Thirty-eight states sued Google, alleging that Google illegally maintains its monopoly power over general search engines and related general search advertising markets through a series of anticompetitive contracts and conduct, hurting both consumers and advertisers. Consumers are denied the benefits of competition, including the possibility of higher quality services and better privacy protections. Advertisers are…
Eleven states and the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to prevent Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets. According to the complaint, Google accounted for almost 90 percent of all search queries in the United States. Google has entered into a series of…
State and two hospitals agreed that the merged hospitals would, for a period of five years, pass on $100 million of cost savings to consumers, in the form of new or incremental services, including early detection and screening, increasing services to underserved populations, improvements of health care delivery. the hospitals also agreed to freeze hospital list prices for both inpatient and outpatient services for two years. Annual reports are to be submitted to the attorney general.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Geisinger Health System Foundation et al., No. 4:CV-12-1081 (M.D. Pa.
State alleged that the the acquisition of Bloomsburg Hospital by Geisinger Heath System Foundation may substantially lessen or eliminate competition in the region. Geisinger is a non-profit parent of four hospitals, including its flagship Geisinger Medical Center which is located only 10 miles from Bloomsburg Hospital. It also owns the Geisinger Clinic, a multi-specialty physician group practice with more than 900 primary care and specialty physicians and the Geisinger Heath Plan. Geisinger is one of the largest providers of inpatient acute-care hospital services in northeastern Pennsylvania. The state was concerned that Geisinger would be able to raise prices for hospital and physician services to Columbia County residents and their health plans. The parties reached a settlement under which Geisinger agreed to continue to operate Bloomsburg Hospital as an acute care hospital for eight years, six years longer than the term agreed to by the parties. The agreement also requires that all physicans with privileges at Bloomsburg Hospital will keep their privileges. The original merger agreement with the Bloomsburg Board only protected certain physicians. Geisinger also agreed to negotiate and contract with health plans for Bloomsburg Hospital separately from Geisinger Medical Center. Bloomsburg Hospital historically had lower rates than Geisinger Medical Center. By contracting separately, Bloomsburg’s rates will be comparable to other community hospitals, not a large tertiary hospital like Geisinger.
Florida v. Coca Cola Bottling Company of Miami, Inc., No. CL90-723-AA (15th Jud.Cir.Palm Beach County, 1991)
Florida sought damages and injunctive relief, alleging that The Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Ft. Lauderdale/Palm Beach, Inc. (Pepsi) conspired with the Coca Cola Bottling Company of Miami, Inc. (Coke) to establish a floor for wholesale prices of some soft drink products sold in Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties, Florida.
SCI sought to acquire the assets of Palm Mortuary, a cemetery company in Las Vegas, Nevada. After state and FTC investigation, determined that the acquisition would have created a combined company controlling 76% of the cemetery market in the Las Vegas area, the state and FTC filed a complaint and settlement. SCI agreed to divest most of its assets in the Las Vegas area in order to proceed with the acquisition. The complaint alleged that the acquisition, as planned, would eliminate direct competition between SCI and Palm Mortuary for cemetery services in the Las Vegas area. This would leave area cemetery consumers with fewer choices, along with the prospect of higher prices or reduced levels of service. The complaint also alleged that entry into this market from new cemetery providers would not be timely, likely or sufficient to prevent these anticompetitive effects. The settlement provides that SCI must sell its Davis Funeral Home and Memorial Park property as well as the pre-paid business derived from this property and another SCI-owned Davis funeral home to a buyer approved by the Attorney General within 90 days of SCI acquiring Palm Mortuary. Prior to SCI selling these Davis assets, SCI must ensure the economic and competitive viability of these Davis assets in accordance with past practices. A series of firewall protections help accomplish this. The Attorney General’s staff will monitor SCI’s compliance and can name an independent third party to monitor the company’s compliance. For the next three years, SCI will provide notice to the Attorney General of future acquisitions that involve cemetery service or funeral service markets where the company already has a presence in Nevada. Additionally, SCI reimbursed the Office of the Attorney General for its attorneys’ fees and costs resulting from the investigation, as well as any potential future investigations. SCI is subject to fines and injunctive relief for non-compliance.
Plaintiff State alleged monpolization in three counties as a result of evergreen contract provisions by Waste Management, which had 80-90 percent of the waste hauling market. Waste Management agreed to change its contract renewal terms.
Plaintiff state challenged merger of two aggregate and hot mix asphaltcompanies which would allegedly reduce competition for paving projects in southern Maine. Pke, the acquiring company, agreed to 1. Sell stone mined from its Westbrook Quarry in sizes appropriate for use in specified Maine governemtn projects to any firm intending to use the stone to produce hot mix for use in those projects for the next four years and at a price not to exceed the price it charged in 2006, adjusted annually; 2. Enter into an agreement (subject to AG involvement) permitting any firm performing a State of Maine Department of Transportation project to locate a portable hot mix plant into Pike’s Westbrook Facility also for the next four years;
3. Provide written notice to the Attorney General at least sixty (60) days prior to acquiring an ownership or controling interst in aggregate resources or hot mix asphalt
plants located in the State of Maine from firms engaged in the building and maintenance of roads; and pay $20,000 in investigative costs.
Television retailers settled Attorney General’s claim that they fixed the prices of specific brand television sets and agreed to cooperatively advertise them at the fixed price, via entry of a consent decree that enjoined such conduct and payment of a civil penalty.
Connecticut v. Michael Kabot d/b/a Cabot’s Viking Sewing Machine Ctr, No. CV-79-0240205 (Conn. Super Ct. Hartford Dist. 1979)
Retail sewing machine dealer settled Attorney General’s claim price fixing and resale price maintenance via entry of a consent decree enjoining such conduct and payment of a civil penalty