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Illumina, Inc., and GRAIL, Inc., In the Matter of

The Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint and authorized a federal court lawsuit to block Illumina’s $7.1 billion proposed acquisition of Grail—a maker of a non-invasive, early detection liquid biopsy test that can screen for multiple types of cancer in asymptomatic patients at very early stages using DNA sequencing. Illumina is the only provider of DNA sequencing that is a viable option for these multi-cancer early detection, or MCED, tests in the United States.

The complaint alleges the proposed acquisition will diminish innovation in the U.S. market for MCED tests, which could be used to detect up to 50 types of cancer. Most of these types of cancer are not screened for at all today, and the MCED test could save millions of lives around the world. The trial began on Aug. 24, 2021. On May 20, 2021, the FTC authorized staff to dismiss its federal court complaint for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
201 0144
Docket Number
9401
Case Status
Pending

Altria Group/JUUL Labs, In the Matter of

The Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint alleging that Altria Group, Inc. and JUUL Labs, Inc. entered a series of agreements, including Altria’s acquisition of a 35% stake in JUUL, that eliminated competition in violation of federal antitrust laws. According to the complaint, this series of agreements involved Altria ceasing to compete in the U.S. market for closed-system electronic cigarettes in return for a substantial ownership interest in JUUL, by far the dominant player in that market. In an initial decision announced on Feb. 24, 2022, Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell dismissed the antitrust charges in the complaint.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
191 0075
Docket Number
9393
Case Status
Pending

JAB Consumer Partners/VIPW/Ethos Veterinary Health, In the Matter of

The FTC imposed strict limits on JAB Consumer Partners’ future acquisitions of specialty and emergency veterinary clinics as a condition of JAB’s proposed $1.65 billion acquisition of VIPW, LLC, the parent of Ethos, an owner and operator of specialty and emergency veterinary clinics. The Commission alleged that the acquisition was likely to be anticompetitive in four geographic markets, ordering divestitures for various types of veterinary care in and around Richmond, Virginia, in and around the Washington DC Metro Area, particularly for customers to the southeast in Virginia and Maryland, in and around Denver, Colorado, and in and around downtown San Francisco, California. The Commission finalized the order in October 2022.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
211 0174
Docket Number
C-4770
Case Status
Pending

San Juan IPA, Inc.

San Juan IPA, Inc., an independent physician association in Farmington, New Mexico, has agreed to pay a $263,000 civil penalty to the FTC to settle allegations that it violated a 2005 order. The 2005 case alleged that San Juan IPA orchestrated agreements among competing member physicians to coordinate joint pricing, collectively negotiated contracts with payors on behalf of members, and refused to deal with payors except on collectively determined price terms.

To remedy these allegations, the 2005 order prohibited San Juan from, among other things, entering into, maintaining, enforcing, or facilitating any agreement or understanding among any physicians (1) to negotiate on behalf of any physician with any payor, (2) to deal, refuse to deal, or threaten to refuse to deal with any payor, (3) regarding any term upon which any physician deals with a payor, including price terms, and (4) not to deal individually with any payor or not to deal with a payor except through the IPA. The order also prohibited San Juan from attempting to engage in, or encouraging any person to engage in, any prohibited action.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
Case Status
Pending