This week's edition of The National Law Journal is chock full of hot stories.
Jenna Greene reports on the FTC's antitrust blitz, which has picked up speed in recent weeks. In the past two weeks alone, the Federal Trade Commission announced two consent orders requiring companies to sell off assets from past mergers deemed anti-competitive. Court cases are pending as well. The FTC in May filed suit against The Dun & Bradstreet Corp., targeting its purchase of a competing education data provider 15 months after the fact, while the U.S. Department of Justice has challenged Dean Foods Co.'s acquisition of Foremost Farms last year.
Jeff Jeffrey filed a report on a fee dispute between Hogan Lovells and its former client POM Wonderful. Hogan alleges that POM failed to pay $666,000 in fees for work the firm did on a regulatory inquiry into POM. On Friday, D.C. Superior Judge Judith Bartnoff issued a temporary restraining order barring The National Law Journal from reporting the name of the agency leading the inquiry.
Karen Sloan trolls the world of maritime law, which can be "obscure" to people who don't regularly practice it. Sloan reports that the Deepwater Horizon spill has thrust maritime law into the spotlight in a way few disasters have, prompting a gusher of proposed legislation that could significantly alter the practice.
The National Law Journal's special report on health care finds that recent health care reform legislation could spur consolidation in the health sector. Now that the legislation has passed and there is less uncertainty about how the reforms will be applied, the freeze on deal making could begin to thaw. Read more about it here.
In Washington news, David Ingram has an article on the Justice Department's push to test the limits of its powers to investigate Congress. Two ongoing cases present opportunities for the Justice Department to make inroads against the 2007 ruling in the case of convicted former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) — a ruling that department officials strongly disagreed with at the time and appealed, unsuccessfully, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Carrie Levine reports that lobbying spending has spiked for three companies who have found themselves in the national spotlight in the wake of their respective controversies. BP, Goldman Sachs and Toyota have all upped their lobbying spending, though BP's report looks less costly due to an accounting change.