Forty-two plaintiff states reached a $100 million settlement with Citibank for fraudulent conduct involving interest rate manipulation that had a significant impact on consumers and financial markets around the world. UBS’ fraudulent conduct involved the manipulation of LIBOR (the London Interbank Offered Rate). LIBOR is a benchmark interest rate that affects financial instruments worth trillions…
Thirty-seven states filed a lawsuit against Google for monopolizing the smartphone application market in violation of state and federal antitrust laws. According to the complaint, Google operates a web of exclusionary agreements with phone manufacturers and carriers to exert control over app distribution on Android phones through its Google Play Store. By leveraging those anticompetitive…
CRH, PLC, through its subsidiary Oldcastle, is the largest producer of asphalt and the third-largest producer of aggregate in the U.S. the complaint alleges that through a series of acquisitions and anticompetitive actions, CRH has effectively exercised significant market power in West Virginia aggregate and asphalt markets. The conduct alleged includes inducing boycotts against competitors, threatening to put new competitors out of business; mandating statewide covenants not to compete for up to 10 years from competitors. The state alleged that CRH’s conduct has significantly increased prices for state road paving contracts in the three markets in the state between 2010 and 2014. the complaint included counts of violations of W.Va. Code 47-18-3 (restraint of trade); W.Va. Code 47-18-4 (monopolization and attempt to monopolize) and unjust enrichment. the complaint seeks injunctive relief, treble damages, disgorgement and restitution, divestiture; civil penalties and costs,
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.
Plaintiff states and FTC filed suit challenging the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, supermarket chains operating in the United States as Stop & Shop and Hannafords. According to the complaint, supermarkets operated by Ahold and Delhaize compete closely for shoppers based on price, format, service, product offerings, promotional activity, and location. Without a remedy, the merger would eliminate direct supermarket competition to the detriment of consumers in these local markets. As a result, the merger would increase the likelihood that the combined company could unilaterally exercise market power, and that the remaining competitors could coordinate their behavior to raise prices. the parties agreed to divest 76 supermarkets in the plaintiff states. The settlement also required prior notification of future supermarket purchases and $300,000 in attorneys fees and costs.
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.
State of West Virginia ex rel., Darrell v. McGraw, Jr., Attorney General v. Acordia of West Virginia, Inc., No. 04-C-115 (Cir. Ct. Hancock Cty. WV)
In 2004, the State filed suit,claiming that certain insurance practices related to the placement of insurance policies violated the State of West Virginia’s Antitrust and Consumer Credit and Protection Acts. The Attorney General sought damages under the Antitrust Act on behalf of the State, its public agencies, counties, municipalities, and other political subdivisions, and as parens patriae of natural person who are citizens and residents of the State. Case was settled for $8 million to be distributed by WV AG’s office.
In the Matter of Cabell Huntington Hospital, Inc.’s Acquisition of St. Mary’s Medical Center, No. 15-C-542, Cabell Cty. Ct., WV
The attorney general reached an agreement with two hospitals in the Huntington WV area who were merging. The agreement requires, among other things 1) that St. Mary’s Medical Center will be maintained as a free-standing, general acute care, faith-based organization for the seven-year period;2) Neither hospital will increase its service rates beyond the benchmark rate established by the West Virginia Health Care Authority; 3) If the combined operating margins of the hospitals exceed an average of 4 percent during any three-year period, the hospitals’ rates will be reduced by the amount of excess for the following three years; 4) Both hospitals will release employees from any non-compete agreements following the termination of their employment 5) The hospitals will maintain open staffs and grant privileges to all qualified physicians, and not terminate privileges to those who start offering services in competition to the hospitals (excluding groups that historically have operated under exclusive agreements) 6) The hospitals will not oppose the award of a certificate of need by the state Health Care Authority to any health care provider that seeks to provide services in their market area; 7) the hospitals will establish a fully integrated and interactive medical record system at both facilities so that patient encounters can be readily available to physicians at both hospitals; 8) they will notify the Attorney General’s Office within 90 days of any proposed addition or deletion of any health care service line.
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.