Category Archives: Antitrust

Subscribe to Antitrust RSS Feed

EU Antitrust Continuity Potentially Threatened by Brexit

Our second antitrust outlook-focused post reflects on how we expect 2017 to continue to shape up as a year in which competition policy and enforcement will face increased uncertainty and complexity, specifically with respect to the EU where competition policy may be forced to change, or to include more actors.… Continue reading this entry

2017 Antitrust Outlook – A Year of Uncertainty

We expect that this year’s antitrust outlook will continue to carry a degree of uncertainty, whether in the United States, the European Union, or elsewhere. Our next two posts will cover some of the causes of present uncertainty, a few questions as well as some predictions.… Continue reading this entry

The New Supreme Court Term: Cases for the Automotive Industry to Watch

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Whistleblower Protections
A new Supreme Court term is once again underway. This one looks to be unique in that it is likely to be an eight-Justice bench into 2017—with Republican leaders standing firm on their refusal to go forward with confirming any nominee appointed by President Obama, it is likely that any new ninth justice will have … Continue reading this entry

Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend!

The Dashboard Insights team wishes you a safe and happy Labor Day. We’ll be back to our regular posting on Thursday, September 8. Thanks for your continued support of our blog!… Continue reading this entry

Potential Antitrust Implications of Most Favored Nation Clauses

Both in the automotive and other industries, parties have turned to most favored nation (MFN) clauses—or clauses having the same effect—as a means to assure the lowest possible input costs. MFN clauses offer pro-competitive, cost-saving benefits including efficiencies in negotiations; buyers need not haggle for the last nickel in cost reduction when an MFN clause … Continue reading this entry

Enforcement Provides Important Update for Auto Industry

For the last several years, the global auto industry has been rocked by unprecedented investigations and prosecution. Numerous international cartels, involving scores of companies and individuals, have engaged in price-fixing. Most of these cartels operated in foreign countries, fixing prices for automotive components that were incorporated into vehicles and shipped to the United States. Many individuals … Continue reading this entry

Know the Risks: Domestic and International Compliance

The penalties for compliance missteps have never been higher — particularly in the international regulatory context. As the record-setting penalties against BNP Paribas (nearly $9 billion in penalties for violations of economic sanctions and anti-money laundering laws) in 2014 amply illustrates, the criminal and civil penalties for violations of U.S. law have never been higher. … Continue reading this entry

Top Antitrust Issues Facing Automotive Suppliers in 2015

Recent U.S. and international antitrust developments will have important implications in 2015 for the automotive industry. U.S. antitrust developments include, in particular: The ongoing antitrust investigations and civil damage litigation involving the auto parts industry; Ever-increasing pressure for effective legal compliance programs; and Challenges to mergers (large and small, non-reportable) underscoring continued tough and aggressive enforcement … Continue reading this entry

Top Legal Issues Facing Suppliers in 2015

Foley’s Automotive Industry Team has prepared this overview of the major trends we see affecting automotive suppliers this year. While not all legal risk can be anticipated, companies that are aware of litigation, enforcement, and regulatory trends will be one step ahead of their competition. Top issues include:… Continue reading this entry

Protection Against Foreign Anticompetitive Automotive Supply Chain Practices Affecting U.S. Activities

Automotive industry participants may face increased costs and risk from wholly foreign anticompetitive activities far upstream in their global supply chain. Antitrust laws, like the Sherman Act, protect American markets from anticompetitive practices. But, under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (“FTAIA”), American antitrust laws only reach foreign conduct in specific circumstances. For example, an … Continue reading this entry

Auto Parts Investigations Require Effective Antitrust Compliance Programs to Limit the On-going Risk

Steady as clockwork, auto parts investigations around the globe are continuing. These investigations have exposed wide-ranging price fixing conspiracies. Prosecutors rely on well-organized global enforcement cooperation, sophisticated electronic surveillance, leniency/amnesty plus programs and private damage actions. The toll in fines, imprisonment and damages goes on and on, ever higher. This train wreck was avoidable. There is still time to … Continue reading this entry

