FTC Announces Proposed Revisions to "Green Guides"
On Oct. 6, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced proposed
modifications to its "Green Guides," guidelines originally issued in 1992 to
help marketers avoid making misleading environmental claims. The proposed
changes include new guidance on product certifications and seals of approval,
renewable energy claims, renewable materials claims, and carbon offset claims.
Public comments on the
proposed changes will be accepted until Dec. 10, 2010.
Public Statements May Give Rise to Antitrust Liability
A federal district court recently ruled that statements made during earnings
calls in response to analysts' questioning may give rise to a Sherman Act
Section 1 claim, at least when coupled with a relatively quick response by
In re Delta/AirTran Baggage Fees, allegations that Delta and AirTran had
signaled their intention to impose first-bag fees when, for example, AirTran
publicly stated it had not implemented the fee because Delta had not done so
and it would "prefer to be the follower” – and Delta announced a first-bag fee less
than two weeks after this statement – were sufficient to survive a motion to
dismiss. This case serves as a reminder that company representatives should
avoid commenting publicly on what business decisions they may think their
competitors should make.
UK Antitrust Agencies Release Joint Merger Guidelines
On Sept. 16, 2010, the United Kingdom's Office of Fair Trading and
Competition Commission issued
merger assessment guidelines
which set forth the criteria and methodology the agencies will use when
assessing mergers under UK merger control law – including how they define a
"relevant merger situation" and what is meant by a "substantial lessening of
European Court of Justice Declares Communications with In-house Counsel
On Sept. 14, 2010, the European Union's highest court ruled that internal
company communications with in-house attorneys are not covered by legal
professional privilege, and cannot automatically be withheld from competition
law investigations conducted by the European Commission. Additional information
is available in our
September/October 2010 EU/UK
Competition Law Newsletter.