Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Retail & Consumer Products Law Observer

Legal Insight for the Retail and Consumer Products Industry

Tracy E. Reichmuth

Tracy E. Reichmuth

Tracy E. Reichmuth represents major retail clients in an array of commercial litigation matters, including lease and other contract disputes. She is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s San Francisco office and is a member of the Litigation Group. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including antitrust law, unfair competition, commercial contract disputes, business torts, and consumer class action defense. Tracy represents both corporate plaintiffs and defendants, and has experience in all aspects of litigation from pre-litigation investigation and counseling to appellate practice.

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Supreme Court Upholds Arbitration Agreement Waiving Customers’ Ability to Bring Class Actions

Posted in Consumer Class Action
In a pro-business and pro-arbitration decision, the United States Supreme Court on April 27 struck down as preempted by federal law the California rule that class arbitration waivers in consumer adhesion contracts are unconscionable and thus unenforceable.  The Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. ___ (2011), hinged on Section 2 of… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Holds that Collecting and Recording Zip Codes During Credit Card Transactions Violates California Law

Posted in Consumer Class Action, Privacy & Data Protection
In a decision sure to affect the way retailers do business in California, the California Supreme Court has held that asking for and recording a customer’s zip code during a credit card transaction violates California law. Specifically, in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc. (Case No. S178241), the Court held that requesting such information violates the… Continue Reading

Simon Reaches Agreement with FTC over Prime Outlets Acquisition; Comments Due December 10

Posted in Corporate & Transactions, Real Estate
As previously reported, Simon Property Group, Inc. recently acquired Prime Outlets Acquisition Company, LLC. This gained the attention of the FTC, which determined that the merger would result in reduction or elimination of competition among outlet centers in southwest Ohio; Chicago, and Orlando. Now, as part of a settlement with the FTC, Simon will divest… Continue Reading

The Effect of CAM Audit Clauses in Retail Leases

Posted in Real Estate
Traditionally, retail tenants have sought to include provisions in their leases explicitly giving them the right to audit landlords’ books, particularly with regard to common area maintenance (CAM) charges. However, case law suggests that a retailer may not be out of luck if its lease is silent as to audit rights. Tenants should also be… Continue Reading

Splintered Decision Fails to Settle Questions About FTC’s Burden in Blocking Mergers

Posted in Corporate & Transactions
Case: Federal Trade Commission v. Whole Foods Market, Inc., No. 07-5276 (D.C. Cir. 11/21/08) The One Sentence Summary: The Federal Trade Commission sought a preliminary injunction to block the merger of premium supermarket chains Whole Foods and Wild Oats; after the trial court denied the injunction and the merger took place, a sharply divided three-judge… Continue Reading