Expedited Antitrust Procedure and Guidance for Collaborations in Wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
The DOJ and FTC announced an expedited antitrust procedure and guidance for businesses collaborating to rebuild communities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The antitrust agencies recognize that cooperation among business might be necessary to efficiently resume the delivery of goods and services in the affected areas and should not generally raise concern under the antitrust laws. Antitrust analysis of these joint efforts will take into account the changes in market conditions as a result of the hurricanes. The agencies cautioned, however, that they will not tolerate naked price fixing or market allocation agreements undertaken in the course of hurricane rebuilding efforts.
The agencies recognize, however, that some businesses may be reluctant to engage in joint efforts without antitrust guidance. Both agencies have therefore committed to respond to requests from business for expedited antitrust guidance within five business days on specific conduct relating to relief from Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita. Parties requesting expedited guidance must submit their requests to specific contacts (link to procedures attached), explain how the joint conduct is related to the hurricanes, provide a description of the nature and rationale of the proposal, any proposed arrangements among the parties, the names of major customers, and any available information regarding the competitive significance of other providers of the product or service to be offered.
The agencies' responses to requests pursuant to the expedited procedure will be in effect for one year from the date of the response. Parties may later request that the DOJ or FTC reiterate its intention not to challenge the conduct, if additional time is necessary to respond to Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita.Guidance
For additional information about the information in this Antitrust Update, please contact Toby G. Singer, leader of the Health Care Antitrust Practice.