“The comparisons in this file show the excellent results achieved by the joint efforts of federal authorities, including small businesses, who are working with the Department of Justice to respond to allegations of fraud by participants in SBA`s procurement programs,” said SBA General Counsel Christopher M. Pilkerton. “This agreement reflects the government`s commitment to ensuring that its trading partners are truthful in their relationship with the United States,” said U.S. Attorney General Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia. “Contractors who try to cover up or mislea get funds for the promotion of small and disadvantaged businesses will be held liable for their fraud at the public tax office.” The claims that were settled by the transaction are only allegations and no liability has been found. Last Friday, the Canadian Competition Bureau issued a statement on the application of competition law (the law) to buy-side agreements, such as non-poaching and wage-fixing agreements. Parties to the proceedings often enter into transaction agreements without regard to whether these agreements could be used as the basis for a claim for cartels and abuse of dominance – for a good reason, because most transaction agreements settle a dispute simply by paying money. However, agreements that limit competitors` ability to advertise or other competition activities may be contrary to cartel and abuse of dominance legislation. In the case of 1-800 Contacts, Inc., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or the Commission) recently considered individual comparative agreements of 1-800 contacts, an online contact lens seller, that resolved infringement actions with several competitors by limiting online advertising, which was published in response to Internet searches of the term “1-800 contacts” protected by trademark law.  In a strong dissent, Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips sharply criticized the majority by failing to “give more credibility to the intellectual property that is at the heart of the case.” He argued that the majority analysis would “create uncertainty, dilute trademark rights and mitigate inter-brand competition” and that liability for these comparisons “will discourage not only brand investment, but also the competition that the majority seeks to protect.” See a copy of a company`s Dissent of In the Matter of 1-800 Contacts, Inc. If the appeal procedure were accepted, the impact of this decision – which an agreement between competitors on a reciprocal restriction of the use of the other`s trademarks in their competitor`s online search terms was deemed illegal – could be considerable.
 In resolving disputes between competitors, it is essential for legal counsel to focus on the potential anti-competitive effects of transaction agreements.