Nation - Trends, policy in competition and consumer protection issues

With antitrust and consumer protection law and policy playing a more prominent role in public debate around the world, top enforcement officials and antitrust practitioners from the United States and abroad will convene for the 58th Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, April 21-23 at the JW Marriott Hotel and the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The meeting will include appearances by key officials from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission, as well as enforcement authorities from other major competition law jurisdictions, including state officials, who will offer their perspectives on critical issues in the field of antitrust law, consumer protection and enforcement.

"As the global scope and pace of antitrust developments increase, the Section of Antitrust Law is taking the lead in bringing together the top minds in antitrust law to examine substantive issues in the field. We take pride in offering sessions that help lawyers develop practical skills in this ever-changing environment," said Ilene Knable Gotts, New York, section chair. "This meeting is the premier source of the latest information on antitrust issues, law and policy for the legal profession and government officials. This year we are especially fortunate to hear from New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein who will remind us of the value of a solid education in economics and antitrust."

The meeting offers more than 50 sessions and features about 240 speakers from government, corporations, the private bar and academia, making it the most comprehensive conference exploring antitrust law. About 2,000 attendees are expected, including representatives of more than 40 nations. Sessions will provide expert analysis and facilitate the exchange of ideas on key trends in global antitrust, enforcement, economics and consumer protection, through tracks in international law, litigation and consumer protection, as well as through policy and case study.

The luncheon on April 21 will feature a keynote address by Richard Rapp of NERA Economic Consulting. This year's Chair's Showcase Program on April 22, "Nature vs. Nurture: The Role of Culture in Competition Policy," will explore cultural influences in the history of competition policy. Speakers include Thomas Barnett, Washington, D.C.; John Fingleton, chief executive, Office of Fair Trading, London; Eleanor M. Fox, New York University School of Law; and William E. Kovacic, commissioner, Federal Trade Commission.

The Spring Dinner on April 22 will feature remarks by Joel I. Klein, New York City schools chancellor. Klein, former assistant attorney general for antitrust in the Department of Justice, will speak about the value of a curriculum that includes basics in the science of economics in helping students understand antitrust concepts such as competition and consumer protection law. The section is taking the lead to help develop such a model curriculum and is working closely with Klein and other educators to make this a priority.

Rounding out three days of programming is the annual roundtable conference with enforcement officials, which will be held on April 23. Gotts will moderate the roundtable. Participants include FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz; Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Christine A. Varney; Dr. Alexander Italianer, director-general for competition, European Commission; Melanie L. Aitken, commissioner of competition, Competition Bureau Canada; and James A. Donahue III, chair, Multistate Antitrust Task Force of the National Association of Attorneys General. Roxann E. Henry of Washington, D.C., and Michael Reynolds of Brussels, Belgium, will join as questioners. The officials will discuss their plans for their agencies and provide an overview of the issues they will be addressing in the next year.

Other highlights of the three-day conference include:

April 21

* Breakfast Briefing With the Deputy Assistant Attorneys General of the Antitrust Division

* Antitrust and Consumer Protection Fundamentals; Economics and Economometrics Fundamentals

* American Needle: Knocking Off a New Paradigm for Sports Leagues, Competitor Collaborations and Joint Ventures?

* Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Ethical and Strategic Pitfalls in Representing Individual Targets in International Criminal Antitrust Cases

* Handling State Attorney General Advertising Cases: Substantive and Procedural Considerations

* New Rules in Canada: What a Cross Border Business Needs to Know

* Bilski: The Supreme Court Speaks on Competition and Innovation

* Annual Luncheon With Richard Rapp, NERA Economic Consulting

* Here, There and Back Again: What the Future Holds for Resale Price Maintenance

* Criminalization of Cartel Conduct Around the World and the Limits of Extraterritorial Cartel Enforcement

* Economics and Consumer Protection Law

April 22

* Breakfast Briefing with the State Enforcers

* Consumer Financial Protection: Assessing the New Landscape

* Judicial Views of Courtroom Ethics

* False Advertising Litigation: The Lanham Act Preliminary Injunction Hearing

* Insurance and Other New Antitrust Targets: The Politics and Legislative Process of Antitrust Exemptions and Immunities

* Mock Trial 2010: A Jury Review of Exclusionary Conduct

* Chair's Showcase: Nature vs. Nurture: The Role of Culture in Competition Policy

* Hot Topics

* The Informant: Antitrust on the Big Screen

* Annual Dinner with Joel I. Klein

April 23

* Breakfast Briefing With the FTC Bureau Directors

* Essentials of Protecting Attorney-Client Communications in the Trenches of Public and Private Antitrust Enforcement: Perspectives from the U.S., Europe and Korea

* Roundtable with Enforcement Officials

* Security and Privacy in the Cloud: Developing the Right Framework for Service Providers, Business Customers, and Consumers

* Merger Remedies: An International Comparison and Synthesis

* Rewriting History: Antitrust Not as We Know It...Yet

For complete and updated meeting information, visit: http://www.abanet.org/antitrust/spring2010/index.html.

Published: Wed, Mar 17, 2010

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