Antitrust laws regulate the concentration of economic power, the core of which was passed under the Sherman Act in 1890 and remain central to antitrust today. However, the laws are not applied today the way they were in their heyday of antitrust regulation – in the 1970s and 1980s, the Chicago School of Economics took hold over the courts’ antitrust jurisprudence, and since then the courts have been far more amiable to market concentration. The Chicago School’s economic analysis of law argued that big firms were not a threat to growth and prosperity and have successfully argued for a hands-off approach to monopolies and mergers outside of a narrow focus on consumer welfare.
The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments in the matter of National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston, et al. on March 31st, 2021. After decades of controversy regarding what restrictions the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) should be allowed to place on their member universities to compensate their collegiate athletes, many antitrust experts hope that the Supreme Court’s decision will give a final decision on if the NCAA’s current regulations are a violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act and if they are, are they still justified by the NCAA’s goals.
The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2020 (“CHIRA”) was signed into law on January 13, 2020, shifting not only how health insurance markets operate but lowering the bar for federal government agencies to bring successful actions against anticompetitive behavior. Prior to becoming law, health insurance companies retained robust antitrust exemptions under the McCarran-Ferguson Act (the “Act”). While it does not completely eliminate antitrust exemptions, the passage of CHIRA sent a strong signal that the federal government intended to promote competitive conduct in health insurance markets and limit the scope of these antitrust exemptions. While the upshot is that consumers may benefit from increased access and potentially lower cost, the health insurance industry must begin to adjust its conduct or face contentious litigation.
Vertical Healthcare Companies Merging Compliance Programs Perri Nena Smith Senior Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2021 In 2020, The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) released guidelines for vertical mergers to give clarity to companies so they can avoid harmful mergers. Healthcare companies are an industry that has been …