Back to our regularly scheduled programming: In just a few mins, Judge Castel up in NY is holding his first conference in the Google advertising antitrust cases.
One thing he may rule on today: how much of the complaints becomes public. @politico and other news org via @rcfp had some views on that we shared with the court last week (We want it all unredacted, pretty please!)…
I am covering remotely, which means we get to start by playing that fun game: "how many people does it take asking for everyone to mute before it finally happens"
Judge Castel says he wasn't expecting to get this case and was in fact "rooting" for it to go elsewhere. “I wasn’t anybody’s first choice and I don’t at all feel insulted.”
Castel says he's inclined to stay all the private cases while the state AG suit goes through the motion to dismiss process. The private cases could then amend to drop/add whatever claims from the states' suits go forward.
Castel raises some concerns about Kellogg Hansen representing The Daily Mail in the case because the same law firm is representing Facebook in the FTC's case.
John Thorne of Kellogg Hansen says Daily Mail did an extensive investigation before filing its suit, has spent nearly a million on expert fees and has worked with DOJ and the state of Texas, and decided not to sue Facebook only Google.
Castel says he will require KH to brief on why there is not a conflict for them to remain as the lawyers for Daily Mail when others within their class are suing both FB and Google. He's concerned that it will make joint meetings with plaintiffs too difficult.
Castel says he will rule on the redaction issue "shortly" but invited any additional briefs (so sounds like not from the bench today. Sad)

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More from @leah_nylen

23 Sep
Some news from FTC Chair Lina Khan: Holly Vedova and Sam Levine will take on the permanent bureau director jobs…
She also lays out three priorities for the agencies work:
1) discouraging a wave of illegal mergers that has overwhelmed the agency;
2) investigating companies that act as “gatekeepers and dominant middlemen” in the economy;
3) and combatting unfair contract terms.
She also advocates for taking an interdisciplinary approach that would see BC and BCP less siloed and working more with technologists, data analysts, financial analysts, and other experts
Read 4 tweets
23 Sep
Senate Judiciary this AM is considering the state AG antitrust bill that would let the states bypass the JPML for antitrust suits.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) says the bill would give state AGs "equal footing" with federal enforcers and shield them from having to coordinate with slower-moving private suits. It "recognizes the unique and central role states play in enforcing our antitrust laws"
Lee: “States are sovereign entities and they are entitled to pursue law enforcement actions to protect their citizens in the venue of their choice”
Read 23 tweets
21 Sep
. @JusticeATR and six states plus D.C. have filed a suit to block American and JetBlue's partnership
Background on the deal, approved on Trump DOT Secretary Elaine Chao's last day:…
Read 14 tweets
21 Sep
DOJ's Vanita Gupta speaking to the National Farmers Union saying the agency working closely with USDA on revamp of Packers & Stockyards Act rules on unfair/deceptive acts in agriculture.
Noting that chicken, pork and beef companies are showing records profits, but "consumers are paying more and farmers are earning less," she says. "Just a few buyers have the power to effectively set prices."
Beyond meatpacking, Gupta says @JusticeATR is looking into "excessive concentration" in seeds, fertilizer and farming equipment.
Read 5 tweets
15 Sep
Sen. Mike Lee giving the keynote at @FedSoc event on Bork’s Antitrust Paradox
The House antitrust package “are not antitrust laws at all but thinly veiled attempts to regulate vast swaths of the economy.”
The Biden FTC is “inexperienced and ideological,” he says and “lacking in understanding of the businesses they seek to control.”
Read 10 tweets
15 Sep
. @JusticeATR statement on FTC rescinding the vertical merger guidelines: "The Department of Justice is conducting a careful review of the Horizontal Merger Guidelines and the Vertical Merger Guidelines to ensure they are appropriately skeptical of harmful mergers. /1
"Both documents are designed to provide increased transparency and guidance to the public on how the department makes law enforcement decisions. The department’s review has already identified several aspects of the guidelines that deserve close scrutiny... /2
"and we will work closely with the FTC to update them as appropriate. The department continues to collaborate with the FTC on a robust public engagement process to seek comment on ways the Vertical Merger Guidelines could be improved. /3
Read 11 tweets

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