States and USDOJ challenged already consummated acquisition by Dean Foods Co of Foremost Farms USA. Complaint alleged loss of competition in two markets: School milk contracts in Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan, and fluid milk sales in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, because Dean and Foremost were the first and fourth largest sellers in those states. The settlement requires Dean to divest a significant milk processing plant in Waukesha, Wis., and related assets that it acquired from the Foremost Farms USA Cooperative, including the Golden Guernsey brand name. The settlement also requires that Dean notify USDOJ before it makes any future acquisition of milk processing plants for which the purchase price is more than $3 million. In addition, the attorney general for the state of Michigan filed a separate settlement which required Dean Foods to continue to bid on school milk contracts in the Upper Peninsula until 2016, and required that their bid be based either on a Cap Price which varies based on the price of raw milk, or a set price that does not vary.
U.S. and 17 states sued to enjoin merger of Ticketmaster, the nation’s largest ticketing services company, and Live Nation, the nation’s largest concert promoter.
According to the Complaint, the parties announced their merger shortly after Live Nation had entered the concert ticketing business as Ticketmaster’s closest competitor. The complaint alleged that consumers and major concert venues would
face higher ticket service charges as a result of the merger
The settlement requires the merging parties to license its ticketing software to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG). AEG is the nation’s second largest promoter and the operator of some of the largest concert venues in the country. The merging parties are further required to divest Ticketmaster’s entire Paciolan business, which provides a venue-managed platform for selling tickets through the venue’s own web site. Paciolan is to be divested to Comcast/Spectacor, a sports and entertainment company with a management relationship with a number of concert venues. Comcast also has ticketing experience through its New Era ticketing company.The settlement also prohibits the merging parties from retaliating against venue owners who contract with the merging parties’ competitors.
Three states alleged Herman Miller (HMH) sought to raise and maintain retail prices on its “AERON” chairs. According to the complaint, HMH responded to complaints and urging by HMH’s retailers, beginning in 2001, by establishing and announcing minimum prices, below which retailers were prohibited from advertising any HMH furniture. Under HMH’s Suggested Retail Price policy, HMH retailers had to agree with HMH not to advertise below HMH’s dictated prices for Aeron chairs in any medium where prices can be seen by consumers. HMH was enjoined from using the SRP program for two years,and from telling dealers how much to sell their chairs for. HMH paid $750,00 to the plaintiff states.
State alleged two clinics conspired to boycott Medicaid patients by adopting identical policies through which they refused to accept Medicaid patients: (1) who were not already registered with the clinic or (2) who had not seen a clinic physician for at least three
years. They allegedly sought to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rates and to accelerate reimbursement payments from the State of Illinois. Settlement reached in which Carle will increase Medicaid patient load and pay local health centers who had to treat more patients because of the policies. In April 2009, Christie Clinic settled with the state, agreeing to increase the number of Medicaid patients it will accept for primary health care services to 8,500 over the next
three years; will not deny Medicaid patients primary care services because of existing medical debt incurred from March 2003 through September 2007 – the period during which these patients were turned away as qualified Medicaid patients and were charged for health care services; and wil pay, over three years, $120,000 to Frances Nelson Health Center to help fund its primary care services for low-income patients
and $34,000 to the Champaign Urbana Public Health District to help pay for its dental program for low-income children. Both Christie and Carle Clinics are committed to accept more than 17,000 Medicaid patients in the intial year, growing to 20,000 over the next three years.
34 states filed suit alleging that Warner Chilcott entered into an illegal agreement with Barr Pharmaceuticals to raise the prices of Ovcon, an oral contraceptive. The lawsuit alleged that after Barr Pharmaceuticals publicly announced that it planned to have a generic version of Ovcon on the market by the end of the year, Warner Chilcott paid Barr Pharmaceuticals $1 million for an agreement designed to prevent Barr’s generic product from coming to market. Under the terms of the alleged agreement, once Barr received FDA approval to market generic Ovcon, Warner Chilcott had 90 days to pay Barr $19 million, after which Barr would refuse to bring the cheaper generic version to the market. The lawsuit alleged that as a result of the agreement, Warner Chilcott paid Barr a total of $20 million to keep it from marketing its generic version of Ovcon. In additon to a payment of $5.5 million, the settlement prohibits Warner Chilcott, for ten years, from entering into any agreement that would have the effect of limiting the research, development, manufacture, or sale of a generic alternative to one of its drugs. Furthermore, Warner Chilcott must provide the states notice of certain agreements it has entered into with generic manufacturers, and must continue to make its records available to the states for inspection to determine whether the company is complying with the terms of the agreement.
State alleged that insurance companies were paying kickbacks to Acordia, an insurance broker, for steering business to the insurer.
Plaintiff states charged St. Paul Travelers with illegal business steering, customer allocation, and bid rigging in the market for small business. The states alleged, and St. Paul Travelers did not deny, that millions of dollars in “contingent commissions” were paid to a number of brokers who “steered” business to St. Paul Travelers. Under the customer allocation scheme, Travelers was one of the insurers (with The Hartford and CNA) who secretly agreed with a broker to divide up the brokers small business customers in exchange for paying greater undisclosed contingent commissions to the broker.
The state of Illinois alleged that Liberty Mutual particiated in scheme led by Marsh McLennan to rig bids on insurance policies and distribute policies to particpating insurers, who would submit high bids when directed to do so. The State also alleged that Liberty Mutual paid undisclosed contingent commissions (payments on top of regular commissions)to insurance brokers and agents to induce them to steer business to Liberty Mutual.
ACE Ltd., an insurance broker, allegedly participated in bid-rigging schemes with Marsh McLennan and other borkers in which they provided sham bids tocustomers. ACE agreed to pay $80 milion in restitution and penalties, and to adopt a series of significant reforms of its business practices
Zurich agreed to an Assurance of Discontinuance to resolve claims of bid-rigging and sham bidding. Under the AOD, Zurich paid $88 million to policy holders, $39 million to New York and $13 million each to Connecticut and Illinois.