On Sept. 10, 2012, the FTC and DOJ will hold a public workshop to address antitrust issues relating to most-favored-nation clauses (MFNs). Among other topics, the workshop will explore economic theories, legal treatment and industry experiences with MFNs. MFNs have been the subject of several recent antitrust enforcement actions. In October 2010, DOJ filed a civil antitrust action against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan alleging that the insurer's use of MFNs had stifled competition and raised prices on healthcare services and insurance. In April 2012, DOJ filed a civil antitrust action against Apple Inc. and five publishers alleging a conspiracy to fix the sales prices of e-books through the use of distribution agreements with "unusual" MFNs. Public comments may be filed until Oct. 10, 2012.
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Antitrust agencies examine competition issues involving MFNs
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