognizable market, and that anticompetitive effects in one market cannot be offset by ... The Conundrum of Out-of-Market Effects in Merger Enforcement

FTC v. Illumina/Grail – A Rare FTC Merger Victory? (Actually, a Loss for Consumers)

Although it was overshadowed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) year-end release of the 2023 merger guidelines, one should also note the abrupt end of the FTC v. Illumina/Grail saga. The saga finished with the FTC’s Dec. 18 press release announcing that Illumina decided on Dec.17 to divest itself of ... FTC v. Illumina/Grail – A Rare FTC Merger Victory? (Actually, a Loss for Consumers)

In Reforming Its Antitrust Act, Argentina Should Not Ignore Its Institutional Achilles Heel

As part of a set of “shock therapy” measures introduced to deregulate and stabilize its economy, the Argentinian government led by newly elected President Javier Milei has already adopted an emergency decree (Decreto de Necesidad y Urgencia) that makes broad array of legal changes. Toward the same goal, the government in late December sent up ... In Reforming Its Antitrust Act, Argentina Should Not Ignore Its Institutional Achilles Heel

The Porcine 2023 Merger Guidelines (The Pig Still Oinks)

Well, they have done it. On Dec. 18, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) issued their final 2023 merger guidelines, as an early New Year’s gift (nicely sandwiched between Hanukkah, which ended Dec. 15, and Christmas) of the porcine sort. The two agencies try to put lipstick on this pig by ... The Porcine 2023 Merger Guidelines (The Pig Still Oinks)

A Consumer-Welfare-Centric Reform Agenda for the Federal Trade Commission

As we approach a presidential election year, it is time to begin developing a  comprehensive reform agenda for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In that spirit, this post proposes 12 reforms that could be implemented by new leadership, either through unilateral action by a new chair or (in some cases) majority votes of the commission. ... A Consumer-Welfare-Centric Reform Agenda for the Federal Trade Commission

Hands Across the Agencies

In the headline to a Dec. 7 press release, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it, in concert with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), had managed to “Lower Health Care and Drug Costs, Promote Competition to Benefit Patients, Health Care Workers.” According to the subhead: ... Hands Across the Agencies

Market Power as a Limiting Principle in Merger Enforcement

One of the most important changes in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) draft merger guidelines is the abandonment of market power as the central element of merger enforcement. The “unifying theme” of the 2010 horizontal merger guidelines was that “mergers should not be permitted to create, enhance, or entrench market ... Market Power as a Limiting Principle in Merger Enforcement

A Response to Gus on Our New FTC Overlords

Gus Hurwitz’s closing post in this symposium was a very cogent and persuasive (albeit overly optimistic) take on the current state of antitrust enforcement. I hesitate to quibble with my intellectual superior, but on some points I have a slightly different take. Gus says that law should be made through legislation or litigation, and obviously ... A Response to Gus on Our New FTC Overlords

I, For One, Welcome Our New FTC Overlords

In this post—the last planned post for this symposium on The FTC’s New Normal (though we will continue to accept unsolicited submissions of responses)—I will offer some summary of the ideas that have been shared here over the past month, before turning to some of my own thoughts. To keep your attention rapt, I will ... I, For One, Welcome Our New FTC Overlords