Steven J. Cernak

University of Michigan, Schiff Hardin (Ann Arbor)
Of Counsel

Steve Cernak is Of Counsel in Schiff Hardin LLP’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group. He practices out of the firm’s Ann Arbor office. Prior to joining Schiff Hardin, he served as global antitrust counsel for General Motors for more than twenty years. Steve is co-chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Antitrust Council and is a council member for the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law. He is an adjunct professor at three law schools and author of Antitrust Simulations by West Academic. The views expressed here are his own.



1616 Bulletin

Steven J. Cernak The US District Court for the Northern District of California receives a complaint likely to provide lessons about manufacturers’ efforts regarding resale prices (Costco / Johnson & Johnson)


Costco v. J&J: The Latest and Largest in a Long Line of Pricing Cases* It’s not often that one Fortune 50 company sues another – but that’s what happened earlier this week when Costco sued Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in California federal court over J&J’s attempts to limit Costco’s (...)

Steven J. Cernak The US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania allows a bundling claim to proceed under Sherman Act Section 1, even after dismissing other claims for lack of market or monopoly power (Schuylkill Health Systems / Cardinal Health)


Can Bundled Discounts Be Illegal If Offered by a Firm Without Market Power?* Bundled discounts are common marketing schemes that normally benefit consumers and competition; however, courts and commentators have found certain circumstances when they might be illegal monopolization. The line (...)

Steven J. Cernak The US antitrust enforcing agencies hold a one-day public workshop to explore the economics and legal policy implications of certain pricing practices, such as loyalty and bundled pricing


FTC/DOJ Workshop on Conditional Pricing Practices – Good as Far as It Goes* On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division held a workshop on “conditional pricing practices”—loyalty discounts, bundled discounts and similar pricing techniques. Many (...)

Steven J. Cernak A U.S. District Court denies three motions for summary judgment for failing to provide sufficient evidence of a relevant market and of manifest anticompetitive effects (American Needle / New Orleans Louisiana Saints)


So Whatever Happened to American Needle?* You remember American Needle, right? It is the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court opinion that explains when the action of a joint venture is the action of a single entity or, instead, the result of an agreement among the joint venture members. Now back on (...)

Steven J. Cernak The U.S. District Court of Dallas dismisses antitrust claims because plaintiffs did not plausibly state an agreement on the market for direct online sale of hotel room reservations leaving the question of potential anticompetitive effect of the most favored nation (MFN) clause without an answer (OTC / Hotel Booking)


OTA Case Turns Out to Be Less about MFNs and More about Agreement* Back in September 2012, the potential anticompetitive aspects of most favored nation (MFN) clauses was the hot antitrust topic. While antitrust counselors (and courts) had found the clauses to be innocuous almost all the time, (...)

Steven J. Cernak The US FTC finds violation of law with respect to the adoption of an exclusive dealing policy to maintain a monopoly position on the domestic fittings market (McWane)


Why the FTC’s McWane Opinions Raise More Questions Than They Answer* The Federal Trade Commission is meant to be, and is, an expert body on antitrust laws. So, when a case like McWane—that raises both collusion and exclusion issues—is in front of the FTC, it seems reasonable to expect to receive (...)

Steven J. Cernak A US District Court denies motion to dismiss in a case of anticompetitive exclusive dealing on the market for digital photo services for the tourism industry (Pro Search Plus / VFM Leonardo)


Successful Mousetrap Builders Beware – Your Sales Contract Just Might Be “De Facto Exclusive Dealing”* Say you built a better mousetrap, the world beat a path to your door and now you have a high share of the mousetrap market. Let’s further assume that your customers find “the cost of switching (...)

Steven J. Cernak The U.S. FTC issues final changes to the premerger notification rules that require companies in the pharmaceutical industry to report certain proposed acquisitions of exclusive patent rights to the FTC and the DoJ for antitrust review


Is the FTC Picking on the Pharmaceutical Industry Through New HSR Rules?* Effective December 16, 2013, Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) coverage of exclusive licenses of patents will change. As HSR practitioners know well, the Federal Trade Commission’s Premerger Notification Office (PNO) has (...)

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