January 24, 2014 // Franchising.com // Wiggin and Dana Antitrust Partner Robert M. Langer was quoted in two articles featured in the January 17, 2014 issue of Bloomberg BNA's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report (ATRR). Mr. Langer has served as a member of the advisory board of ATRR since joining Wiggin and Dana in 1994. The first article, titled, "Court Holds Bazaarvoice's 2012 Acquisition of Primary Rival in Clayton Act §7 Violation," discusses the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's recent decision that Bazaarvoice Inc. violated Clayton Act §7 by purchasing PowerReviews Inc., its primary rival in the market for rating and review platforms for online retailers.
Mr. Langer commented on the case, insisting that, "despite the length of the decision, its importance is in its essential simplicity."
Mr. Langer instructed, "A company needs to have a strategy in place well before it becomes the proverbial eight-hundred pound market gorilla. Damaging internal non-privileged documents may trump the company's principal arguments, e.g., easy entry or a broadly defined relevant product or geographic market, notwithstanding favorable customer comments to the contrary."
The second article in the Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report, titled, "Mississippi's Parens Patriae Suit Is Not ‘Mass Action' Under CAFA," discusses the Supreme Court's recent holding that a suit brought by Mississippi's attorney general seeking restitution for state citizens cannot be removed to the federal court as a mass action under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 because the state of Mississippi was the only named plaintiff in the case.
Mr. Langer reacted to the ruling, commenting that this case involves, "a very narrow textual reading of CAFA in that the Supreme Court, based upon its understanding on the intent of Congress, looks no further than the named party in order to determine whether the action constitutes a mass action – rather than to those persons who may in fact be the ‘real parties in interest.'"
Mr. Langer further commented, "That fact is quite important because, as the Supreme Court itself recognizes, there are indeed other circumstances, which presumably the Mississippi decision does not implicate, when courts are permitted to ‘look behind the pleadings' to determine who are the real parties in interest."
SOURCE Wiggin & Dana