Continued focus on antitrust enforcement has led the New Jersey and California attorneys general (AG) offices to go on a hiring spree. New Jersey AG Matthew Platkin recently announced the establishment of a permanent, stand-alone Antitrust Litigation and Competition Enforcement Section to enforce the New Jersey Antitrust Act. Meanwhile, the California AG’s office intends to hire eight new antitrust attorneys in June 2024, with more expected throughout the year. The announcement out of the California AG’s office aligns with the state’s aggressive antitrust enforcement practices, and comes just two months after the California Department of Justice announced its plan to invigorate criminal antitrust prosecutions.Continue Reading New Jersey and California AGs Add to Their Antitrust Ranks

On April 17, a group of five state attorneys general (AG) and Google filed briefs defending the proposed $700 million settlement agreement reached in three antitrust suits[1] brought against Google.Continue Reading Google and State AGs Defend Proposed $700M Antitrust Settlement Amid Judicial Scrutiny

On March 6, the California Department of Justice’s (California DOJ) Antitrust Chief Paula Blizzard, announced at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime that her office is planning to reinvigorate criminal antitrust prosecutions. California’s antitrust law, the Cartwright Act, prohibits practices that restrict commerce, prevent competition, or enter agreements that lessen competition. Blizzard touted that the Cartwright Act is “broader and deeper” than its federal counterpart, the Sherman Act. She conceded that the California DOJ has not brought a criminal prosecution under the Cartwright Act in 25 years, but she expects that to change.Continue Reading California DOJ to Ramp Up Criminal Antitrust Enforcement

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a coalition of nine state attorneys general (AG) filed a lawsuit on February 26, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon seeking a preliminary injunction to stall Kroger Company’s (Kroger) proposed $24.6 billion acquisition of Albertsons Companies (Albertsons), citing concerns that the proposed deal would eliminate competition among the supermarket giants, leading to higher grocery prices for millions of Americans. FTC commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the lawsuit, which was joined by AGs from Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wyoming. Simultaneously, the FTC filed an administrative complaint against Kroger and Albertsons to block the proposed transaction.Continue Reading FTC and a Coalition of Nine AGs Sue to Block Kroger’s Proposed $24.6B Acquisition of Albertsons

Most products with an online marketing presence generally have “customer reviews.” However, today’s consumers cannot always trust that those reviews are from real purchasers or provide honest feedback about the quality of a product. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sought to address these concerns, proposing a new rule aimed at stopping marketers from using illicit review and endorsement practices, including using fake reviews, suppressing honest negative reviews, and paying for positive reviews. Proponents of the rule argue these types of practices deceive consumers who are looking for honest feedback on a product or service.Continue Reading FTC to Hold Hearing on Proposed Rule to Ban Fake Reviews

This article was originally published on September 18, 2023 in Westlaw Today and is republished here with permission.

Ketan Bhirud, Drew Mann and Trey Smith of Troutman Pepper discuss the Federal Trade Commission’s role in competition enforcement, contextualize the FTC’s analysis of the generative AI industry and provide key takeaways for stakeholders to consider during a period of regulatory uncertainty.Continue Reading Addressing Competition Concerns in the Developing Generative AI Industry: Key Insights From the FTC’s Analysis