Companion case to Utah v. Thompson, which was case of first impression as a criminal prosecution under the Utah Antitrust Act. Defendatns were found guilty of criminally violating the anti-group-boycott provisions of the Utah Antitrsut Act.
Utah v. Thompson, 751 P.2d 805; 77 Utah Ad. Rep. 34; 1988 Utah App. LEXIS 32, 1988-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) 67,925 (1988)
Case of first impression as a criminal prosecution under the Utah Antitrust Act. Defendatns were found guilty of criminally violating the anti-group-boycott provisions of the Utah Antitrsut Act.
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.
Plaintiff state entered into a consent decree with Allied to ensure that Allied did not use its control of the Washington County landfill to disadvantage competitors. Allied agreed to treat all haulers the same with respect to storage of waste containers, hauling outside normal business hours, inclusion of banned hazardous waste in waste hauled to the landfill. Allied also will not tie the sale of any other services (e.g. recycling) or products to the purchase of commercial waste services from Allied. Allied will not enter into any contracts for a term of more than 2 years, and there shall be no automatic renewal (evergreen) contracts for longer than one year.Allied may not provide any commercial waste-hauling services below cost so long as it has more thatn 60% of commercial small container waste hauling in Washingotn County.
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.
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.