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

Private equity firms can breathe a sigh of relief after a federal judge dismissed claims that threatened to establish a precedent for holding private equity firms liable for certain actions by their portfolio companies.Continue Reading Federal Court Dismisses Antitrust Claims Against Private Equity Firm

Published in Law360 on May 23, 2024. © Copyright 2024, Portfolio Media, Inc., publisher of Law360. Reprinted here with permission.

On April 23, the FTC promulgated its final rule[1] banning noncompetes nationwide.[2]

While most commentary has focused on the scrutiny noncompetes would now garner at the federal level, few discussed the waterfall enforcement effect at the state level that would follow as state attorneys general could deploy their broad authority under state unfair or deceptive acts or practices, or UDAP, laws to treat noncompetes as separate and independent violations.[3]Continue Reading FTC Noncompete Rule Risks a Wave of State AG Actions

On Wednesday, attorneys general (AG) for the states of Florida, New York, and the District of Columbia announced that they are joining Tennessee and Virginia in a multistate coalition challenging the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) “Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL)-recruiting ban.” Troutman Pepper previously reported on the lawsuit after the District Court entered a preliminary injunction order in February.Continue Reading Florida, New York, and the District of Columbia Join NCAA Antitrust Lawsuit

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

On February 23, U.S. District Judge Clifton L. Corker of the Eastern District of Tennessee granted a preliminary injunction requested by the Tennessee and Virginia attorneys generals (AG) against the NCAA’s “NIL-recruiting ban.” This ban prohibits boosters and collectives from discussing name, image, and likeness (NIL) opportunities with student-athletes before they commit to a school. The court found that the AGs had established both a likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm that would occur without the injunction. This decision could have significant implications for the landscape of college sports.Continue Reading Federal Court Halts NCAA’s Restrictions on NIL Recruiting: A Game Changer?

On January 31, Tennessee Attorney General (AG) Jonathan Skrmetti, joined by Virginia AG Jason Miyares, filed suit against the NCAA in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee for alleged violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act over the association’s restrictions on the ability of current and future student-athletes to benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The lawsuit was filed just one day after the announcement that the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) is investigating the University of Tennessee for NIL violations.

Continue Reading Tennessee and Virginia AGs File Antitrust Suit Against NCAA Over New NIL Policies