Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Trade Regulation Tidbits

This posting was written by Jeffrey May and John W. Arden.

News, updates, and observations:

 Author and antitrust law professor Herbert Hovenkamp has received the John Sherman Award from the Department of Justice Antitrust Division for his lifetime contributions to the teaching and enforcement of antitrust law and the development of antitrust policy. The award was presented during a ceremony July 29 in the Great Hall of the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in Washington, D.C. Hovenkamp is the Ben V. and Dorothy Willie Professor of Law and History at the University of Iowa and co-author (with Philip E. Areeda) of the 20-volume landmark antitrust treatise Antitrust Law: An Analysis of Antitrust Principles and Their Application (Aspen Publishers). Hovenkamp is also co-author of two other treatises for Aspen Publishers—Fundamentals of Antitrust Law (with Areeda) and IP and Antitrust: An Analysis of Antitrust Principles Applied to Intellectual Property Law (with Mark D. Janis and Mark A. Lemley). "Professor Hovenkamp sets the standard for antitrust scholarship today," said Thomas O. Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division. "As one of the authors of the leading antitrust treatise, his insights and cogent analysis have helped to improve antitrust law and policy to better protect consumer welfare and to spur economic growth." The John Sherman Award, presented annually since 1994, is named for the author of the Sherman Act of 1890, the nation's first and foremost antitrust law. Previous recipients have included Robert H. Bork, Richard A. Posner, Philip Areeda, and Senator Howard Metzenbaum. A news release on the award appears here on the Department of Justice website.

 Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would direct the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the price of gasoline is being artificially manipulated by speculation in the oil markets and, specifically, at the Intercontinental Exchange in Atlanta. Within 90 days of the enactment of the proposed "Energy Fraud and Fairness Reform Act," the FTC would be required to report to Congress on the progress of its investigation and to make recommendations regarding any legislation necessary to address speculation in the oil markets. The proposal (H.R. 6647) was introduced on July 28 by Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD). A news release from the Representative's office appears here. Text and further information on the bill appears here.

 The FTC will allow McCormick & Co. to proceed with its proposed $605 million acquisition of the Lawry's and Adolph's brands of seasoned salt products from Unilever N.V., under the terms of a proposed consent order that would require McCormick to sell its Season-All seasoned salt business to Morton International, Inc. The proposed consent order would resolve FTC concerns that the transaction would substantially eliminate competition in the highly-concentrated market for branded seasoned salt product. McCormick's Season-All and Lawry's products comprise most of the market, the agency alleged in its complaint. Further information on the Commission's complaint and consent order appears here at the FTC website.

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