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Today on the WLF Legal Pulse

Déjà Vu All Over Again: Federal Court Blocks Staples/Office Depot Merger

By Andrea Agathoklis Murino, Goodwin Proctor LLP

Staples, Inc. (SPLS) and Office Depot, Inc. (ODP) would be forgiven for thinking of the late Yogi Berra and wondering if this was what he meant by déjà vu all over again.  In 1997, following an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the US District Court for the District of Columbia blocked their proposed tie-up.  And now, in 2016, after more than a year-long battle with the FTC, the same court’s Judge Emmet G. Sullivan blocked SPLS’s proposed acquisition of ODP.  Judge Sullivan announced the outcome on May 10, but issued his opinion only to the parties; the public needed to wait until May 17 to see his quite detailed 75-page explanation.  In sum, Judge Sullivan found that the FTC had met its burden under § 7 of the Clayton Act and showed a reasonable probability that the proposed merger would substantially lessen competition in the sale and distribution of consumable office supplies to large Business-to-Business customers. With that finding in hand, the court concluded that the FTC had carried its burden of showing that a preliminary injunction preventing the proposed merger was in the public interest and that the equities weighed in favor of injunctive relief. Shortly after Judge Sullivan announced his decision, SPLS and ODP abandoned the transaction. Continue reading


In re: Proposed Labeling Changes for Approved Drugs
On May 18, 2016, FDA announced that it has postponed (until at least April 2017) its controversial proposed rule that would permit generic drug companies to unilaterally change their product labeling. FDA’s decision to postpone final action on the...
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Deere & Co. v. State of New Hampshire
On May 19, 2016, WLF asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review (and ultimately overturn) a decision by the New Hampshire Supreme Court that allows the New Hampshire legislature to retroactively extend the reach of the State’s automobile-dealer law to...
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Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins
On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a Ninth Circuit decision that would have allowed uninjured plaintiffs to sue in federal court for bare, technical violations of federal law. In a 6-2 decision, the Court held that although the Ninth...
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United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Bible
On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a case asking the Court to reconsider its own precedent that requires federal courts to defer to an administrative agency’s interpretation of its own regulations. The decision was a setback...
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Exxon Mobil Corp. v. State of New Hampshire
On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order declining to review a New Hampshire Supreme Court decision that upheld massive liability against an oil refiner for having (at the direction of federal environmental officials) added MTBE to...
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Fourth Circuit Misconstrues North Carolina’s Statute of Repose—and State’s High Court Cannot Help
By Adam H. Charnes, a Partner in the Winston-Salem, NC and Dallas, TX offices of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, and Chris W. Haaf, an Associate in the Winston-Salem office.
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In re Zoloft MDL Judge’s Rejection of Causation Testimony Provides Helpful Lessons for Bench and Bar
By Victor E. Schwartz, a Partner with Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP in its Washington, DC office and Co-Chairman of the firm’s Public Policy Group.
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ON THE MERITS: Doe I v. Cisco Systems, Inc.
By John B. Bellinger, III, a Partner with Arnold & Porter LLP in its Washington, DC office and former Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State, and Rick Herz, Senior Litigation Attorney with EarthRights International in Washington, DC.
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Octane Fitness, Two Years On: How It Has Impacted District Courts’ Award of Attorneys’ Fees in Patent Cases
By Nirav Desai, a Director with Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox PLLC in Washington, DC, and Lauren Johnson, an Associate with the firm.
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Latest Communication
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May 02, 2016 | 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
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