Ticketmaster’s Legal Woes

I.  Introduction
 

For many, Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. (Ticketmaster) is the first place that people look when they want tickets to an event.  It is the largest and most well-known broker of event tickets in the industry.  Ticketmaster sells tickets for more than 80% of the major arenas and stadiums in the U.S. [1] However, it has come recently been hit with a $500 million lawsuit in Toronto, Canada, after fans complained that Ticketmaster was deliberately directing customers into its subsidiary site, TicketsNow in violation of anti-scalping laws. [2]  Not only is Ticketmaster now facing this class-action lawsuit, but it also is in danger of being hit with charges by the Canadian as well as the U.S. government.[3]  Compounded with the recent backlash against its new merger with LiveNation, Ticketmaster is currently facing a host of legal problems.[4]
 

II.  The Canadian Class-Action Lawsuit
 

The lawsuit began with one

Read the rest

Tamed Tigers: Sovereign Wealth Funds as Passive Investors

I. Introduction

The purpose of this article is to analyze the current role of sovereign
wealth funds in a corporate governance scheme. Sovereign wealth funds, which have become increasingly important
institutional investors in the United States, have found their activities in
equities markets in the United States increasingly constrained due to stringent
regulations.  While these sovereign wealth funds raise important policy
considerations for lawmakers, these regulations hinder sovereign wealth funds
in their role as investors.  Despite the power the sovereign wealth funds
could hold in American companies, these funds have effectively become “tamed
tigers.” Despite their enormous power,
they simply cannot exercise it. Thus, this
article will examine whether having sovereign wealth funds in a “tamed tiger”
capacity should continue or whether regulations should encourage more activity
from sovereign wealth funds.

II. Sovereign Wealth Funds

The best definition of what sovereign wealth funds are and what they do
comes from … Read the rest

Fidel Castro Has Finally Stepped Down: Now What Should Be Done About That Pesky Trade Embargo?

I. Introduction

Fidel Castro recently stepped down as president of Cuba. Castro's health, not the 46 year trade embargo, was the primary reason for Castro's statement that he "would not seek to retain his post." [1] Anyone seeking a radical change in the policies of Cuba may have to wait indefinitely, as Fidel Castro's younger brother Raul quickly supplanted him. In a ceremony, on February 24th, Fidel's younger brother was formally designated as Fidel's successor as the head of Cuba's Council of state. [2] Furthermore, Raul stressed that although Fidel will step down as president, Fidel will continue to be "consulted on important decisions, especially on those relating to defense, foreign policy and the economy." [3] However, American politicians and the public have yet another opportunity to consider the continuing effects of the trade embargo placed upon Cuba nearly 50 years ago. Clearly, Fidel was able to defy the wishes … Read the rest

Nationalization of Resources in Venezuela and Beyond: Do Corporations have Recourse?

I. Introduction 

Nationalization keeps multinational corporations and investors up at night. Simply put, nationalization is an exercise of sovereignty where a country seizes private property, resources, or other investments on its soil. The country usually decides whether to pay compensation to former owners after seizure. The recent nationalization of oil projects by Venezuela begs the question: what recourse do corporations like Exxon-Mobil ("Exxon") have if their investments are nationalized?

II. Background

The dispute between Exxon and Venezuela began with six firms – Exxon, Chevron, Statoil, Conoco Phillips, Total and BP – investing along with Venezuela in an oil project in the Orinoco river basin. [1] The deal took place under a period called the "Petroleum Opening," when the 1990’s-era Venezuelan government attempted to maximize the benefits of transnational corporate investment in PDVSA while minimizing public responsibility. [2] After the Chavez government took power, the Venezuelan legislature raised tax rates for … Read the rest

The Existing Labor and Environmental Agreements in NAFTA

As the Ohio Democratic primary approached, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton pulled out all the stops to secure the few remaining undecided votes in the Democratic Presidential race.  Ohio’s economy has been struggling, and the candidates saw a convenient scapegoat to blame for its industrial decline.  Both candidates vowed to force Mexico and Canada to include labor and environmental agreements into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or risk the US pulling out of the agreement all together. [1] The sharp anti-trade rhetoric had some obvious omissions. NAFTA more than tripled trade between US, Canada, and Mexico and like all barrier reducing trade agreements, has had a beneficial long-term impact on all three economies. [2]  It was supported by politicians and economists of all political leanings, including President Clinton who pushed it through Congress. [3]  But perhaps the most glaring omission in Obama’s and Clinton’s speeches is that NAFTA

