Stabilizing core business operations and managing risk should be key priorities at this stage of your company’s response to COVID-19. On Sunday, March 29, the Federal Trade Commission and United States Department of Justice issued a joint statement to ease the challenges ahead by confirming that they will take exigent circumstances into account in evaluating joint efforts to facilitate production and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and healthcare.
Stabilizing core business operations, managing risk, and taking steps to perfect and enforce rights under existing agreements and insurance policies should be key priorities at this stage of your company’s response to COVID-19. Here are four strategies for supply chain professionals, in-house counsel, and risk managers to keep in mind as they work with their commercial teams to develop and safeguard secure and reliable supplies of critical inputs. The analysis takes into account how changing market dynamics in some cases creates flexibility to address immediate supply chain challenges and in other cases cautions against departing from historical practices.
Aggressively Collect and Leverage Competitive Intelligence
Companies are generally free under the antitrust laws to pressure suppliers to be forthcoming about production capacity, possible disruptions, and other market insights. Companies also have the ability to pool information with buyers, shippers, and other market participants as long as they implement the necessary safeguards to protect against unlawful price effects and coordination.
The safeguards needed to mitigate the antitrust risk associated with information sharing will vary depending on the nature of the information to be exchanged, the competitive relationship and market shares of the parties involved in the exchange, and other factors. However, with strong economic headwinds and consumers facing product shortages, we do not expect regulators in the United States to challenge collaborations that take reasonable precautions to prevent harm to competition even when they fall outside historical safe harbors.…
Jones Walker is proactively working with clients to help them move away from reacting to the COVID-19 crisis to getting ahead of it. We are also arming our clients with the information they need to identify key priorities and shift resources to where they are needed most. Below, we have provided a summary of existing federal and state court orders impacting litigation throughout the Gulf South. We also recommend this data visualization tool from the National Center for State Courts for information about the status of other courts throughout the country. We realize many unknowns remain, but our focus and advocacy continues to be on you and your success.
Continue Reading Helping Clients Get Ahead of COVID-19 – Summary of Court Administrative Orders