Top Legal Issues Facing Suppliers in 2014: Antitrust

More Guilty Pleas in U.S. Department of Justice Auto Parts Probe High on the Foley & Lardner LLP priority list of top antitrust issues facing automotive suppliers for 2014 was the broad and aggressive criminal antitrust investigation of the auto parts industry by the U.S. Department of Justice. As Foley reported then, the wide-ranging investigation had … Continue reading this entry

Top Legal Issues Facing Suppliers in 2014

We know that you have been considering what business and commercial issues you will face in 2014 (and perhaps beyond) as an Automotive Supplier. But, have you been considering what legal issues you are likely to face? Do you know what is happening in Antitrust, Commercial Litigation, Compliance, NHTSA and Automotive Safety, Data Security and Privacy, … Continue reading this entry

New Year, Time to Think Prospectively

At the start of the new year, (in addition to making some personal resolutions), it is a good time to think prospectively about our industry, our business, and the legal challenges we anticipate. For my compliance clients, that means dusting off those policies and procedures sitting on the shelf and newly assessing your business and legal … Continue reading this entry

OESA Regional Meeting - Chicago Automotive Supplier Industry Update

Are you aware that General Motors (“GM”) issued new general terms and conditions (“Terms”) for direct material, customer care & aftersales, and tooling purchases effective for requests for quotation issued on or after July 15, 2013? You are in the Automotive Industry, you need to be. Are you aware that the DOJ continues to extract plea agreements … Continue reading this entry

Shift To Modular Platforms Raises New Issues for Manufacturers And Suppliers

One way in which next-generation manufacturing is impacting the automotive industry is the movement toward modular architecture. These designs use common underpinnings for various models across a variety of vehicle segments, minimizing the variation between parts needed for these models. Volkswagen says their MQB architecture will eventually underpin roughly 40 models, ranging from subcompact hatchbacks like the … Continue reading this entry

Denso Executives Sentenced to Over a Year in Prison for Price Fixing

On August 5, two Denso Corp executives were sentenced to over a year in prison following their guilty plea to participating in a conspiracy to fix prices in violation of the antitrust laws. Yuji Suzuki, a former senior manager in the Toyota Parts Division, was sentenced to 16 months in prison and Hiroshi Watanabe, a former … Continue reading this entry

Auto Parts Distributor Avoids Liability In Robinson-Patman Suit

On July 19, 2013, the Ninth Circuit affirmed an award of summary judgment to an aftermarket auto parts distributor that had received better prices than a competitor. Gorlick Distribution Centers, LLC v. Car Sound Exhaust System, Inc., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14635 (9th Cir. 2013). In rejecting the competitor’s claim that the defendant’s receipt of favorable … Continue reading this entry

Most Favored Nation (“MFN”) Pricing Draws Scrutiny as Potential Anticompetitive Practice

An interesting and growing debate in the antitrust arena is whether most favored nation (“MFN”) pricing provisions are pro-competitive or anticompetitive. For many years, MFN provisions have been considered a fairly noncontroversial contract term included by purchasers in an attempt to assure that other buyers do not receive a more favorable price. But not all … Continue reading this entry

Another Steelmaker Subsidiary Raided in International Antitrust Investigation

On March 29, 2013, South Korea’s antitrust watchdog, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office raided the office of POSCO ICT, a subsidiary of POSCO that manages the parent company’s IT network, as part of an ongoing investigation of South Korea’s biggest steelmakers. Approximately 10 investigators conducted the search and seizure, which included collection of e-mail archives, internal … Continue reading this entry

Three Steelmakers Raided in Antitrust Investigation

On February 28, 2013, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office (“GFCO”) searched the offices of three steelmakers as part of an antitrust investigation into steel supplies to the automotive industry. Specifically, GFCO raided the offices of Voestalpine, ThyssenKrupp, and ArcelorMittal as part of an investigation into potentially illegal pricing agreements between the steelmakers that supply the automotive … Continue reading this entry

DOJ Deputy Assistant AG Hammond Emphasizes Importance of Effective Antitrust Compliance Programs and Internal Investigations

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Scott Hammond of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division recently spoke to a group from the State Bar of Michigan’s Antitrust, Franchising & Trade Regulation section. His presentation addressed the automotive parts antitrust investigation, which he described as an “active” ongoing investigation. Indeed, the auto parts investigation is the biggest criminal antitrust … Continue reading this entry