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Agency Updates from DOJ Antitrust, FTC Headline ABA Meeting

Agency Updates from DOJ Antitrust, FTC Headline ABA Meeting

By Gabriel McIntosh

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22, 2012 — Senior representatives from the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division’s front office; as well as directors from the Federal Trade Commission bureaus of Competition, Consumer Protection and Economics; and the European Commission directorate general for competition will provide policy initiatives and enforcement updates at the American Bar AssociationSection of Antitrust Law 60th Antitrust Spring Meeting, March 28-30 in Washington. 

With faculty and delegates from over 40 countries, the conference takes place at the JW Marriott Hotel, with additional programming at the National Press Club.  Speakers will include additional government officials, leading practitioners, corporate in-house counsel, and economists and academics from around the world.  State deputy assistant attorneys general will be hand to provide a breakfast briefing; and international enforcers from India, the European Commission and the United States will participate in a roundtable discussion.

The most up-to-date schedule can be accessed here.

Highlights of the meeting include:

Wednesday, March 28:

Agency Update with the Antitrust Division Front Office — Hear directly from the senior representatives of the Justice Department Antitrust Division about the latest in civil enforcement, cartel cases and policy initiatives.  DOJ speakers will include: Rachel Brandenburger, special advisor, International; Scott D. Hammond, deputy assistant attorney general; Gene I. Kimmelman, chief counsel for Competition Policy and Intergovernmental Relations; Leslie Overton, deputy assistant attorney general; Fiona Scott-Morton, deputy assistant attorney general; and Joseph F. Wayland, deputy assistant attorney general.
9 – 10:30 a.m.

Advertising to Children and the Roberts Court — The Supreme Court concluded its 2010-11 term with two landmark decisions—Brown and Sorrell—that signal an expansion in First Amendment protection of commercial speech, even when directed to children.  How do these decisions balance unrestrained competition against child-oriented consumer protections, such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the Food Marketing Guidelines?
9 – 10:30 a.m.

Final Four: The Winners and Losers of Consumer Protection — Who were the winners and losers of FTC, state and National Advertising Division consumer protection proceedings in the past year, and what can we expect in the coming year? 
10:45 a.m. – Noon

Emergence or Divergence?  Antitrust in India and China — Since China enacted its antimonopoly law, its agencies have brought enforcement actions and promulgated guidelines.  What does this mean for foreign companies doing business there?  How aggressive will cartel enforcement be?  What merger standards will apply?  Will there be an essential facilities doctrine in China and India applicable to intellectual property?  Among the speakers are FTC Counsel for China Affairs Andrew Heimert; Competition Commission of China Chairman Ashok Chawla; and Yang Jie of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in Beijing.  
2 – 3:30 p.m. 

General Counsel Roundtable on Compliance — Hear from general counsel from multinational companies on how they structure and implement compliance programs generally, and in Asia and Latin America in particular.  Kathleen Beasley, with Haynes & Boone LLP, will moderate this program, which will also feature Deborah Platt Majoras, chief legal officer and secretary with The Procter & Gamble Company, and Marcus Woo, vice president and general counsel, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd.
2 – 3:30 p.m.  

Ethics in Privacy and Social Media — The legal ethical side of privacy is a growing concern in the context of new communication technologies.  This panel will analyze the implications of storing client information in the cloud, attorney-client communications via blogs and social media sites, and employer access to employee email.
3:15 – 5:15 p.m.

Thursday, March 29:

Privacy Issues in the Mobile World — Geolocation tracking, user content and third-party apps are just a few of the privacy issues surrounding mobile devices that have spurred enforcement actions and legislative proposals in the United States and Europe.  Hear more about the approaches that various jurisdictions have taken. 
8:15 – 9:45 a.m.

Mock Lanham Act Hearing:  Product Tests Substantiating Claims — The popular annualargument is inspired by the Castrol motor oil comparative advertising litigation and will focus on an issue arising in many current ad wars — the validity of scientific product testing.  Skilled adversaries will examine an expert with regard to the relevance of proprietary tests versus industry standard tests.
8:15 – 9:45 a.m.

Breakfast Briefing with the State Enforcers — The panel will feature assistant attorneys general from around the country: Gwendolyn Cooley, Wisconsin; Devin Laiho, Colorado; Anne Schneider, Missouri; and K.D. Sturgis, North Carolina.
8:15 – 9:45 a.m.; National Press Club

Chair’s Showcase Session — How does competition law fit within the broader universe of national and international economic policy?  A panel of experts will assess the forces influencing policy and practice in the competition community, and explore how competition principles can contribute to economic recovery, employment and growth.  Speakers include Carl Shapiro, member, President’s Council of Economic Advisors; and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz.
10 a.m. – Noon

Merger Mania:  Health Care Reform’s Impact on Markets — Health care reform has had a profound impact on the business activities of many health care providers.  With a proliferation of mergers between hospitals and other health care providers, what role will state attorneys general play in ensuring competitive markets while also protecting the public interest?
1:30 – 3 p.m.

Friday, March 30:

Agency Update with the FTC Bureau Directors — Hear directly from the directors of the FTC Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Consumer Protection and Bureau of Economics about the latest in antitrust and consumer protection enforcement and policy initiatives, from challenges to mergers and exclusive dealing to the Face book privacy settlement.  Speakers include: Joseph Farrell, Bureau of Economics; Richard Feinstein, Bureau of Competition; and David Vladeck, Bureau of Consumer Protection.
8:15 – 9:45 a.m.

Antitrust and the Rise of Biologics — By 2014, six of the 10 top-selling drugs are predicted to be biologics, versus only one in 2000.  This session will focus on the differences between biologics and brands relevant to antitrust, and examine the processes of the Biologics Act of 2009, barriers to entry, and potential conspiracy and tying claims.
8:15 – 9:45 a.m.

The Supreme Court Redirects Class Action Defense — Will the Supreme Court’s 2011 decisions represent a sea change in the treatment of class action litigation, or will they be narrowly interpreted by lower courts?  At issue: binding arbitration clauses in consumer contracts, class certification, jurisdiction over foreign corporations after Goodyear/Nicastro, and re-litigating dismissed class allegations after Bayer.
8:15 – 9:45 a.m.

Enforcers’ Roundtable — Antitrust Law Section Chair Richard Steuer, Mayer Brown, along with Deborah Garza, Covington & Burling; and John Villafranco, Kelley Drye & Warren; will lead a traditional interview of enforcers program.  Panelists will include Joaquin Almunia, vice president and commissioner for Competition, DG Competition, European Commission; Ashok Chawla, chairman, Competition Commission of India; James Donahue III, chair, Antitrust Task Force, Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General; FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz; and Sharis Pozen, acting assistant attorney general, Department of Justice Antitrust Division.
10 a.m. – Noon

Hot Topics — Speakers George Cary, of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; Jessica Rich, associate director, Division of Financial Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC; and Gerwin Van Gervan, with Linklaters in Brussels, will be among the speakers.
3:15 – 5 p.m.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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