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…
Texas v. Your Therapy Source, LLC et al., No. D-1-GN-18-003887 (Travis Cty. Dist. Ct., 201st Dist. July 31, 2018)
The state alleged that the owners of two companies that provided professional therapists to home health agencies, including physical,occupational and speech therapists and therapist assistants, agreed to reduce the rate of pay for therapists and invited other competitors to collude on the rates. The FTC entered into a settlement with the companies. The state entered into a settlement with the companies that enjoined them from agreeing on rates with their competitors, exchanging rate information with their competitors,attempting to collude with any competitor on rates of pay for therapists. The companies were also required to submit compliance reports. the order is in effect for 20 years.
Plaintiff state sought to enjoin two transactions. The first was the acquisition by CHI Franciscan, a health system on the Kitsap Peninsula, of WestSound, an orthopedic physician practice. The second was CHI’s agreements with The Doctors Clinic (TDC), a multispecialty physician practice, under which TDC would receive CHI Franciscan’s negotiated reimbursement rates with payers. TDC and CHI Franciscan remain separate entities. The state alleged that the purpose of these transactions was to “win the ability to charge higher rates for physician services, and to collectively gain negotiating clout over healthcare payers by removing head-to-head competition.” The state also alleged that the affiliation between Franciscan and TDC is a price-fixing agreement which has led to increased wait times, difficulty in scheduling procedures, and a reduction in patient choice of services and locations. The parties reached a settlement that 1) bars CHI Franciscan from entering into similar agreements in the future; 2) requires the health system to give the Attorney General’s Office advanced notice of future arrangements that could decrease competition; 3) divest its controlling interest in an outpatient surgery center it acquired in Silverdale; 4)requires primary care physicians and orthopedists at The Doctors Clinic to contract with insurers separately from CHI Franciscan if the insurers desire; 5) forces CHI Franciscan to allow for incentive-based payments to The Doctors Clinic physicians for providing higher quality of care, instead of higher patient volume; 6) requires Franciscan and The Doctors Clinic to notify Kitsap Peninsula imaging patients of imaging facility options available to them other than Harrison Medical Center and 7) pay up to $2.5 million as a cy pres distribution, to be distributed by the Attorney General’s Office among at least four health providers to increase access to health care on the Kitsap Peninsula. The grant money will go toward direct patient services.
The State of California, et al. v. Samsung SDI, Co., Ltd., et al., Case No. CGC-11-515784, Calif. Superior Court, San Fran. Cty. Nov. 8, 2011
California sued makers of CRTs alleging they were part of a price-fixing scheme that resulted in overcharges in the price of products that contained CRTs, such as televisions and computer monitors. The alleged price fixing scheme occurred between March 1, 1995 and November 25, 2007. According to the complaint, the conspiracy involved top-level meetings of key executive decision-makers in Asia and Europe to set prices and outputs of CRTs. It also involved worldwide meetings among lower-level executives to exchange confidential information. The settlements, which were filed in San Francisco Superior Court, require all five companies to pay a total of $4.95 million to settle claims of overcharges paid by California government entities, general damages suffered by the State’s economy, and civil penalties. The settlements require that the companies pay back the illegally obtained profits to those affected by their actions. In addition, the settlements include injunctive relief, which requires that each company engage in company-wide antitrust compliance training and reporting that involves products in addition to CRTs and extends to foreign companies and subsidiaries. Finally, the settlements include requirements, enforceable by the court via fines and imprisonment, to prevent future violations of antitrust law. There was a parallel class action by indirect purchasers nationwide that was brought in federal court by private parties. The state worked with the private plaintiffs and a settlement agreement was reached, under which California consumers recovered damages.
Hawaii v. American International Group (AIG) Inc., No. 08-1-0191-01 (Haw. Cir. Ct. 1st. Dist. Jan. 29, 2008)
State court proceedings to implement settlement reached with AIG, resolving alleged bid-rigging and false insurance quotes, as well as payment of secret “contingent commissions” to brokers. See also NY v. AIG, Ohio v. AIG, Hawaii v. ACE Holdings.