Michigan v. Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Chesapeake and Encana were charged with bid-rigging of oil and gas leases on public and private lands. Encana settled the charges. the Attorney General alleged that the two companies had agreed to split up the Michigan counties and each company would be an exclusive bidder in one county. the price of oil and gas leases dropped from $1510 per acre to $40 per acre in six months. The two counts of the indictment relate to one contract or conspiracy in restraint of commerce allegedly occuring between May – June 2010 with regard to private landowners; and a second allegedly occurring between August – October 2010 with regard to the State of Michigan’s oil and gas lease auction. Attorney General reached a settlement with Chesapeake after several days of trial. Chesapeake agreed to pay $25 million and plead no contest to one count each of criminal attempted antitrust violations and false pretenses, both misdemeanors. There was a delayed sentencing agreement under which the charges would be dismissed if Chesapeake abides by the agreements for 11 months.

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Michigan v. Encana Corp.

Encana and Chesapeake Energy Corp. allegedly collaborated to avoid bidding against each other in Michigan public auctions for oil and gas leases.. the price of the leases fell from $1510 per acre to less than $40 an acre in six months. Encana entered into a settlement and entered a no contest plea to criminal attempted antitrust violation, a misdemeanor, with an 11-month delayed sentence. If Encana abides by the terms of the plea agreement, the criminal case will be dismissed after 11 months. Encana also agreed to pay $5 million civil settlement ($2.5 million to the Dept. of Natural Resources, $2.5 million to the state’s antitrust activities. The company also entered into a 4-year corporate Integrity Agreement.

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Michigan v.Sunoco-Bombay Party Shoppe, Inc.; Michigan v. Shammami

Five gas station owner/operators pleaded guilty and no contest to charges that the engaged in a gasoline price-fixing operation in Madison Heights, Michigan. All five defendants and their associated stations have entered pleas in 6th Circuit Court in Oakland County to violations of the Michigan Antitrust Reform Act (MARA). The stations involved in the price-fixing operation were all located within two miles of each other. The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that the five stations set their gasoline prices at an artificial level, within a penny or two of each other. The scheme, which violated Michigan antitrust law, was an attempt to increase profits from gasoline sales by eliminating competition in the Madison Heights area. The Attorney General’s office received a tip from another Madison Heights gas station owner who was pressured to participate in the price-fixing operation. Information obtained during the investigation showed the stations all set their prices within a penny or two of each other on at least five days: February 8, 2011, February 11, 2011, February 23, 2011, February 27, 2011, and March 3, 2011. Sentencing for some is pending, but all paid substantial fines.

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Michigan v. J&A Quick Stop; Michigan v. Yaldou

Five gas station owner/operators pleaded guilty and no contest to charges that the engaged in a gasoline price-fixing operation in Madison Heights, Michigan. All five defendants and their associated stations have entered pleas in 6th Circuit Court in Oakland County to violations of the Michigan Antitrust Reform Act (MARA). The stations involved in the price-fixing operation were all located within two miles of each other. The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that the five stations set their gasoline prices at an artificial level, within a penny or two of each other. The scheme, which violated Michigan antitrust law, was an attempt to increase profits from gasoline sales by eliminating competition in the Madison Heights area. The Attorney General’s office received a tip from another Madison Heights gas station owner who was pressured to participate in the price-fixing operation. Information obtained during the investigation showed the stations all set their prices within a penny or two of each other on at least five days: February 8, 2011, February 11, 2011, February 23, 2011, February 27, 2011, and March 3, 2011. Sentencing for some is pending, but all paid substantial fines.

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Michigan v. CITGO-Durga Lakeshmi Inc.; Michigan v. Vijayaraghavan

Five gas station owner/operators pleaded guilty and no contest to charges that the engaged in a gasoline price-fixing operation in Madison Heights, Michigan. All five defendants and their associated stations have entered pleas in 6th Circuit Court in Oakland County to violations of the Michigan Antitrust Reform Act (MARA). The stations involved in the price-fixing operation were all located within two miles of each other. The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that the five stations set their gasoline prices at an artificial level, within a penny or two of each other. The scheme, which violated Michigan antitrust law, was an attempt to increase profits from gasoline sales by eliminating competition in the Madison Heights area. The Attorney General’s office received a tip from another Madison Heights gas station owner who was pressured to participate in the price-fixing operation. Information obtained during the investigation showed the stations all set their prices within a penny or two of each other on at least five days: February 8, 2011, February 11, 2011, February 23, 2011, February 27, 2011, and March 3, 2011. Sentencing for some is pending, but all paid substantial fines.

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Michigan v.Sphinx-Monster Oil LLC, Michigan v. Abdelhamid

Five gas station owner/operators pleaded guilty and no contest to charges that the engaged in a gasoline price-fixing operation in Madison Heights, Michigan. All five defendants and their associated stations have entered pleas in 6th Circuit Court in Oakland County to violations of the Michigan Antitrust Reform Act (MARA). The stations involved in the price-fixing operation were all located within two miles of each other. The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that the five stations set their gasoline prices at an artificial level, within a penny or two of each other. The scheme, which violated Michigan antitrust law, was an attempt to increase profits from gasoline sales by eliminating competition in the Madison Heights area. The Attorney General’s office received a tip from another Madison Heights gas station owner who was pressured to participate in the price-fixing operation. Information obtained during the investigation showed the stations all set their prices within a penny or two of each other on at least five days: February 8, 2011, February 11, 2011, February 23, 2011, February 27, 2011, and March 3, 2011. Sentencing for some is pending, but all paid substantial fines.

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Michigan v.Marathon-Supergas, Michigan v. Harajli

Five gas station owner/operators pleaded guilty and no contest to charges that the engaged in a gasoline price-fixing operation in Madison Heights, Michigan. All five defendants and their associated stations have entered pleas in 6th Circuit Court in Oakland County to violations of the Michigan Antitrust Reform Act (MARA). The stations involved in the price-fixing operation were all located within two miles of each other. The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that the five stations set their gasoline prices at an artificial level, within a penny or two of each other. The scheme, which violated Michigan antitrust law, was an attempt to increase profits from gasoline sales by eliminating competition in the Madison Heights area. The Attorney General’s office received a tip from another Madison Heights gas station owner who was pressured to participate in the price-fixing operation. Information obtained during the investigation showed the stations all set their prices within a penny or two of each other on at least five days: February 8, 2011, February 11, 2011, February 23, 2011, February 27, 2011, and March 3, 2011. Sentencing for some is pending, but all paid substantial fines.

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New York et al. v. Deutsche Telekom AG et al., No. 1:19-cv-5434 (S.D.N.Y.)

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…

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State of Wisconsin et al. v. Indivior, No. 16-5073 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 22,2016)

Plaintiff states alleged that the makers of Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction, engaged in a scheme to block generic competitors and raise prices. Specifically, they are conspiring to wtich Suboxone from a tablet version to a flim in order to prevent or delay generic entry. The states allege that the manufacturers engaged in “product hopping” in which a company makes slight changes to its product to extend patent protections and prvent generic alternatives. The complaint was filed under seal.

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New York et al. v. Cephalon, No. 2:16-cv-04234 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 4, 2016)

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.

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