United States et al. v. Aetna et. al., No. 1:16-cv-01494 (D.D.C. July 21, 2016)

U.S. DOJ and plaintiff states sued to block the merger of two of the country’s largest health insurers. According to the complaint, alleges that their merger would substantially reduce Medicare Advantage competition in more than 350 counties in 21 states, affecting more than 1.5 million Medicare Advantage customers in those counties. Before seeking to acquire Humana, Aetna had pursued aggressive expansion in Medicare Advantage. Aetna, the nation’s fourth-largest Medicare Advantage insurer by membership, has nearly doubled its Medicare Advantage footprint over the past four years. Humana is the nation’s second-largest Medicare Advantage insurer by membership. The lawsuit also alleges that Aetna’s purchase of Humana would substantially reduce competition to sell commercial health insurance to individuals and families on the public exchanges in 17 counties in Florida, Georgia and Missouri, affecting more than 700,000 people in those counties. The lawsuit alleges that by buying Humana, Aetna would eliminate one of its strongest and most capable competitors in these markets. The district court granted the injunction, rejecting the parties arguments that the Medicare Advantage and Medicare programs were competing products that constrained one another’s prices, and noting that Aetna’s exit from several markets, allegedly because of the Affordable Care Act, appeared to be designed to eliminate a problem with the merger, rather than being an unrelated business decision.

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FTC and Illinois v. Advocate Health Care Network

The FTC administratively challenged the proposed merger of Advocate Health Care Network and NorthShore University HealthSystem, alleging it would create the largest hospital system in the North Shore area of Chicago. According to the complaint, the combined entity would operate a majority of the hospitals in the area and control more than 50 percent of the general acute care inpatient hospital services. The FTC and the State of Illinois filed for a preliminary injunction to prevent the merger before the FTC’s administrative trial. The district court denied the motion for preliminary injunction based on a finding that “plaintiffs ha[d] not shouldered their burden of proving a relevant geographic market.” The state and the FTC appealed. The 7th Circuit reversed and remanded the case. The court of appeals held that the district court’s geographic market finding was clearly erroneous, and approved the hypothetical monopolist test. The court also cited the “silent majority” fallacy, which overlooks the market power of the patients who are not willing to travel for hospital care.

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Maryland et al. v. Perrigo Company, No. 1:04CV01398 (D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2004)

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.

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US, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri v. Tyson Foods, No. 1:14-cv-01474, D.D.C. Aug. 27, 2014)

USDOJ and three states challenged the acquisition of Hilshire by Tyson. According to the complaint, Tyson and Hillshire compete against each other and against others to
procure sows from farmers in the United States. Tyson’s proposed acquisition of Hillshire would eliminate head-to head
competition between the companies and create a firm that would account for over a
third of all sows purchased from farmers in the United States. the merging parties agreed to divest all the assets of Heinold Hog Markets, including 8 buying stations, to a purchaser approved by USDOJ, after consultation with the states.

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In re DDAVP Antitrust Litigation

33 states investigated “pay for delay” allegations relating to DDAVP, a drug used to alleviate bed-wetting. States alleged that Aventis, holder of the patent for the medication, engaged in a scheme to delay the regulatory approval and sale of a generic version of DDAVP, in violation of state and federal antitrust law. States and defendants entered into a settlement under which states received $3.45 million, not as a civil penalty and defendants did not admit guilt.

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In re GE Funding Capital Market Services, Inc. (Municipal Bond Derivatives)

Starting in 2008, the states investigated the municipal bond derivatives market, where tax exempt entities like governments and nonprofit organizations issue bonds and reinvest the proceeds until the funds are needed or enter into contracts to hedge interest rate risk on bonds. GE Funding is the fifth financial institution to settle with the multistate working group in the ongoing municipal bond derivatives investigation following Bank of America, UBS AG, JP Morgan and Wachovia.
The investigation revealed conspiratorial and fraudulent conduct involving individuals at financial institutions and certain brokers with whom they had working relationships. The states’ investigation developed evidence that certain traders at GE Funding, in concert with certain brokers, engaged in conduct that allowed the broker to determine in advance that GE Funding would win a bid for a guaranteed investment contract. The conduct allowed GE Funding to submit a “last look’’ bid, while the broker arranged for other financial institutions to submit purposely non-winning courtesy bids. Because of the “last look,” on many occasions GE Funding was able to lower its bid to the issuer and still win the transaction.The misconduct led state and local entities, such as municipalities, counties, school districts and other government agencies, as well as nonprofits, to enter into municipal derivatives contracts on less advantageous terms than they would have otherwise.

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U.S. and Plaintiff States v. AT&T, No. 11-01560 (D.D.C, 2011)

AT&T sought to acquire T-Mobile. The transaction would have combined two of the only four wireless carriers with nationwide networks. US DOJ and six states filed suite to block the merger. The parties abandoned the merger three months later.

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In re J.P. Morgan Chase (Municipal Bond Derivatives)

Starting in 2008, the states investigated the municipal bond derivatives market, where tax exempt entities like governments and nonprofit organizations issue bonds and reinvest the proceeds until the funds are needed or enter into contracts to hedge interest rate risk on bonds.
The investigation revealed conspiratorial and fraudulent conduct involving individuals at JPMC, other financial institutions, and certain brokers with whom they had working relationships. The states alleged that certain JPMC employees and their counterparts at other institutions rigged bids, submitted noncompetitive courtesy bids and fraudulent certificates of arms-length bidding to government agencies. The misconduct led state and local entities, such as municipalities, counties, school districts and other government agencies, as well as nonprofits, to enter into municipal derivatives contracts on less advantageous terms than they would have otherwise. The $66.5 million multistate settlement is one component of a coordinated settlements (totaling $92 million) between JPMC and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Internal Revenue Service, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), as well as the states.

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U.S. and Plaintiff States v. Marquee Holdings, No. 05 CV 10722 (S.D.N.Y. 2005)

US DOJ and plaintiff states filed a complaint alleging that the merger of AMC Entertainment and Loews Cineplex Entertainment would eliminate head-to-head competition between AMC and Loews and likely would have resulted in higher prices for tickets to first-run, commercial movies in sections of five major American cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, and Seattle. DOJ and the plaintiff states agreed to a consent decree to resolve the complaint. Under the terms of the consent decree, AMC and Loews must divest movie theaters: two in Chicago and one each in New York, Boston, Seattle and Dallas. The parties must inform the parties if it proposes to acquire movie theater assets in those markets over the next 10 years.

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U.S., Illinois, Colorado and Indiana v. AMC Entertaininment Holdings, No. 10-cv00846 (D.D.C. 2010)

AMC, a movie theater chain operates 304 U.S. theaters housing 4,574 screens, most
of which are located in megaplexes operates Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres operates 96 movie theaters with 973 screens in the United States, mostly in the Midwest. USDOJ and the plaintiff states challenged the acquisition of Kerasotes by AMC on the grounds that it would reduce competition in markets in Colorado, Illinois and Indiana. To resolve the case, AMC agreed to divest eight theaters–four in Illinois, two in Colorado and two in Indiana.

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