In The News

    • February 28, 2015
      ‘Driven by demand’
      Global Competition Review
      Steven J. Cernak
      In this article on the taxi industry’s competition with tech-based driver services such as Uber and Lyft, Schiff Hardin Of Counsel Steven Cernak is quoted on antitrust incumbent protections. Cernak said the cab companies want to protect their position, as they have to comply with regulation, buy the medallion, get insurance and maintain vehicles that add costs. The new entrants, he said, seem to be able to skirt around these regulations. Cernak said originally the intent of the regulation was to solve a real information asymmetry, by assuring potential riders as they hail a taxi that it has been licensed and that the driver has training and insurance. Cernak added that a lot of state licensing laws are not written with the same sort of economic background that you get from the federal antitrust laws. He said that the laws that regulate the taxi companies are good for consumers, but have been taken too far and need to be modified to do what’s right.
    • February 25, 2015
      'Attorneys React to High Court’s State Board Antitrust Ruling'
      Westlaw Journal Antitrust, Thomson Reuters, Law360
      Steven J. Cernak
      Schiff Hardin Of Counsel Steven Cernak was quoted on the significance of North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission. Cernak said that a state agency that regulates a profession and has members of that profession on it can no longer simply rely on state designation as a ‘state agency’ to receive antitrust immunity. Instead, that agency will need to determine if those professionals constitute a ‘controlling number’ of the entity and are 'active participants' in the profession. If the answer to both is yes, then some other state actor will need to be ‘actively supervising’ the actions of that agency in order to avoid antitrust issues. Many such entities should now be asking those questions and, perhaps, changing the way they do business.
    • February 20, 2015
      ‘Why American Express Users Should Be Worried About Their Rewards’
      Time
      Steven J. Cernak
      After a recent court ruling against American Express for violating antitrust laws, Schiff Hardin Of Counsel Steven Cernak was quoted on a possible appeal. Cernak said another trial would probably take a minimum of a year, with hopes to convince a panel of judges that this single judge got the ruling wrong.
    • February 19, 2015
      ‘AmEx Shows Small Market Shares Carry Antitrust Risks’
      Law360
      Steven J. Cernak
      After a ruling that American Express’ rules barring merchants from encouraging consumers from using other credit card brands violate antitrust law, Schiff Hardin Of Counsel Steven Cernak was quoted on the market share analysis of the case. 30 percent market share is often considered a baseline for market power in antitrust analysis, but the court found that AmEx’s 26 percent was compelling evidence of market power. Cernak said that market share is not the end of the analysis, but rather the beginning. He said there can be other evidence of market power and the fact that American Express is able to keep its prices high and not lose a lot of merchants is some evidence it’s able to use market power.
    • February 3, 2015
      ‘Office Depot-Staples Tie-Up Would Test How Regulatory Thinking Has Evolved’
      4-Traders
      Steven J. Cernak
      In this article on advanced merger talks between Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc., Steven Cernak was quoted on the FTC’s focus on whether a Staples-Office Depot merger would have an impact on large business customers that buy office supplies on a contract basis. Cernak now wonders if those buyers will complain and provide a basis for the FTC to challenge the merger.
    • November 17, 2014
      'Halliburton-Baker Hughes Deal Could Face Antitrust Hurdles'
      The Wall Street Journal, Law360, Stockwise Daily, Breaking Energy
      Steven J. Cernak
      Partner Steven Cernak was quoted in several articles on the Halliburton-Baker Hughes Deal, saying that the deal faces an uphill battle, as it looks like a 3-2 merger, and 3-2 mergers are going to be tough to get through anywhere. Mr. Cernak credited the companies with following the appropriate playbook by emphasizing large cost savings and complementary product lines, adding that these are the ways to obtain antitrust approval.
    • April 14, 2014
      'Sense of the Markets: With clear majority, Ramirez can set FTC agenda'
      The Deal Pipeline
      Steven J. Cernak
      Schiff Hardin of counsel and co-chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's antitrust council Steve Cernak was quoted after FTC's confirmation of Terrell McSweeny gave Chairwoman Edith Ramirez a Democratic majority. Mr. Cernak said now that there's a third Democratic vote, Ramirez will presumably have a more manageable commission to get something done and won’t need to twist a Republican’s arm to get a majority.
    • June 18, 2012
      'Ex-NCAA Players Fumbled Scholarship Antitrust Case: 7th Circ.'
      Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Law360
      Gregory L. Curtner
      This article reports Schiff Hardin partner Greg Curtner’s successful representation of the NCAA in a price-fixing class action case brought by two former student-athletes whose one-year athletic scholarships were not renewed after they claimed that sustaining injuries kept them from playing football. Mr. Curtner commented that he is pleased with the Seventh Circuit’s determination that the student-athletes failed to show that limits placed by the NCAA on the number and duration of scholarships violated antitrust law.
    • January 26, 2010
      'Are Concert-Goers the Losers in Ticketmaster-Live Nation Deal?'
      E-Commerce Times
      Richard J. Hoskins
      This article in the E-Commerce Times quotes Schiff Hardin partner Richard Hoskins on the government's approval, with conditions, of the merger of Ticketmaster, the leading entertainment ticketing seller, and Live Nation, a leading provider of booking and management services for live music acts.