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Today AAI, FWW, and NFU sent a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the proposed merger of Monsanto and Bayer. The joint letter is an addendum to a letter submitted by the three organizations on July 26th. It discusses the merger’s potential to enhance the ability and incentive for Monsanto and Bayer to integrate traits, seeds, and chemicals into proprietary systems or platforms that are closed to competition. The companies’ combined digital farming capabilities will likely facilitate such integration. Together with strengthened incentives for the appropriation and strategic competitive use of vast stores of farm data, these merger- related concerns have potentially adverse implications for competition, farmers, and consumers. 

In a decision released today, a panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment for the defendant and raised the burden on plaintiffs relying on circumstantial evidence to prove a price-fixing conspiracy.   A dissenting judge agreed with, and cited to, an amicus brief submitted by the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) that supported a less restrictive approach to evaluating circumstantial evidence of price fixing in oligopoly markets.

Diana Moss joined the Roosevelt Institute and the George Washington University Institute of Public Policy for a discussion regarding burgeoning areas in the antitrust debate. Moss's panel, Workers and Antitrust, debated antitrust and market power in the labor market.  

In an amicus brief filed in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) urged the court to reject the district court’s overly restrictive approach for allowing a price-fixing claim to reach a jury when the claim is based on an invitation to collude made during an investor earnings call.

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) filed an amicus brief in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in support of plaintiffs’ petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc. The petition seeks review of a decision by a panel of the court upholding summary judgment for defendants and dismissing plaintiffs’ pay-for-delay and sham litigation claims.

Today, the Chairman of the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) Board of Directors, Pamela Gilbert, announced the addition of Ellen Meriwether to the Board.  “Ellen brings a rich and diverse background in antitrust enforcement, research, and scholarship to the AAI board,” said Gilbert. “Her expertise and insights will be invaluable to AAI's continuing leadership in competition policy and advocacy.  I am thrilled that she is joining the board."

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) notched another legal victory in its efforts to combat anticompetitive “reverse-payment” settlement agreements.  In reversing the dismissal of complaints challenging settlements involving the brand name drugs Lipitor and Effexor, the Third Circuit followed the recommendations set forth in a pair of amicus briefs filed by AAI with 48 professors, and rejected a heightened pleading standard for reverse-payment claims.  Effexor brief here.  Lipitor brief here.

The Democrats’ “Better Deal,” announced last week, makes competition a national priority. It follows an Executive Order issued in the twilight of the Obama administration that responded to warnings that competition is in decline. While such initiatives at the highest levels of government are new, concern that competition may be struggling in the U.S. is not. Competition and consumer advocates have long encouraged antitrust enforcers and courts to take a firmer hand in enforcing the antitrust laws. They have pushed back against decades of lax enforcement that put too much stock in claims that cost savings and vague consumer benefits could justify anticompetitive mergers and behavior that entrenched the market power of large firms.

With the announcement of the "Better Deal," the Democrats in Congress made competition policy a national priority. In recent work, the AAI has articulated concrete, actionable steps to effectively promote competition in the U.S. economy. In September of 2016, the AAI issued its National Competition Policy Statement, which provides detailed priorities for an antitrust enforcement agenda moving forward. It proposes a variety of enforcement and policy responses to the problems of growing concentration, increasing inequality, and decreasing rates of start-ups that antitrust scholars, enforcers, and policymakers have identified over the last several years. The AAI also highlights the many tools in the current antitrust “toolkit” for how enforcement can tackle inequality. In a recent op-ed, AAI President Diana Moss outlines what antitrust has done and should do to help workers.

Today the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), Food & Water Watch (FWW), and National Farmers Union (NFU) sent a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on the proposed merger between agricultural input giants Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. The three groups offered their in-depth analysis of how the proposed deal would likely harm competition, farmers, and consumers. The letter notes that the merger would complete a sweeping restructuring of the agricultural biotechnology industry, creating the “Big 3” companies where just two years ago, there were six major rivals.