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CPI Blog o’ Blogs May2016

 |  May 21, 2016

A busy month of April and early May brings a mixture of past troubles and future initiatives for which the Antitrust world must prepare for, with privacy, domination and market definition concerns dominating the spring.
A “Quick Look” for Per Se Illegal Conduct
Last week I attended at the ABA Antitrust Spring meeting, which is the highlight of the year for many in the antitrust bar. Excellent panels, renewing old friendships and making new ones, and open bars at the many receptions– what’s not to like. One program that is always my favorite is the Chair’s Showcase. This year the topic was the Per Se rule.
Robert Connolly (Cartel Capers)

Merger control and mobile phone operators, or the limits of competition law and sector-specific regulation
Now available on the FTC website: the Bureau of Competition’s Health Care Division has posted updated versions of our three overviews of FTC enforcement actions and policy work in the health care sector…
Saralisa Brau & Linda Blumenreich (Bureau of Competition)

What China’s new food safety law might mean for consumers and businesses
Food safety is not a problem unique to China, though it is certainly one of the country’s most pressing and persistent challenges. On April 28, 2016, the John L. Thornton China Center hosted a public event to discuss food safety in China and what new regulations might mean for consumers and businesses. Lin Fu (Brookings)

FTC Suffers Setback in Campaign to Slow the Rising Tide of Healthcare Consolidations

The FTC just suffered a major setback in its concerted efforts to challenge the ever growing number of consolidations in the healthcare industry, failing to secure a preliminary injunction to block a hospital merger in central Pennsylvania.  David Garcia & Helen C. Eckert (Antitrust Law blog)

FTC v. Invibio: Another Missed Opportunity to Provide Guidance
On April 27, 2016, the FTC entered an administrative complaint against Invibio, Inc., accusing it and its parent company, Victrex, of violating FTC Act Section 5 through exclusive dealing contracts. The companies agreed to a consent order, also issued that day. Steven J. Cernak (Antitrust Connect)

Mainstream Media Is (Finally) Covering Antitrust Policy. Antitrust Practitioners Should Join the Discussion.
TAntitrust is hot! Well, as hot as antitrust gets: the mainstream media has covered antitrust issues a few times recently, and policy discussions have broken out in Congress and on the campaign trail. Steven J. Cernak (Antitrust Connect

Challenging Class Action Certification and the Classic Antitrust Case of Comcast v. Behrend
As an attorney defending an antitrust class action, your job is to get your client out of the case as expeditiously and inexpensively as possible. There are several exit points…
Jarod Bona (The Antitrust Attorney)

Activism (Re)Defined: DOJ Files Complaint Against ValueAct for Alleged HSR Act Violation
On April 4, 2016, the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a civil antitrust suit against activist investor ValueAct Capital seeking at least $19 million of civil penalties for ValueAct’s alleged violation of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, 15 U.S.C. § 18a (“the HSR Act”).
(Antitrust Unpacked) 

Copyright and the Digital Single Market: geo-blocking is here to stay (or so it seems)
Geo-blocking of copyright-protected content is not really a competition law issue. It is an intellectual property matter that should be addressed as such.Joshua Gans (Digitopoly)

VIDEO: Simply inTAXicating – Turf War: Intellectual Property Vs Competition Law (India)
Yohesh Pai of National Law University Delhi discusses FRAND issues in India on the show simply inTAXicating – Turf War: Intellectual Property Vs Competition Law.
Post by Daniel D. Sokol (Antitrust Professor blog

Opening Pandora’s set-top box: ICLE’s comments on the FCC’s “unlocking the box” NPRM
he International Center for Law & Economics filed comments with the FCC in response to Chairman Wheeler’s NPRM (proposed rules) to “unlock” the MVPD (i.e., cable and satellite subscription video, essentially) set-top box market.
Geoffrey Manne (Truth on the Market)

Why Facebook Messenger is a big deal for customer service
For a long time, Facebook Messenger seemed to be secondary to Facebook’s core business – a product feature rather than something more.
Joshua Gans (Digitopoly)

Abuse of dominance do-over: Competition Tribunal rules restrictions on data sharing affecting innovation can be an anti-competitive act
The Competition Tribunal ruled in favour of the Commissioner of Competition in the ongoing abuse of dominance case against the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)
Stephen Nattrass (Norton Rose Fulbright)

Poisoned Fruits of Investigation
Once upon a time, but not so long ago, a certain company received a request for information (“RFI”) from the European Commission (in the form of a binding decision). This RFI was nothing like any company had ever seen. It was 90 pages long, contained 11 sets of numerous detailed questions, and demanded a rapid response.
Pola Karolczyk (Kluwer Competition Law)