Federal enforcement alone has proved insufficient to stem the growth in online promotion of child sex trafficking. Those on the front lines of the battle against the sexual exploitation of children — state and local law enforcement — must have the clear authority to investigate and prosecute facilitators of these and other horrible crimes.
States and localities are on the front line of this crisis and are a large part of winning the battle from both a law enforcement and public health perspective.
States challenged merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, the third and fourth-largest mobile telecommunications providers in the U.S., alleging that shrinking the national wireless carrier pool down from four to three providers would decrease competition and create higher prices for consumers. The US Department of Justice and seven states entered into a settlement with the parties…
Texas v. Your Therapy Source, LLC et al., No. D-1-GN-18-003887 (Travis Cty. Dist. Ct., 201st Dist. July 31, 2018)
The state alleged that the owners of two companies that provided professional therapists to home health agencies, including physical,occupational and speech therapists and therapist assistants, agreed to reduce the rate of pay for therapists and invited other competitors to collude on the rates. The FTC entered into a settlement with the companies. The state entered into a settlement with the companies that enjoined them from agreeing on rates with their competitors, exchanging rate information with their competitors,attempting to collude with any competitor on rates of pay for therapists. The companies were also required to submit compliance reports. the order is in effect for 20 years.
Texas v. Henry Schein, Inc., No. D-1-GN-17-003749, (Travis.Cty. Dist. Ct., 261st Judicial Dist. Aug. 3, 2017)
Plaintiff state reached a settlement with dental supply company concerning an illegal group boycott in the dental supply market. The settlement prohibits Henry Schein Dental from engaging in similar unlawful conduct. Texas settled a similar suit with Benco Dental Supply Company in 2015. The state’s antitrust action stemmed from a three-year investigation into allegations that Schein and two of its competitors worked together to thwart the entry of a lower-cost, online source of dental supplies provided by the Texas Dental Association (TDA). The state alleged that Schein and others colluded to discourage distributors and manufacturers from working with the TDA and its business partner, and agreed not to attend the TDA’s annual trade show in 2014.Under the settlement, Henry Schein Dental is prohibited from participating in anticompetitive activities in the future and must institute additional antitrust training for the company. Schein will pay $300,000 to reimburse the state for investigative costs and attorneys’ fees.
FTC and Plaintiff States v. Mallilnckrodt Ard Inc. (formerly Questcor), No. 1:17-cv-00120 (D.D.C. Jan. 18, 2017)
Four states and the FTC reached a $100 million settlement with Mallinckrodt plc and its US subsidiary, formerly known as Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. resolving a lawsuit accusing Questcor of monopolizing the market for Achthar, the only adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) based therapeutic drug sold in the United States. ACTH is used as a last resort to treat infantile spasms and multiple sclerosis. Questcor allegedly blocked competition for Acthar by disrupting the bidding process and acquiring the U.S. rights for Synacthen Depot, the only other ACTH based drug sold in the world. In 2001, Questcor bought the rights to Acthar and increased the price of it by 85,000 percent, charging over $34,000 for a vial of the drug that used to cost $40 per vial. In 2012, Novartis Pharma A.G sold the U.S. rights of Synacthen, Achthar’s only competitor. The complaint alleges that three other companies had all conducted due diligence and submitted formal offers for Synacthen with plans to develop and launch Synacthen in the United States in direct competition with Questcor. However, perceiving the threat to its U.S. monopoly if a rival drug company purchased the assets, Questcor stepped in to outbid the three other companies, offering Novartis $135 million in guaranteed payments with only vague plans for Synacthen and after very limited due diligence. Through the acquisition, Questcor sought to extinguish the most likely challenges to its Acthar monopoly. According to the complaint, this allowed Questcor to continue charging over $34,000 per vial for H.P. Acthar Gel. In addition to paying $100 million in disgorgement, Under the settlement, Mallinckrodt will pay $100 million. The company will also be required to license a competitor to the rights it acquired from Novartis to commercialize and develop Synacthen in the United States, including the Synacthen trademark, along with clinical trial data and certain intellectual property related to manufacturing and formulation. Mallinckrodt is also prohibited from taking actions that would interfere with clinical trials or clinical plans for Synacthen.
In May 2015, the FTC settled a “pay-for-delay” suit against Cephalon for injunctive relief and $1.2 billion, which was paid into an escrow account. The FTC settlement allowed for those escrow funds to be distributed for settlement of certain related cases and government investigations. In August 2016, forty-eight states filed suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Cephalon alleging anticompetitive conduct by Cephalon to protect the profits it earned from having a patent-protected monopoly on the sale of its landmark drug, Provigil. According to the complaint, Cephalon’s conduct delayed generic versions of Provigil from entering the market for several years. The complaint alleged that as patent and regulatory barriers that prevented generic competition to Provigil neared expiration, Cephalon intentionally defrauded the Patent and Trademark Office to secure an additional patent, which a court subsequently deemed invalid and unenforceable. Before it was declared invalid, Cephalon was able to use the patent to delay generic competition for nearly six additional years by filing patent infringement lawsuits. Cephalon settled those lawsuits by paying competitors to delay sale of their generic versions of Provigil until at least April 2012. Consumers, states, and others paid millions more for Provigil than they would have had generic versions of the drug launched by early 2006, as expected. A settlement was filed with the complaint, which includes $35 million for distribution to consumers who bought Provigil.
Plaintiff state alleged that Benco, a dental supply company, and its competitors worked together to thwart the entry of a lower cost, online source of dental supplies provided by the Texas Dental Association. The State alleged that Benco and others colluded to discourage distributors and manufacturers from working with the TDA and its business partner and agreed not to attend the TDA’s annual trade show in 2014. The State’s agreement with Benco requires Benco not to participate in such anticompetitive activities in the future and institutes an antitrust training program for the company. Benco has also agreed to pay $300,000 to reimburse the Attorney General for investigative costs and attorneys’ fees in lieu of any civil penalty.
The FTC and states alleged that the companies had entered into a “pay-for-delay” arrangement, whereby Perrigo paid Alpharma to withdraw its generic version from the market for Children’t ibuprofen.According to the complaint, in June 1998, Perrigo and Alpharma signed an agreement allocating to Perrigo the sale of OTC children’s liquid ibuprofen for seven years. In exchange for agreeing not to compete, Alpharma received an up-front payment and a royalty on Perrigo’s sales of children’s liquid ibuprofen. The FTC received $6.25 million to compensate injured consumers. The states received $1.5 million in lieu of civil penalties. the parties were enjoined from future agreements.
USDOJ and State of Texas challenged the acquisition of Texas Industries by Martin Marietta Materials on the grounds that the proposed merger would have likely resulted in increased prices for customers handling Texas Department of Transportation projects in parts of the Dallas metropolitan area. The
Texas Department of Transportation sets specifications for the type of aggregate approved for use in those projects. In Dallas County and parts of the surrounding area,
Martin Marietta and Texas Industries are two of the only three suppliers of Texas Department of Transportation-approved aggregate. Under the terms of the proposed consent decree, Martin Marietta must divest its North Troy aggregate quarry in Mill Creek, Oklahoma, its rail yard in Dallas, and its rail yard in Frisco, Texas. All of these assets
predominantly serve parts of the Dallas metropolitan area. Under the proposed settlement, USDOJ Antitrust Division, after consultation with Texas, must approve the buyer of the divested assets.