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.
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.
Eighteen plaintiff states and the FTC challenged the merger of Dollar Tree, the largest chain of “dollar” stores (deep discount stores) and Family Dollar Stores, the nation’s third largest dollar store chain. The complaint claimed the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in numerous markets by: (1) eliminating direct and substantial competition between Dollar Tree and Family Dollar; and (2) increasing the likelihood that Dollar Tree will unilaterally exercise market power. This, according to the complaint, would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act and each state’s applicable antitrust and consumer protection laws. The states sought a permanent injunction to prevent the merger, along with costs and attorney fees. The parties reached a settlement under which 330 stores in the 18 states would be divested to Sycamore partners and run as a new dollar store chain, Dollar Express. The agreement also required the defendants to report future acquisitions in any of the affected markets and to pay over $865,000 to reimburse the costs and fees of the plaintiff states.
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.
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.
U.S. DOJ, Missouri and Nebraska filed complaint alleging that acquisition of Medserve by Stericycle would substantially lessen competition in infectious waste collection and treatment services to hospitals and other critical healthcare facilities in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, resulting in higher prices and reduced service. The parties reached a settlement under which Stericycle and MedServe must divest all of MedServe’s assets primarily used in the provision of infectious waste collection and treatment services to large customers in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma to a viable purchaser approved by DOJ after consultation with the states. These assets include MedServe’s Newton, Kan., treatment facility, and its transfer stations in Kansas City, Kan., Oklahoma City, Omaha, Neb., and Booneville, Mo. Notice of future acquisitions must be provided to the plaintiffs.