FTC

January 26, 2024

KJ Boyle

Blog Post Anti-MonopolyFTCPharma

The FTC Ain’t Nothin to Mess With

The FTC has won its lawsuit against Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical executive infamous for jacking up the price of the antiparasitic drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 overnight in 2015 and later using his ill-gotten fortune to buy an exclusive Wu-Tang Clan album for $2 million. Shkreli is the quintessential corporate ghoul, having already racked up convictions for securities fraud—which resulted in an indefinite ban from the securities industries—and failure to pay $1.26 million in New York state taxes. Now, his price gouging has finally caught up with him, as the FTC successfully argued that he spearheaded an anti-competitive scheme to monopolize the drug. The presiding judge found Shkreli’s conduct to be “egregious, deliberate, repetitive, long-running, and ultimately dangerous,” issuing a $64.6 million fine and imposing a lifetime ban from the pharmaceutical industry. 

August 02, 2023 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Andrea Beaty

Newsletter Anti-MonopolyCongressional OversightDepartment of JusticeFTCGovernment Capacity

Following Failed Hearing, Jim Jordan And Republicans Try New Tacks To Take Down Khan and Kanter

Two weeks ago, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan entered a House Judiciary  Committee hearing with a target on her back. In the leadup to the hearing, Republicans readied their trumped-up attacks against Khan and the agency she leads: a barely relevant memo from a conflicted ethics officer, a list of unfounded grievances from bitter former Commissioner Christine Wilson, and absurd defenses of Elon Musk’s lazy privacy practices at Twitter. But Khan emerged unscathed, and by the end, the Republicans had lost all their fire.

July 17, 2023

KJ Boyle

Blog Post Anti-MonopolyCongressional OversightEthics in GovernmentFTCTech

Lina Khan Unscathed By Conflicted Ethics Officer and Pro-Monopoly Republicans

Rep Jim Jordan and company had already been eyeing Khan for an investigation because she had the audacity to enforce a consent decree that Twitter violated under Elon Musk’s leadership. Then, they eagerly seized on last month’s (conveniently timed) reporting from Bloomberg which published a previously unseen memo from an FTC ethics official and accused Chair Khan of ignoring the official’s recommendation. With that backdrop, the Republicans seemed poised to strike while the iron was hot, a culmination of their years-long project to undermine Khan’s leadership and reputation. The result was … much different. Thanks to some sleuthing on our part and the bipartisan support for taking on tech monopolies, yesterday’s hearing was less a damning inquisition and more a victory lap for Khan’s rejuvenation of the FTC.

July 13, 2023

Andrea Beaty

Press Release

Anti-MonopolyCongressional OversightFTC

RELEASE: Via Baseless Attacks On Khan, House Republicans Continue to Serve their Monopolist Funders

“Today’s hearing further proved that Republican’s attacks on Lina Khan and her leadership are blatant attempts to weaken antitrust enforcement to the benefit of the corporations that fund the Republican Party. Members, including Jim Jordan, focused on baseless allegations in an attempt to delegitimize the work the FTC is doing to crack down on anti-competitive and harmful practices that monopolistic companies use to amass economic power and squeeze profits out of consumers and workers.” 

July 05, 2023 | The American Prospect

KJ Boyle

Op-Ed Anti-MonopolyEthics in GovernmentFTCIndependent Agencies

Lina Khan Haters Took A Premature Victory Lap

It turns out that the ethics official who recommended that Khan recuse herself from a case involving Meta is an owner of Meta stock. This ethics judgment was music to the ears of the media organizations, Republicans, and antitrust hacks who have been attacking Lina Khan throughout her leadership. Beyond being wrong and selective in singling out FTC officials for ethics concerns, the problem with Pankey’s opinion is deeply ironic. Pankey herself has a legitimate conflict of interest in relation to Meta. 

June 14, 2023

KJ Boyle

Newsletter Anti-MonopolyBigLawDepartment of JusticeFTCIndependent AgenciesRevolving Door

Christine Varney Made A Career Out Of An Agency She Now Deems Unconstitutional

Implicit in the worldview of these revolvers is the idea that corporations should be free to operate and acquire competitors with near impunity, therefore antitrust enforcement should be as narrowly tailored as possible. This is obviously problematic — we need regulators that believe in the government’s ability to take on corporations with outsized market influence — but Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s Christine Varney recently took things many steps further in her representation of the biotech company Illumina in its case against the FTC. Varney doesn’t just attack specific enforcement actions as unwarranted, but calls into question the constitutionality of the FTC’s authority to issue enforcement actions in the first place. 

June 08, 2023

Andrea Beaty

Press Release Anti-MonopolyEthics in GovernmentFTCRevolving Door

PRESS RELEASE: Revolving Door Lawyers Aim To Dismantle Antitrust Enforcement Authorities

Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s Christine Varney, a former head of the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and other BigLaw lawyers representing Illumina and Grail filed a brief this week seeking to secure a merger which the FTC said would “diminish innovation in the U.S. market” for cancer detection tests. Revolving Door Project Research Director Andrea Beaty released the following statement concerning the brief and its authors.

May 09, 2023 | Common Dreams

KJ Boyle

Op-Ed Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeFTCMedia Accountability

Not Every “Former Antitrust Official” Is a Neutral Expert

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and DOJ Antitrust Division have long served as an essential stop for antitrust experts looking to maximize opportunities, influence, and compensation at BigLaw firms and monopolistic corporations. By spending some time learning the ins and outs of government investigations and enforcement efforts, revolvers are seen by potential corporate employers to be better equipped to assist corporations in antitrust lawsuits against their former government employers.