There is no doubt that the healthcare industry is scrambling to provide treatment for current patients with COVID-19, as well as prepare for a possibly much larger influx of patients in the near future. Many healthcare companies are looking to band together to address shortages and ensure that people get the treatment they need. However, when such companies decide to work together, it can raise antitrust concerns. It is important for companies planning to work together to get the proper antitrust review – even in this state of international crisis.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) made an announcement that they are trying to expedite all requests for antitrust reviews stemming from COVID-19 circumstances. If a request relates to the safety and health of the public, the agencies will aim to resolve the matter within seven days. There are modified procedures for making this type of expedited request.
These new procedures and timelines are available to any company related to public health efforts in light of coronavirus. This includes healthcare facilities as well as other companies that might be temporarily combining their resources to produce or distribute healthcare supplies or to otherwise facilitate healthcare services. If your company is seeking to work with another company to help COVID-19-related efforts, you can seek an expedited antitrust review from either agency. Outside of this crisis, a review of this type of collaboration could take months.
Any healthcare facility or company that needs assistance with the expedited review process should contact an experienced antitrust attorney as soon as possible.
Antitrust Enforcement Continues
With the above being said, the FTC and DOJ officials remain aware that some companies might try to take advantage of a crisis situation to engage in unlawful business practices. These agencies state they plan to vigorously police the marketplace to identify companies that are attempting to subvert competition and/or take advantage of consumers who are particularly vulnerable in this situation. The agencies will continue to pursue cases against businesses that engage in civil or criminal antitrust violations, and prosecutions can still be initiated.
If your business falls under investigation for suspected antitrust violations due to your response to the COVID-19 crisis, or for other reasons, you want a highly experienced antitrust lawyer on your side. We can navigate the investigation process with you and defend against claims against your company. Do not wait to discuss your concerns with an experienced antitrust lawyer.
Consult with an Antitrust Attorney that Handles Cases Nationwide
The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., knows that the changes in light of this pandemic can be difficult to navigate. We remain open for business to help clients remotely, and we can meet with you over the phone or via videoconferencing. Our antitrust law firm is committed to helping companies do their best to help fight COVID-19 while remaining within the confines of antitrust laws. Contact us for more information about how we can help today.