Tag Archives: U.S. Department of Justice

FTC and DOJ Warn Against Anticompetitive Conduct That Harms Workers During COVID-19 Crisis

On April 13, 2020, the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division issued a joint statement warning companies that both agencies will vigorously protect competition for workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic―including doctors, nurses, first responders and those who work in grocery stores, pharmacies and warehouses, among other essential service providers. The statement acknowledged that the current health crisis may require unprecedented cooperation among government, businesses and individuals, and that there are many permissible ways that firms can engage in procompetitive collaboration. But the agencies made clear that “COVID-19 does not provide a reason to tolerate anticompetitive conduct that harms workers.”

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Federal Prosecutors Begin Charging COVID-19 Fraud in California and New Jersey

By Jovalin Dedaj

Yesterday, federal prosecutors in the District of New Jersey charged a Georgia man for his alleged role in a conspiracy to defraud federally funded and private health care benefit programs by submitting fraudulent testing claims for COVID-19 and genetic cancer screenings.   It follows a criminal complaint announced last week by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California against a Southern California man on a federal fraud charge alleging he solicited investments in a company he claimed would be used to market pills that would prevent coronavirus infections and an injectable cure for those already suffering from COVID-19.  These cases are among the first criminal actions in the ongoing public health crisis and come on the heels of the first civil enforcement action by the Department of Justice against a COVID-19 related fraud.

Continue reading Federal Prosecutors Begin Charging COVID-19 Fraud in California and New Jersey

Expect Delays in Merger Reviews by FTC and DOJ During COVID-19 Restrictions

Under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (HSR Act), transactions subject to reporting and waiting period requirements (generally, those valued in excess of $94 million) are reviewed by the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ). The two agencies have 30 days from receipt of an HSR filing to review the materials, investigate and decide whether to issue a second request for documents and information, which imposes an additional waiting period during which the parties to the transaction may not close. In light of both agencies’ response to COVID-19, parties to transactions requiring agency review should expect extensions of the waiting periods and delays in the processing of investigations.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

U.S. Antitrust Agencies Announce Expedited Procedures and Guidance for COVID-19 Public Health Efforts

On March 24, 2020, recognizing the need to provide guidance for businesses collaborating to protect the health and safety of Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) issued a joint statement detailing an expedited antitrust review procedure and providing guidance for such business collaborations.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

U.S. Department of Justice Files Civil Complaint for COVID-19-Related Fraud

By Brett M. Feldman and Jessica Linse

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, law enforcement officials throughout the country have publicly committed to aggressively combatting pandemic-related fraud. Those pronouncements have translated into action focused, at least at this early stage, upon frauds which might impact consumers’ health and safety. The first federal civil enforcement action took place on Saturday, March 21, 2020. On that date, the U.S. Department of Justice, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, filed the first civil enforcement action against a COVID-19 related fraud. Prosecutors sought an injunction shutting down a website, which purportedly offered to provide “free” coronavirus “vaccine kits” for a $4.95 shipping and handling fee. This request for injunctive relief, which resulted in a temporary restraining order pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1345, is likely an omen of more to come. Continue reading U.S. Department of Justice Files Civil Complaint for COVID-19-Related Fraud