On 21 September 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it was suing US Anesthesia Partners, Inc. (USAP) and its private equity owner Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The lawsuit targets a common private equity strategy known as a “roll-up.” A roll-up merger typically occurs when a private equity company acquires several small companies in the same market and subsequently merges those companies.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) (together “Agencies”) each have recently taken enforcement actions that demonstrate renewed attention on interlocking directorates (in which individuals simultaneously serve as directors on the boards of competing companies). Interlocking directorates are prohibited under Section 8 of the Clayton Act unless one of its de minimis exceptions applies. Those exceptions are dependent upon the volume of revenues derived from products sold by the operative companies in competition with one another.
On September 8, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a press release that starting in October 2023, the agency will begin mailing compliance letters to partnerships as part of its increasing focus on large partnerships and complex partnership returns. These compliance letters will likely impact partnerships with over $10 million in assets; however, the IRS maintains a broader goal of increasing audit activity and examinations of large partnerships and high-income taxpayers.
Beyond the statutory text of the new Washington state My Health My Data Act, the Washington Attorney General has published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and will update such FAQs periodically. Some of the FAQs provide insight into possible interpretations of the law’s provisions that are summarized in this article.
On August 14, 2023, the US State Department, the Labor Department, and the Commerce Department issued a business advisory (“Business Advisory”) highlighting key risks for companies operating in South Sudan.
While it does not impose new legal obligations on companies, the Business Advisory highlights the fact that list-based sanctions remain in force targeting certain South Sudanese persons including designations under the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, and the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security’s Entity List.
On 25 August 2023, the United States Treasury Department issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding tax reporting by brokers of transactions involving the sale or exchange of digital assets (“Proposed Regulations”). These long-awaited Proposed Regulations are in response to section 80603 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which expanded the scope of information reporting obligations for brokers under Code section 6045 to cover transfers of digital assets.
If you are a data broker or a business that relies on data brokers for targeted advertising, you should be aware that the California Data Broker Law may be significantly changed under a proposed bill. Under Senate Bill 362, the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA) would be required to set up, by 1 January 2026, an accessible deletion mechanism where consumers could request deletion via the CPPA that all data brokers then have to honor. Data brokers would have to check the CPPA mechanism to process all deletion requests every 31 days, as well as delete personal information about every California resident who ever made a request through the mechanism every 31 days.
On 23 August 2023, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued the first Determination Pursuant to Section 1(a)(i) of Executive Order 14014, which extends the application of section 1(a)(i) of EO 14014 to the jet fuel sector of the Burmese economy. On the same day, OFAC also published two related Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ 1132 and FAQ 1133.
The recent proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, particularly generative AI tools, has brought these questions to the forefront of ongoing conversations about the role that AI will play in the marketplace. As an advocate for and enforcer of consumer protection laws, the US Federal Trade Commission recently offered reminders and recommendations for companies offering digital products and AI tools.