Read the rest

Free Trade Agreements and US Immigration Law

Since the implementation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947, the United States has signed several free trade agreements (FTAs) that have reduced barriers to international trade. [1] While these agreements traditionally focused on reducing barriers to the free flow of goods, services, and investments, more recent agreements have included provisions that directly affect US immigration law by creating additional nonimmigrant visa classifications to those available under the Immigration and Nationality Act. [2]

The Immigration and Nationality Act sets forth the nonimmigrant visa classifications by which foreign nationals may enter, work in, or invest in the United States. [3] Several of the visa classifications, such as the H1-B visa for workers in a specialty occupation and the H2-B visa for seasonal, peak load, or one time need workers, have annual numerical quotas and face chronic and increasingly worse shortages. FTA-created visa classifications, on the other hand,

Read the rest

The Changing Korean Legal Market

I. Introduction

With so much possibility, South Korea’s legal market is virtually untapped, especially considering that it is today’s 10th largest economy in the world. [1] This is because South Korean law prohibits foreign lawyers from becoming licensed to practice within the country and also prohibits foreign law firms from establishing branches within South Korea. [2] South Korean lawyers not only have a very different legal education system, but also have an interesting monopoly within the legal market of Korea.  This long insulated legal system is about to change.  There has been recent proposed legislation to open the Korean legal market through the Foreign Legal Consultants Act. [3] This will most likely have world-wide affect and forever change how the legal system in Korea operates.

II. Foreign Legal Consultants

While foreign lawyers are not allowed to become licensed, they are allowed to be pseudo employed.  To be employed within Korea,

Read the rest

Outsourcing Pregnancy?

I. Outsourcing

It makes good business sense to outsource operations.  It cuts down on costs, delivers lower prices to consumers, and brings job opportunities to poorer countries.  So why not also outsource pregnancy?  India, already known as an outsourcing base, is also the growing center for surrogate pregnancy.  India is hardly restricted through legislation, as there are no laws that govern surrogacy.[1]   No part of the fertility industry is regulated, although the Indian Medical Council does issue nonbinding guidelines for involved parties.[2]

Since 2002, commercial surrogacy has been legal in India.[3]  The only laws that India currently has in place concerning women and their infants address maternity leave and breastfeeding.[4]  There is proposed legislation to help regulate surrogate pregnancy, but the government has been slow to act.[5]  Already, outsourcing surrogate pregnancy, or “reproductive tourism” has become a booming business of over 445 million dollars a year.[6]

II. The Surrogacy Process

Read the rest

Outsourcing: Is Medical Care the New Frontier?

From manufacturing to engineering, computer programming and even legal services, American companies rely heavily on outsourcing as a way to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of operations. As the cost of health care in the United States continues to skyrocket, some patients are traveling overseas to undergo a variety of medical procedures at a fraction of the cost they would pay in the United States. [1] This article seeks to examine the legal issues that arise as more and more Americans travel to countries such as India, Thailand and Mexico to receive medical care,and illustrate how U.S. insurance companies other intermediaries are capitalizing on this new phenomenon.

II. Medical Tourism – An Overview

This phenomenon, which encompasses patients going abroad for elective as well as necessary medical procedures, is often referred to as medical tourism, and is quickly growing into a multi-billion dollar industry.[2] For decades, Americans

Read the rest

Special Economic Zones: Select Advantages and Substantial Problems

I. Introduction

Special Economic Zones (SEZ’s) are regions within a country that have economic laws more liberal than that country’s typical economic laws.[1] They are usually used by developing countries to attract investment and serve as enclaves of economic freedom for businesses located within them. Originating in China in the early 1980’s, SEZ’s have now spread across multiple continents to dozens of countries including Brazil, India, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.[2] While SEZ’s offer a plethora of relaxed laws and economic advantages to investors, they also provide substantial problems for residents of the communities in which they are located and people who comprise the labor force of SEZ industries. This article seeks to examine the economic, environmental and social impact SEZ’s have on various stakeholders and discuss the current trends in SEZ development.

II. Advantages or SEZ’s

Special Economic Zones offer many advantages to investors

Read the rest