60th Antitrust Spring Meeting

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Avoid the lines by picking up your registration materials on Tuesday.

Stop in for advanced viewing of the Section's new publications and materials for the Antitrust, Antitrust Economics, and Consumer Protection Fundamentals programs.

Learn from Section Leaders all that your Section membership has to offer, including how to make the most of Section resources, opportunities, and professional relationships to help advance your career.

Have you been in the practice for less than 10 years? Then pick-up your Spring Meeting badge and attend the Barristers Reception prior to the official start of Spring Meeting. This is your opportunity to meet peers, Section Officers, and the Leadrship of the Membership & Equal Opportunity Committee.

International enforcement officials are invited to a pre-conference reception to learn more about the Section from the Section's Officers and Council. A ticket to attend will be included in the registration materials for international enforcers attending the Spring Meeting.

Stop in for advanced viewing of the Section's new publications and materials for the Antitrust, Antitrust Economics, and Consumer Protection Fundamentals programs.

Learn the fundamentals of consumer protection law, including the basics of false and deceptive advertising, promotions, marketing law, and privacy and data security.  This session also will provide an introduction to federal, state and private enforcement of consumer protection statutes and rules.

Learn antitrust fundamentals from a panel of experienced practitioners with perspectives from academia, government, in-house and private practice. This session is essential for newer competition lawyers.

Should international comity, foreign sovereign immunity, or state action immunity exempt overseas companies? Overseas companies may be state-owned or may be acting under the explicit or implicit direction of a foreign state. If those companies are to be exempt, what level of government supervision should be required?

The Supreme Court concluded its 2010-11 session 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 COPPA and the Food Marketing Guidelines?

Hear directly from the Senior Representatives of the Justice Department Antitrust Division about the latest in civil enforcement, cartel cases, and policy initiatives.

Jury research can provide invaluable insights for trial lawyers, but only if the research focuses on testable hypotheses and is carefully designed. Two jury consultants and two experienced trial lawyers with significant jury research experience will discuss when and how to design and conduct jury research in antitrust litigation.

The complaint is, “prices are too low.” Buyer power claims require careful analysis to separate anticompetitive and pro-competitive conduct. This panel explores monopsony in the agriculture supply chain and healthcare, focusing on whether the revised Merger Guidelines and recent enforcement actions reflect a valid and consistent approach to buyer power.

Distribution networks increasingly involve on-line sales as well as direct selling, middlemen, dealers, and retailers.  This panel will navigate U.S., state, and foreign price laws while exploring functional discounts, MAP and RPM policies, "Add to Cart to See Price" features, and other pricing practices in the world of the Web.

Antitrust compliance training requires the ability to translate difficult concepts into practical, easy-to-follow guidance for business people in diverse industries. A related aspect of compliance lies in detecting potential violations. Learn how cutting-edge technology is creating better compliance tools to reduce the risks and consequences of antitrust liability for companies and their employees.

"Most favored nation" clauses have been challenged recently, but some courts have accepted them as procompetitive devices tending to minimize costs. This panel will analyze the effects of MFN clauses and other terms mandating equal treatment on pricing and competition in healthcare, payment systems, and other industries.

Although parties to strategic mergers often portray their transactions as efficiency enhancing, antitrust agencies worldwide often treat efficiencies claims with suspicion, imposing stringent evidentiary hurdles on parties. Legal and ideological differences between major antitrust jurisdictions complicate this process. How can parties best substantiate that the claimed efficiencies will ultimately materialize?

Who were the winners and losers of FTC, state, and NAD consumer protection proceedings in the past year and what can we expect for the upcoming year?

The preparation of expert testimony—from the Rule 26 Report through deposition and examination at trial—is a mission-critical facet of antitrust litigation. Factual and econometric showings on injury and damages are critical battlegrounds and can facilitate settlement, lead to impressive jury awards, or lay the groundwork for reversal on appeal.

Please join your friends and colleagues for the Annual Spring Luncheon.

