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Antitrust Liability Limitations for Standards Development Organizations

Under the Standards Development Organization Advancement Act of 2004, a standards development organization (SDO) that registers with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission will not be subject to treble damage liability in private antitrust actions. Also, the rule of reason rather than a per se illegal analysis will be used in evaluating the anti-competitive effect of any alleged antitrust violations by a registered SDO.

Exchange-Traded Funds

Exchange-traded funds are open-ended registered investment companies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The Securities and Exchange Commission has exempted exchange-traded funds from regulatory requirements in order to allow secondary trading on national exchanges of shares in exchange-traded funds.

Investor Suitability Requirements for Broker Dealer Recommendations

Broker dealers may make investment recommendations to investors only if the broker dealer first determines that the recommended investment would be suitable for the investor. Suitability depends upon the investor’s tolerance for risk, other investments, income, net worth, financial requirements, and investment objectives.

The Federal Antitrust Law Exemption for State Action

Federal antitrust laws are considered inapplicable to economic regulation by the States. In Parker v. Brown, 317 U.S. 341 (1943), the Supreme Court reasoned that in the “dual system of government” of the United States, any subtraction by Congress from the sovereign powers of the states must be explicitly stated. Nothing in the Sherman Act (the first federal antitrust law) or in the legislative history of the Sherman Act indicated a Congressional intent to subject state regulatory activities to the Sherman Act.

Tortious Interference with a Contract or with Prospective Contractual Relations

Parties to a contract are entitled to performance of the contract without interference from others. Interference with a contract can lead to claims of tortious interference with performance of the contract or tortious interference with prospective contractual relations.

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