Nexstar agreed to acquire Tribune Media Company for approximately $6.4 billion. USDOJ and plaintiff states sued, alleging that the merger would likely substantially lessen competition in thirteen Designated Market Areas (DMAs). MVPDs, such as Comcast, DirecTV, and Charter, typically pay the owner of local broadcast stations in a given DMA a per-subscriber fee for the…
The FTC, New York and six other states filed suit against Vyera Pharmaceuticals, its parent company, Phoenixus and its former officers, Kevin Mulleady and Martin Shkreli, alleging anticompetivie conduct in connection with Daraprim, the only FDA approved drug for the treatment of the life-threatening parasitic disease toxoplasmosis. The suit alleges that Vyera purchases the unpatented…
People of the State of New York v. Actavis, PLC et al., No. 14-CV-7473 (RWS)(S.D.N.Y filed Dec. 10, 2014)
Plaintiff state sued pharmaceutical manufacturer Actavis plc and its New-York based subsidiary Forest Laboratories seeking an injunction to prevent them from withdrawing the Alzheimer’s drug Namenda from the market and switching patients to a once daily version, Namenda XR. Namenda’s patent will expire in July 2015 and the company thereafter faces competition from generic drug makers. According to the complaint, Actavis planned to force patients to switch unnecessarily to Namenda XR because it had a longer patent. Once patients switch to Namenda XR, it would be difficult for patients to switch drugs again once generics become available. Normally, state substitution laws allow pharmacists to dispense generics without being forced to obtain physician approval. According to the complaint, even though Namenda and Namenda XR have the same active ingredient, pharmacists will not be allowed to offer generic Namenda to patients taking Namenda XR; a doctor’s approval would be required to make that switch. This means that most Alzheimer’s patients and their families will remain on Namenda XR. The lawsuit alleges that, by forcing patients to switch to Namenda XR, Actavis is gaming the regulatory system that governs pharmaceuticals and violating antitrust laws designed to encourage competition and keep prices down for consumers. In December 2014, the district court enjoined Actavis from ceasing production of Namenda, and the injunction was affirmed by the Second Circuit in May 2015.
State and FTC sought preliminary injunction in connection with an already consummated acquisition by Promedica of St. Luke’s hospital. The complaint alleged that ProMedica’s acquisition of St. Luke’s eliminated significant price and non-price competition between the two firms in both the general acute-care and inpatient obstetrical markets in Lucas County. According to the complaint, the acquisition also vests ProMedica with the ability to demand higher rates for services performed at its other hospitals as well, because the addition of St. Luke’s to the ProMedica hospital system has made ProMedica a “must-have” system for health plans seeking to do business in Lucas County, as plans can no longer offer consumers a viable provider network without including ProMedica’s hospitals. The preliminary injunction was granted, and the FTC proceeded with an administrative proceeding.
The FTC and the Attorney General of Idaho filed suit to prevent the acquisition by St. Luke’s Health System of Idaho’s largest independent, multi-specialty physician practice group, Saltzer Medical Group. According to the joint complaint , the combination of St. Luke’s and Saltzer would give it the market power to demand higher rates for health care services provided by primary care physicians (PCPs) in Nampa, Idaho and surrounding areas, ultimately leading to higher costs for health care consumers. According to the joint complaint, St. Luke’s acquisition of Saltzer was anticompetitive and violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act and Section 48-106 of the Idaho Competition Act. It created a single dominant provider of adult primary care physician (adult PCP) services in Nampa, with the combined entity commanding nearly a 60 percent share of that market. In addition, an alternative network of health care providers that does not include St. Luke’s/Saltzer’s primary care physicians becomes far less attractive for employers with employees living in Nampa. The FTC and Idaho Attorney General allege that the newly combined primary care practices will give St. Luke’s greater bargaining leverage with health care plans, with higher prices for services eventually passed on to local employers and their employees. The parties consummated their transaction several months earlier, and a private antitrust complaint was filed by several competitors. Idaho and the FTC consolidated their suits for trial. The court held that the transaction was anticompetitive and that the acquisition should be unwound. The decision was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit
TTexas and Connecticut led 33 state group that filed complaint charging three of the nation’s largest book publishers and Apple Inc. with colluding to fix the sales prices of electronic books. The States undertook a two-year investigation into allegations that the defendants conspired to raise e-book prices. Retailers had long sold e-books through a traditional wholesale distribution model, under which retailers, not publishers, set e-book sales prices. The states alleged that Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan conspired with other publishers and Apple to artificially raise prices by imposing a distribution model in which the publishers set the prices for bestsellers at $12.99 and $14.99. When Apple prepared to enter the e-book market, the publishers and Apple agreed to adopt an agency distribution model as a mechanism to allow them to fix prices. To enforce their price-fixing scheme, the publishers and Apple relied on contract terms that forced all e-book outlets to sell their products at the same price. Because the publishers agreed to use the same prices, retail price competition was eliminated. According to the States’ enforcement action, the coordinated agreement to fix prices resulted in e-book customers paying more than $100 million in overcharges. The States’ antitrust action seeks injunctive relief, damages for customers who paid artificially inflated prices for e-books and civil penalties. Case was filed in W.D. Tex., transferred to S.D.N.Y. as consolidated case. The States reached settlements with the five publishers, which granted E-book outlets greater freedom to reduce the prices of their E-book titles. Consumers nationwide received a total of $164 million in compensation. After entering into settlement agreement with all the Defendant publishers, DOJ and the states had a nearly 3 week trial against Apple in June 2013, during which numerous witnesses took the stand. On July 10, 2013, a decision was handed down in favor of the U.S. Department of Justice and the states against Apple. Trial of the damages phase is pending. United States et al. v. Apple, Inc., 12-CV-2826 (S.D.N.Y.).
State alleged that insurance companies were paying kickbacks to Acordia, an insurance broker, for steering business to the insurer.
State alleged bid-rigging on utility construction contracts. After trial, defendants were enjoined from further violations and paid $30,000 civil penalty plus costs.
People of the State of California v. Econolite Control Products, Inc. (Ca. Super Ct. Los Angeles 2004)
Plaintiff state alleged tying of non-proprietary traffic signal equipment to proprietary signal controllers. After trial, final judgment for the state was entered in 2007.
Challenge to tie-in sales of certain traffic signal equipment in bids to California public entities.