Innovation increases consumer surplus and mergers play a vital role in allocating resources toward innovation, or they can also of reduce Innovation. Panelists will address recent advances contributing to, and remaining challenges in, evaluating or proving the likely competitive effects of mergers on innovation in those cases.

Merger litigation is on the rise. Disgruntled competitors and customers are increasingly embracing Section 7 as an offensive tool. Key players in recent cases will discuss strategy and outcome.

Now that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is established, entities offering financial services are considering the enforcement roles that the FTC and states may (or should) play. With much of the federal enforcement authority now centralized and expanded under the CFPB, what should be expected?

Since China enacted its Anti-Monopoly 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 IP?

Provides a basic course in antitrust economics.

Hear from general counsel from multinational companies on how they structure and implement compliance programs generally and in Asian and Latin American in particular.

International mock case presentation set in non-U.S. jurisdiction, featuring a cast of International practitioners and judges, who will explore important topics in civil private redress actions such as jurisdiction, standing, governing law, liability, damages and pass-on. Mock case background and briefing materials will be distributed.

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.

Behavioral economics, which examine how individual and market behavior are affected by deviations from the rationality assumptions underlying conventional economics, has generated significant attention from both academics and policy makers. A panel of distinguished scholars will discuss how behavioral economics impacts antirust and consumer protection law and policy.

Agencies in developing jurisdictions are becoming more active in their review of mergers, requiring remedies to serve the interests of their jurisdiction. This session will explore efforts to coordinate merger review to preserve comity and avoid conflicting outcomes, with important lessons for companies and their counsel.

Thirty years ago, the Singer decision gave the FTC the most powerful weapon in its arsenal of remedies. Enforcement moved from administrative actions to stop violations to federal court injunctions with consumer redress. How has the decision changed consumer protection and competition enforcement? What questions remain unanswered? Is there still a role for administrative proceedings?

What lessons should businesses outside the sports world draw from recent high-profile collective bargaining battles in the major sports leagues? Will the threat of decertification and antitrust attack prove to be potent weapon in less glamorous settings? Are antitrust weapons available to employers as well as workers?

When markets fail, government regulators often step in to correct that failure. Increasingly, however, self-regulatory programs are addressing both legal and policy issues through so-called voluntary programs. When is self-regulation the way to go and when should government act?

Do pricing practices and pricing differences between customers define a market? Using the DOJ’s recent suit to block the Dean Foods/Foremost Farms transaction as a backdrop, this panel will explore the role of price discrimination under the revised Merger Guidelines and consider what evidence of price discrimination actually shows.

Mix and mingle with the leadership of the Section of antitrust Law. Representatives from each committee will be available at designated tables to answer your questions about committee activities and membership. Your badge is your ticket to attend.

Stop in for advanced viewing of the Section's new publications and materials for the Antitrust, Antitrust Economics, and Consumer Protection Fundamentals programs.

The Muni Bond and Club Bidding demonstrate the importance of compliance turning to financial companies with employees who regularly and legitimately interact with rivals.  Run as a mock-compliance session, this program explores how best to train employees on traditional antitrust violations, including privilege issues that arise when doing so, as well as more subtle compliance questions involving collaborations with rivals.

More than a dozen consummated mergers have been challenged since 2009. Difficult antitrust issues can arise regarding procedure, evidence, remedies—and strategy. Should merging parties “lay low”, volunteer for HSR-like review, or litigate? Our panel of government enforcers and private practitioners will discuss the legal and practical issues.

The popular annual argument 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.

The increasing incidence of opt-outs by business and institutional plaintiffs is changing the way antitrust class actions are being litigated. This program will explore the benefits and risks associated with opting out, how it affects decisions made by defendants, and what impact it has on procedure at pre-trial and trial stages.

Geolocation tracking, user consent, 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 U.S. and Europe. Hear more about the approaches that various jurisdictions have taken regarding privacy in the mobile context.

Whether defending a merger before the agencies or pursuing a private class action, e-discovery cannot be avoided. What are your legal and ethical obligations and how can you avoid an e-discovery nightmare? Our experts will discuss strategies for staying compliant and avoiding common pitfalls in private litigation and government investigations.

