Washington filed a complaint and settlement with Amazon, resolving claims that Amazon’s “Sold by Amazon” program , which allowed Amazon to agree on price with third-party sellers, rather than compete with them, violated antitrust laws. The state alleged that Amazon unreasonably restrained competition in order to maximize its own profits off third-party sales, which constituted…
Tesoro agreed with Flint Hills Resources (FHR) last year to purchase most of FHR’s Alaska fuel storage assets, including FHR’s storage facility at the Port of Anchorage. Tesoro also owns two storage facilities at the Port of Anchorage. After an investigation, the state determined that Tesoro’s acquisition of FHR’s tank farm would limit the ability of competitors to import fuel through the Port of Anchorage and impair competition in markets for some fuel products, including gasoline. The state entered into a consent agreement with Tesoro Alaska Company that requires Tesoro to sell a petroleum fuel terminal at the Port of Anchorage in order to preserve competition in Alaska fuel markets. Tesoro has agreed to sell its Terminal 1 to a qualified buyer. Tesoro will have one year from the approval of the Consent Decree to sell the terminal. If it cannot find a buyer, it must lease the terminal.
Hilcorp Alaska LLC’s proposed to acquire Marathon Oil Company’s Cook Inlet, Alaska natural gas production, storage and pipeline assets for $375 million. Both the FTC and the state of Alaska expressed concerns about the acquisition because Marathon and Hilcorp are two of the three primary competitors for sales of natural gas in south-central Alaska, and account for over 90 percent of the natural gas produced in Cook Inlet and the acquisition would harm competition by diminishing the negotiating strength of the area’s primary purchasers, local utilities and industrial users. On the other hand, the acquisition could also alleviate concerns regarding local energy supply shortages. Existing fields in Cook Inlet are declining in production, and local utility demand is expected to exceed annual production within a few years. Because of this, the state has been actively working to encourage new investment in exploration and production in the Cook Inlet. The Alaska Attorney General entered into a consent decree with Hilcorp, which included (1) price caps on natural gas sold to local utilities and industrial users for the next five years; (2) a prohibition on selling Cook Inlet natural gas for liquefied natural gas export for five years; and (3) it will not knowingly sell Cook Inlet natural gas to other companies who intend to resell the gas for LNG export. The FTC decided to end its investigation as a result of the Alaska Attorney General’s action, in light of the concerns about energy scarcity in the future and the fact that only consumers in Alaska would be affected.
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.
New York v. Facsimile Communications Industry, Inc. d/b/a/ Atlantic Business Products, Inc., No. 402299/03 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County)
Atlantic Business Products and Candle Business Systems entered into a customer allocation agreement that had a negative effect on the retail copier market. Candle plead to the criminal charges and entered into a settlement resolving the civil action.
Complaint charged that tthe acquisition of a number of salmon aquaculture lease sites in Washington and Hancock Counties by Cooke Aquaculture Inc.from Stolt Sea Farms, Inc. would have placed Cooke in a virtual monopoly position, controlling most of the lease sites in the State suitable for raising salmon. The relevant market is highly concentrated Consent Decree requires Cooke to surrender its leasehold interest in four specified aquaculture sites to the Department of Marine Resources, as a means of bringing the company into compliance with a statutory acreage limit as well as antitrust laws. In addition, Cooke is required to divest or sell its interest in two significant salmon aquaculture sites in Cobscook Bay, known as Prince Cove and Rodger?s Island, within six months.
Complaint under state merger law resolved by Consent Decree. Parties permitted to consummate sale/acquisition of certain wholesale and retail propane assets in northern Maine, subject to conditions, specifically, first defendant required to enter throughput arrangements with new entrants at its bulk storage facility, second Defendant required to divest a portable bulk storage tank, $7,500 costs.
Challenge to merger of sardine processors resolved by consent Decree.
Complaint charges market allocation in the sale of packaged or bulk ice. Consent Decree imposes injunctive relief, $35,000 civil penalties against each Defendant and costs.
Complaint, parallel to FTC action against same Defendants, charges that PHO engaged in price-fixing and concerted refusals to deal in contracting with managed care payors.