FTC Loses Preliminary Injunction Bid In Challenge Of Technology Company’s Acquisition Of Virtual Reality Fitness App Maker
On January 31, 2023, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California denied the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) request for a preliminary injunction to block a technology company’s (the “Company”) acquisition of a virtual reality fitness app maker (the “Fitness App”. The Court found that the FTC failed to show that the Company was reasonably likely to enter the virtual reality dedicated fitness app market absent the deal. Federal Trade Commission v. Meta Platforms Inc. et al., No. 5:22-CV-04325-EJD (N. D. Cal. Feb. 3, 2023).
U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Narrows The FTC’s Enforcement Powers
On April 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court abated the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) restitution power in a unanimous opinion delivered by Justice Stephen Breyer. AMG Cap. Mgmt., LLC v. Fed. Trade Comm’n, 141 S. Ct. 1341 (2021). Notably, the Court declared that the language of Section 13(b) of the FTC Act does not empower the FTC to obtain court-ordered equitable monetary relief such as restitution or disgorgement. In so doing, the Court resolved a circuit split on the issue and reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision.
FTC’s Cancer Detection Antitrust Suit Transferred To California Southern District
On April 20, 2021, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted defendants’ motion to transfer a motion for preliminary injunction brought by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) alleging that defendants’ plans to enter into a merger agreement violated Section 5 of the FTC Act and Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Federal Trade Commission v. Illumina, et al., No. 21-873 (D.D.C. 2021). The Court found that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California was a more appropriate venue for litigation of the case on the basis that it would be easier for most of the witnesses to get to that district, among other factors. Preliminary injunction hearings are currently set for August 24, 2021.