Leniency applications in different jurisdictions involve different levels of cooperation, risk of disclosure of documents in damages actions, risk of leniency plus “tag backs,” and authorities with different rules and practical approaches to key issues. Practitioners will discuss these and other challenges that companies face in multi-jurisdictional leniency applications.

How does competition law fit within the broader universe of national and international economic policy? An extraordinary 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.

The Section Officer sand Spring Meeting co-chairs invite registered Spring Meeting in-house counsel to a pre-conference reception exclusively for you. This is an opportunity to make connections and discuss issues of common interest with peers in other companies. A ticket to attend will be included in the registration materials for in-house counsel attending the Spring Meeting.

Courts in the US and the EU have been active recently, asserting authority by dismissing cases, reducing fines, rejecting agreed-upon sentencing recommendations, and imposing significant other obligations in cartel cases.  Is this a trend or an aberration?

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 Attorney Generals play in ensuring competitive markets while also protecting the public interest?

Section 2 litigants continue to rely on Aspen Skiing in exclusionary conduct cases. Our panelists will examine recent cases and attempt to discern patterns in judicial interpretation of exclusionary conduct claims, including the continuing vitality of Aspen. Which precedents work and what arguments resonate all the way to the bank?

Antitrust and advertising attorneys discuss how far marketers can go in settling competition and comparative advertising cases. Can competitors agree to refrain from competing vigorously in advertising or in certain markets? What factors are important to consider when reaching an agreement? What are the best practices when considering the potential anti-competitive impact of such settlements?

Sit on a mock trial of the damages portion of a Sherman Act case. The jury will be asked to consider, in a bifurcated case in which the plaintiff has prevailed on liability, whether the plaintiff can recover damages and, if so, in what amount. The trial will involve a live argument and testimony by both fact and expert witnesses in front of a mock jury and a federal judge.

Active antitrust enforcement internationally necessitates an understanding of the rules of engagement around the globe. Practitioners will compare the rights of the defense and third parties in key jurisdictions, addressing notice, opportunities to be heard, and access to information, as well as international efforts to promote convergence in this area.

Companies increasingly find that analysis of the acquisition and use of patents is influenced by the potential impact the patents may have on their competitive position. This panel will discuss various offensive and defensive patent strategies companies should consider, as well as the potential antitrust implications of those strategies.

The Annual Spring Dinner has become a time-honored tradition within the Antitrust and Consumer Protection community.  Celebrating the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Spring Meeting, this year’s Dinner promises to be the most memorable yet.  This is a ticketed event, which sells out year after year, so be sure to sign up early.

Stop in for advanced viewing of the Section's new publications and materials for the Antitrust, Antitrust Economics, and Consumer Protection Fundamentals programs.

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 Facebook privacy settlement.

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.

Victims of cartels must now consider numerous tactical and substantive differences when deciding whether to bring private civil actions in the U.S. or in Europe or both.  Factors to take into account include timing, threshold requirements, discovery, pass-on defenses, statutes of limitation, settlements, and recoverable damages.

Competition laws prohibit predatory prices that are too low and many prohibit excessive prices that are too high. But what is the remedy when a firm does not get it just right? We will travel the globe to highlight remedies in pricing cases and explain what a dominant firm needs to know to avoid potential antitrust pricing pitfalls.

Will the 2011 term 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 STET, class certification STET, jurisdiction over foreign corporations after Goodyear/Nicastro, and re-litigating dismissed class allegations after Bayer.

Traditional Interview of Enforcers

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

10:00 AM - 06:00 PM : Registration Open

01:00 PM - 05:30 PM : Bookstore Open

03:30 PM - 05:00 PM : Pathways to Leadership: Getting More Out of Section Membership

05:30 PM - 06:30 PM : Barristers Reception

06:00 PM - 07:00 PM : Reception for International Enforcement Officials

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

07:30 AM - 06:00 PM : Registration Open

07:30 AM - 05:30 PM : Bookstore Open

08:45 AM - 11:45 AM : Fundamentals - Consumer Protection

08:45 AM - 11:45 AM : Fundamentals - Antitrust

09:00 AM - 10:30 AM : A Get Out of Jail Free Card?

