August 23, 2019
Professor Jill Hasday appeared on “What’s the 411? with Sharon Kay,” a WFSK-FM radio show, to discuss her new book, Intimate Lies and the Law.
August 19, 2019
Professor Kristin Hickman was quoted in a Tax Notes article, Entering the Next Frontier of Tax and Administrative Law, regarding the broader implications of a federal district court’s holding in Bullock v. IRS, No. CV-18-103-GF-BMM (D. Mt. July 30, 2019), that the IRS violated the Administrative Procedure Act by issuing subregulatory guidance without public notice and comment procedures. The article summarized Professor Hickman’s perspective regarding the characterization of IRS guidance documents under the Administrative Procedure Act and quoted Professor Hickman as describing the Bullock decision as “a shot across the bow that [the IRS] need[s] to be more attentive to the kinds of things they are putting into subregulatory guidance.”
August 5, 2019
Prof. Kristin Hickman was quoted in a Bloomberg article, “Could the White House Get Creative, Fix Tax Law’s Retail Glitch?,” regarding the potential for the Treasury Department to fix a supposed legislative drafting error in section 168(k) of the Internal Revenue Code regarding the eligibility of qualified investment property (QIP) for bonus depreciation. Although members of Congress as well as taxpayers have lobbied for Treasury to fix Congress’s omission of QIP from the list of property eligible for a shorter cost recovery period, the article quoted Prof. Hickman as saying, “We don’t pass legislation through letters from members of Congress.” Also, recognizing Prof. Hickman’s service as Special Adviser to the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the article quoted Prof. Hickman as suggesting that “OIRA will not be inclined to let any agency do something that cannot be justified by a legal argument based on the four corners of the statute.”
August 1, 2019
Professor Kristin Hickman was quoted in a Bloomberg article, IRS Could Face More Court Battles After Nonprofit Donor Ruling, regarding a federal district court’s holding in Bullock v. IRS, No. CV-18-103-GF-BMM (D. Mt. July 30, 2019), that the IRS violated the Administrative Procedure Act when, without public notice and comment procedures, the agency issued subregulatory guidance allowing politically active nonprofit organizations to avoid reporting the names and addresses. The article quoted Professor Hickman as saying, ”The fact that the judge declared a revenue procedure to be a legislative rule is a big deal,” particularly because such cases to date have been “rare.”
Prof. Vaaler Co-Authors Op-Ed on Why Some International Airlines Discriminate Against Israel and Taiwan by Erasing Them from Online Route MapsJuly 30, 2019
Professor and John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law & Business, Paul M. Vaaler, published an op-ed in the Star Tribune explaining why several international airlines, including major U.S. carriers, single out Israel or Taiwan for erasure from online route maps. Some airlines discriminate against one or both countries by erasing them from their own online route maps—American Airlines erases Taiwan from its online route maps. Other airlines accommodate erasure by others in their alliance—Delta Airlines accommodates erasure of Israel and Taiwan from the online route maps of its SkyTeam alliance partner, Saudia. Airlines erasing these countries or accommodating erasure by alliance partners seem to be catering to the discriminatory preferences of customers and countries in the region, even though this business strategy contradicts U.S. foreign policy and may be objectionable to many U.S. customers, shareholders, and lawmakers.
More detail about Professor Vaaler’s research on “discriminatory product differentiation” in the international airline industry is available in his new article co-authored with Professor Joel Waldfogel, Frederick R. Kappel Chair in Applied Economics at the Carlson School of Management: “Discriminatory Product Differentiation: The Case of Israel’s Omission from Airline Route Maps.” Strategy Science, 4(2): 70-93 (July 2019).
July 25, 2019
Professor Tom Cotter was quoted in Law360 article titled “EU’s 1st Fine In 16 Years Shows Predatory Pricing Challenges.” The article discusses the European Commissions’ recent decison to fine Qualcomm €242 million ($272 million) for allegedly engaging in a predatory pricing scheme to drive a potential competitor from the chipset market. Cotter noted that internal documentation is usually needed to substantiate a claim that below-cost pricing was intended to exclude a rival, but that E.U. law makes it slightly easier for the complaining party to prevail in these types of antitrust claims by creating a presumption of anticompetitive harm for pricing below average variable cost.
July 24, 2019
Prof. Turoski presented his research on the patent landscape of the Internet of Things at the National Association of Patent Practitioners (NAPP) Annual Meeting and Conference.
NAPP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting patent practitioners and those working in the field of patent law in matters relating to patent prosecution and its practice. The NAPP mission is to provide networking, education, collegial exchange, benefits, and a collective voice in the larger IP community on patent law and prosecution practice, so that patent practitioners can flourish and achieve the highest levels of competence and professionalism in their practice.
July 23, 2019
Professor Tom Cotter was quoted in the newsletter FTC Watch in an artcle titled “In tackling high drug prices, FTC shows partisan split.” The article discusses a recent Federal Trade Commission report in which the three Republican commissioners and the two Democratic commissioners disagreed on the Commission’s authority to invoke section 5 of the FTC Act to combat excessive drug prices. Cotter states that he would have been “surprised to see the FTC start using its Section 5 authority to regulate drug prices ” Cotter also said that, while “section 5 arguably does reach some practices that otherwise would not violate the Sherman or Clayton Acts, as the report states, for quite some time that reach has been interpreted pretty narrowly. Further, the conventional wisdom has long been that U.S. antitrust law doesn’t regulate prices.” Nevertheless, “the fact that two commissioners are open to the idea, at least with regard to drug prices, is interesting.”
July 21, 2019
In a piece highlighting the economic thought of Minnesota native Thorstein Veblen, an economist in the late 19th and early 20th century who developed the theory of conspicuous consumerism, Prof. Paul Vaaler is quoted on the subject of Veblen’s economic ideas and their potential relevance to today’s burgeoning pay of CEOs.
July 18, 2019
Professor Tom Cotter was quoted in a Law360 story titled, “FTC Facing Qualcomm Alone as Trump Admin. Turns on Case.” The article discusses the recent filing of a Statement of Interest on behalf of the Departments of Justice, Defense, and Energy in support of a stay pending appeal in Federal Trade Commission v. Qualcomm, an antitrust case. (The FTC—an independent federal agency—won at trial, Qualcomm is now appealing, and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is arguing that the decision was wrongly decided.) The article quotes Professor Cotter as stating that “it’s really, really unusual to have the two federal [antitrust] enforcers at odds with each other in such a public way.”