Search terms: Competition, USA
Including: Federal Antitrust Agencies; Federal Merger Enforcement; Federal Non-merger Civil Enforcement; State Antitrust Enforcement; Private Antitrust Litigation
Although there is room in rare factual circumstances for antitrust liability where a defendant has refused to license intellectual property, liability should not attach in the case of a 'pure' unilateral refusal to deal, as in the case discussed in this update.
One cloud that had hung over industry-sponsored business to business exchanges was lifted when the Federal Trade Commission closed its investigation of Covisint. The action signals the FTC's view that the formation of exchanges by competitors, even when they make up a large share of the industry, is not inherently suspect.
B2B or business-to-business exchanges promise efficiency but also bring competitors together - prompting the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. However, the US antitrust authorities are more likely to permit such a venture if its benefits are documented at the start and then frequently analyzed.