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Video: FTC Threatens to Sue Google; Pot Legalization Aftermath; More Law Firm Mega-Mergers to Come?

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Video: FTC Threatens to Sue Google; Pot Legalization Aftermath; More Law Firm Mega-Mergers to Come?

Nov 15, 2012, 06:24 pm CST

Editor’s Note: We’re experimenting with using more video on ABAJournal.com and will be bringing you this short weekly legal news brief from Bloomberg Law for the next few weeks. Thanks for the feedback so far. Please note that adding video would not mean eliminating text-based stories. Rather, we’re exploring adding more multimedia options in addition to our text-based posts. Also, in response to the feedback, this week there is a transcript included with the video.

Transcript featuring Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia as he runs through his legal news picks of the week:

Big changes may be in store for Google. The tech giant was given an ultimatum by FTC Chairman Jonathan Leibowitz to settle its pending antitrust probe in the coming days or face a lawsuit, sources tell Bloomberg News. The agency has been investigating Google for almost two years for favoring its own services in search results, providing exclusive search services to online publishers and a whole host of other issues. If it chooses to file a complaint, the FTC can do so in either its own administrative court or the Federal court system.

Next, voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use last week, but the federal government still bans the drug. So what to do? State AGs from Washington and Colorado are meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s office to see if the federal government plans to sue to block the measures. Does the federal law trump the state pot measures? We wouldn’t be surprised to see the issue eventually end up in court.

Finally, more big firms are feeling the urge to merge. On Wednesday, the U.K.’s Norton Rose announced it is merging with U.S. firm Fulbright & Jaworski, creating a 3,800-attorney firm with 55 offices worldwide. It’s not the first time Fulbright has considered a merger. Earlier this year, it was reportedly in talks with Pillsbury Winthrop. And it’s the second major cross-border merger announced in as many weeks. Last week, SNR Denton announced a three-way merger with Canadian and European firms, creating a 2,500-lawyer conglomeration.

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