Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Plaintiff States sought to enjoin the merger between Albertson’s Inc. (Albertson’s) and American Stores Company (American Stores), alleging that the merger would substantially impair competition in the supermarket industry and could result in price increases and decreases in the quality and selection of food, groceries and
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…
Twenty states filed a federal lawsuit against six generic drug manufacturers, alleging that they entered into long-running and well coordinated illegal conspiracies in order to unreasonably restrain trade, artificially inflate and manipulate prices and reduce competition in the United States for two drugs: doxycycline hyclate delayed release, an antibiotic, and glyburide, an oral diabetes medication. The lawsuit was filed under seal to avoid compromising a continuing investigation. In the complaint, the states allege that the misconduct was conceived and carried out by senior drug company executives and their marketing and sales executives. The complaint further alleges that the defendants routinely coordinated their schemes through direct interaction with their competitors at industry trade shows, customer conferences and other events, as well as through direct email, phone and text message communications. The states further allege that the drug companies knew that their conduct was illegal and made efforts to avoid communicating with each other in writing or, in some instances, to delete written communications after becoming aware of the investigation. The states allege the anticompetitive conduct, including price-fixing and price maintenance, market allocation and other anticompetitive acts, caused significant, harmful and continuing effects in the country’s healthcare system. The states sought an injunction to prevent the companies from engaging in illegal, anticompetitive behavior and also sought equitable relief, including disgorgement. An additional 20 states joined the complaint in March 2017.
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.
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.
Renown Health acquired the largest two cardiology practices in the Reno Nevada area, leaving it with 88 percent of the cardiologists in the geographic market. The settlement required Renown Health to suspend its non-compete agreements with the cardiologists until at least six cardiologists have terminated their employment by Renown. Renown will provide the Attorney General with advance notice of future acquisitions, implement a compliance program, and pay $550,000 to the AG office for fees and costs. The FTC had a parallel proceeding with similar relief.
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.
State of Nevada v. Universal Health Services, Inc., Alan B. Miller, and Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., No. 2:10-cv-01984 (D.Nev. 2010)
Sate and FTC reached settlement requiring divestitures of several acute-care inpatient psychiatric hospitals in the Las Vegas area.
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.
SCI sought to acquire the assets of Palm Mortuary, a cemetery company in Las Vegas, Nevada. After state and FTC investigation, determined that the acquisition would have created a combined company controlling 76% of the cemetery market in the Las Vegas area, the state and FTC filed a complaint and settlement. SCI agreed to divest most of its assets in the Las Vegas area in order to proceed with the acquisition. The complaint alleged that the acquisition, as planned, would eliminate direct competition between SCI and Palm Mortuary for cemetery services in the Las Vegas area. This would leave area cemetery consumers with fewer choices, along with the prospect of higher prices or reduced levels of service. The complaint also alleged that entry into this market from new cemetery providers would not be timely, likely or sufficient to prevent these anticompetitive effects. The settlement provides that SCI must sell its Davis Funeral Home and Memorial Park property as well as the pre-paid business derived from this property and another SCI-owned Davis funeral home to a buyer approved by the Attorney General within 90 days of SCI acquiring Palm Mortuary. Prior to SCI selling these Davis assets, SCI must ensure the economic and competitive viability of these Davis assets in accordance with past practices. A series of firewall protections help accomplish this. The Attorney General’s staff will monitor SCI’s compliance and can name an independent third party to monitor the company’s compliance. For the next three years, SCI will provide notice to the Attorney General of future acquisitions that involve cemetery service or funeral service markets where the company already has a presence in Nevada. Additionally, SCI reimbursed the Office of the Attorney General for its attorneys’ fees and costs resulting from the investigation, as well as any potential future investigations. SCI is subject to fines and injunctive relief for non-compliance.