August 4, 2015

Ninth Circuit Blocks Injunction Of NCAA Restrictions On Student Compensation

By Hamsa Mahendranathan

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has granted the NCAA’s request for a stay of a district court injunction that would have permitted colleges to begin compensating student athletes for the use of their names, images, and likenesses.

Last year, Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found that the NCAA violated antitrust law “by agreeing with its member schools to restrain their ability to compensate” basketball and football players.  The district court ruled in the Ed O’Bannon antitrust lawsuit that the NCAA should be enjoined from enforcing rules that would prohibit schools or conferences from offering students a share of revenues generated by use of their names, images, and likenesses.

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Categories: Antitrust Litigation

    July 29, 2015

    English Cartel Damages Claim Takes an Extraordinary Turn

    A View from Constantine Cannon’s London Office

    by Richard Pike

    Those in need of some light relief before heading off on vacation could do worse than read the latest judgment in the never-ending saga that is the English air cargo litigation.  We on the European side of the Atlantic have been known to indulge in some schadenfreude about the antics of the lesser members of the US judiciary.  We don’t get to see judges pulling out guns in our courtrooms or using the sound of a flushing toilet to indicate their displeasure with submissions.  English judges are typically just a bit too staid to provide a good source of amusement.  But not any more.  Now we have the spectacle of the great “disappearing luggage” conspiracy.

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    Categories: Antitrust Litigation

      July 17, 2015

      European Commission Doubles Down On Antitrust Investigations Against Giant U.S. Chipmaker Qualcomm

      A View from Constantine Cannon’s London Office

      By Richard Pike and Yulia Tosheva

      The European Commission (“EC”) announced yesterday it has opened two antitrust investigations into possible abusive behavior by the U.S. technology company Qualcomm, the world’s largest supplier of baseband chipsets.

      Investigation into rebates

      The first investigation will examine whether Qualcomm abused its dominant market position by offering rebates and other financial incentives to customers on condition that they buy baseband chipsets exclusively from Qualcomm.

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      Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

        July 16, 2015

        European Court Of Justice Holds Standard-Essential Patent Owner Can Abuse Its Position By Seeking To Enjoin Infringement

        By Seth D. Greenstein

        The European Court of Justice ruled today that the owner of a standard-essential patent abuses its dominant position when it seeks an injunction in an action for patent infringement against an infringer that has expressed genuine willingness to license the patents on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (“FRAND”) terms.

        In Case C-170/13, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. v. ZTE Corp. (July 16, 2015), the Court of Justice held that such an abuse of a dominant position violates Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.  This is the first definitive statement by the European Court on an issue that has received close attention in United States courts and from the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”).  Its opinion provides some of the most definitive guidance on negotiations of FRAND licenses and lawful licensing conduct – and stakes out perhaps the most aggressive posture on the consequences of a patent owner’s failure to follow that guidance.

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        Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

          July 6, 2015

          The Antitrust Week In Review

          Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.

          Airlines Under Justice Dept. Investigation Over Possible Collusion.  Federal prosecutors are investigating possible collusion among airlines to limit seating, two years after the U.S. Department of Justice approved the latest in a wave of airline mergers, saying the combination would benefit consumers.  In letters sent to airlines, federal prosecutors have asked for documents from the last two years related to statements and decisions they have made about limiting capacity on flight routes.  By making it harder for passengers to find seats, airlines could restrain competition and increase fares.

          Apple ‘assessing next steps’ after e-books antitrust ruling.  Apple is assessing its next steps after the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirming the district court decision that the iPad maker conspired with five publishers to increase e-book prices.  In a statement issued after the appellate court handed down its 2-1 decision, the company maintained that it did not conspire to fix e-book prices, as the U.S. Department of Justice contends.

          Study Suggests That Google Has Its Thumb on Scale in Search.  A study by top academics at Harvard and Columbia suggests that Google sometimes alters results to play up its own content.  The study, which was paid for by  Yelp, the online review website that is one of Google’s rivals, could renew calls for government regulators — in particular, the Federal Trade Commission — to reopen an investigation into Google for unfairly promoting its own services.  The study may also provide ammunition to antitrust regulators in Europe who have accused the company of antitrust violations.

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          Categories: Antitrust and Price Fixing, Antitrust Litigation

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