FTCWatch
Current Issue: 952

News of Smith’s conflicts rekindles debate over his leadership

News that Andrew Smith, who heads the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, has conflicts of interest that prevent his participation in matters pertaining to 120 companies has rekindled a debate over whether he can do his job effectively.

 
 

Antitrust policy divide apparent in DC, beyond

When discussing the nuances of antitrust, it’s often a tale of two perspectives.

 
 

In tough call, FTC closes Massachusetts hospital merger probe

The Federal Trade Commission closed an investigation of a proposed deal combining healthcare providers in eastern Massachusetts — a decision that it said was “not an easy one” — on the same day the state attorney general announced a settlement with the merging parties.

 
 

Money isn’t everything: Antitrust agency jobs offer chance for greater impact

Salary records for Department of Justice antitrust chief Makan Delrahim and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons make one thing clear: they aren’t doing it for the money.

 
 

Merger ‘second requests’ down as 2018 wraps

As the year wraps up, FTCWatch counts seven pending big deals that have garnered “second requests” — five from the Federal Trade Commission and two from the Department of Justice. Our list last December noted 13 such large deals.

 
 

Ohlhausen drops judicial nomination to join Baker Botts

Maureen Ohlhausen, who served as acting chairman of the Federal Trade Commission until earlier this year, will join Baker Botts as co-chair of the global antitrust practice starting next month.

 
 

Neil Averitt commentary: It's time to revisit online celebrity plugs

It’s the Yuletide season, a time for peace and harmony — and for gift-giving. It’s also time for firms to hire celebrities and influencers to steer buyers in the desired direction, and for the Federal Trade Commission to decide on its policy toward these modern versions of advertisers.

 
 

Nobel Laureate supports antitrust, but questions 'undercut' theory

On a recent Monday afternoon, the Justice Department invited a Nobel Laureate to town. For roughly 45 minutes, Roger Myerson, an economist from the University of Chicago, offered thoughts to a few dozen antitrust economists and lawyers at an event in the DOJ’s Great Hall.

 
 

Ninth Circuit seeks to curb FTC restitution power in payday lending case

A federal appellate court upheld the Federal Trade Commission's $1.3 billion restitution award against convicted payday lending fraudster Scott Tucker, but pushed to overturn the agency's authority to recoup money as part of an injunction.

 
 

‘Tis the season for scammers

The illegal Secret Sister gift exchange tradition is continuing this year, although authorities and consumer advocates are taking major steps to stop the perpetrators in their tracks.

 
 

Barr would bring antitrust baggage to AG role, but no major philosophical shift

William Barr, President Donald Trump's newly named nominee to head the Justice Department, would enter the job having had a public spat with his antitrust section chief and having expressed a casual disregard for that area of law.

 
 

AT&T-Time Warner decision is plagued by inconsistencies, DOJ says in appeal

The ruling allowing AT&T and Time Warner’s deal improperly focused on the possibility the merged company would withhold its content from other providers rather than the effect of a threat to do so, and the case should be sent back to the lower court, a government lawyer told a federal appeals court.

 
 

People

AAI names new advisory board members

 
 

Calendar

Jan. 25 — Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim will speak during a luncheon meeting of the Federalist Society’s DC Chapter. The event will take place from noon-1:30 p.m. at Tony Cheng’s in Washington, DC.  For more information, go to: https://fedsoc.org/events/january-2019-dc-lunch-with-hon-makan-delrahim.

 
 

FTC Briefs

 

FTC gets top ranking in federal employee survey

 
 

Do Not Call complaints down from prior year

 

DOJ Briefs

 

Delrahim talks of lessons in competition from Judaism