09:00 AM - 10:30 AM : Advertising to Children and the Roberts Court

09:00 AM - 10:30 AM : Agency Update with the Antitrust Division Front Office

09:00 AM - 10:30 AM : Best Practices for Jury Research in Antitrust Litigation

09:00 AM - 10:30 AM : Go Low or Go Home! Monopsony a Problem?

09:00 AM - 10:30 AM : Tangled Web: Distribution Pricing in the Internet Age

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM : 21st Century Antitrust Compliance: Beyond the Basics

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM : Debating the Competitive Benefits and Costs of MFNS

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM : Efficiencies in Global Mergers - What Counts and Where?

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM : Final Four: The Winners and Losers of Consumer Protection

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM : Forging Expert Testimony to Prevail

12:00 PM - 02:00 PM : Spring Luncheon

02:00 PM - 03:30 PM : Challenges Facing Competitive Analysis of Intellectual Property Acquisitions

02:00 PM - 03:30 PM : Crashing the Tide - The Rise in Merger Litigation

02:00 PM - 03:30 PM : Defining Roles for CFPB, ETC, and States

02:00 PM - 03:30 PM : Emergence or Divergence? Antitrust in India and China

02:00 PM - 03:30 PM : Fundamentals - Antitrust Economics

02:00 PM - 03:30 PM : General Counsel Roundtable on Compliance

02:00 PM - 03:30 PM : How Much Do We Owe? International Mock Case

03:15 PM - 05:15 PM : Ethics in Privacy and Social Media

03:45 PM - 05:15 PM : Behavioral Economics in Antitrust and Consumer Protection Law

03:45 PM - 05:15 PM : Fashioning Merger Remedies Among Established and New Agencies

03:45 PM - 05:15 PM : FTC's Use of Federal Court for Consumer Remedies

03:45 PM - 05:15 PM : The Antitrust-Labor Interface: Not Just for Pro Athletes

03:45 PM - 05:15 PM : There Oughta Be a Law: Regulation vs. Self-Regulation

03:45 PM - 05:15 PM : Two Prices, Same Coin: Price Discrimination in Mergers

05:15 PM - 06:15 PM : Welcome Reception

Thursday, March 29, 2012

07:30 AM - 05:30 PM : Bookstore Open

07:30 AM - 05:30 PM : Registration Open

08:15 AM - 09:45 AM : Breakfast Briefing with the State Enforcers

08:15 AM - 09:45 AM : Antitrust Compliance in the Financial Services Industry

08:15 AM - 09:45 AM : Consummated Merger Challenges - The Past is Never Dead

08:15 AM - 09:45 AM : Mock Lanham Act Hearing: Product Tests Substantiating Claims

08:15 AM - 09:45 AM : Opting-Out: Strategic Considerations for Antitrust Litigants

08:15 AM - 09:45 AM : Privacy Issues in the Mobile World

08:15 AM - 09:45 AM : Surviving the E-Discovery Trenches

08:15 AM - 09:45 AM : The Intricacies and Perils of Global Leniency Applications

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM : Chair's Showcase Session

12:15 PM - 01:15 PM : Luncheon Reception for In-house Counsel

01:30 PM - 03:00 PM : Judicial Activism in Cartel Cases: Trend or Aberration

01:30 PM - 03:00 PM : Merger Mania: Health Care Reform's Impact on Markets

01:30 PM - 03:00 PM : Section 2 Litigation: Is Aspen Still Viable?

01:30 PM - 03:00 PM : Pot to Frying Pan - Settlement Agreements as Antitrust Violations

01:30 PM - 05:00 PM : Mock Trial

03:15 PM - 05:00 PM : Do You Have the Right? Procedural Fairness Internationally

03:15 PM - 05:00 PM : Hot Topics

03:15 PM - 05:00 PM : Strategic Use of Patents for Competitive Advantage

07:30 PM - 09:30 PM : Spring Dinner

Friday, March 30, 2012