Recent Developments in Antitrust

FTC Targets Bogus Claims for Pill Advertised to Make Kids Taller

November 28, 2006 at 5:44 pm

On November 28, a Florida business and its owner, who marketed purported height-enhancing pills for kids and young adults, agreed to pay $375,000 to settle charges that their advertising claims were deceptive. The Federal Trade Commission charged the defendants with making false and unsubstantiated claims for HeightMax, as well as […]

Court Allows Department of Justice Antitrust Lawsuit Against National Association of Realtors to Proceed

November 28, 2006 at 3:58 pm

On November 28, 2006, the U.S. District Court in Chicago issued a 29-page opinion allowing the Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) to proceed. The court rejected NAR’s argument that last-minute changes to its policies prevented judicial scrutiny. In denying NAR’s motion to dismiss […]

Cablevision Challenges FCC’s Integration Ban

November 27, 2006 at 2:06 pm

In a November 27 filing with the FCC, Cablevision Systems (“Cablevision”) said the agency’s rule banning set-top boxes with integrated security functions should not require the operator to deploy CableCARD-based boxes because all of its digital set-tops already contain removable smart cards. In the filing, Cablevision requested a limited waiver […]

Guidance Software Inc. Settles FTC Charges

November 16, 2006 at 5:42 pm

On November 16, Guidance Software Inc. agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its failure to take reasonable security measures to protect sensitive customer data contradicted security promises made on its Web site and violated federal law. According to the FTC, Guidance’s data-security failure allowed hackers to access sensitive […]

Senate Votes to Confirm Chairman Martin to Second Term

November 16, 2006 at 2:05 pm

On November 16, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm FCC chairman Kevin Martin to a second five-year term, according to the office of Senate Commerce Committee chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). Martin was nominated by President George W. Bush to a Republican seat on the Commission and sworn in on July […]

Mary Beth Richards Appointed Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection

November 14, 2006 at 5:41 pm

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras announced on November 14 that Mary Beth Richards will join the agency as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Richards comes to the FTC from the Federal Communications Commission, where she served as Deputy Bureau Chief and Chief of Staff in […]

Commission approves merger of Gaz de France and Suez, subject to conditions

November 14, 2006 at 9:50 am

On November 14, the European Commission approved the merger of Gaz de France (“GDF”) and the Suez group. After an in-depth investigation, the Commission initially found that the deal would have anticompetitive effects in the gas and electricity wholesale and retail markets in Belgium and in the gas markets in […]

Court Shuts Down Media Motor Spyware Operation

November 13, 2006 at 5:29 pm

On November 13, a U.S. District Court shut down an operation that secretly downloaded multiple malevolent software programs, including spyware, onto millions of computers without consumers’ consent, degrading their computers’ performance, spying on them, and exposing them to a barrage of disruptive advertisements. The Federal Trade Commission asked the court […]

Qualcomm may face probe from Japanese. Inquiry likely to involve antitrust complaints

November 10, 2006 at 9:59 am

Wireless technology giant Qualcomm said on November 10 that the Japan Fair Trade Commission might investigate the company’s licensing and business practices. The antitrust regulatory agency notified the company that it might launch an investigation. The agency did not give a start date or disclose which company or companies filed […]

Commission clears acquisition of Fisher by Thermo, subject to conditions

November 9, 2006 at 10:02 am

On November 9, the European Commission approved the proposed acquisition of Fisher Scientific International Inc. by Thermo Electron Corporation. Both companies are based in the United States and supply products and services for laboratory activities. The Commission’s clearance is conditional upon the divestiture of Genevac, Fisher’s subsidiary active in the […]