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FTC Approves Final Order to Protect South Carolina and Alabama Markets from Anticompetitive Gasoline Terminal Deal
The Federal Trade Commission required ARKO Corp. and its subsidiary GPM to roll back anticompetitive provisions of their acquisition of 60 Express Stop retail fuel outlets from Corrigan Oil Company last year. The complaint alleged that as originally proposed, the agreement not to compete that ARKO and GPM required Corrigan to sign as part of the acquisition harmed customers in local retail gasoline and retail diesel fuel markets throughout Michigan and Ohio. The order required them to amend a non-compete agreement they imposed on Corrigan, agree to obtain prior approval from the Commission before acquiring retail fuel assets under certain circumstances, and return to Corrigan five retail fuel outlets, among other provisions. On Aug. 9, 2022, the Commission announced the final consent agreement in this matter.
FTC Approves Final Order Protecting Pet Owners from Private Equity Firm’s Anticompetitive Acquisition of Veterinary Services Clinics
Federal Trade Commission Finalizes Action Against “Made in USA” Offender Who Ripped “Made in China” Tags Out of Apparel, Replacing Them with “Made in USA” Tags
The Federal Trade Commission authorized a lawsuit in federal court to block the proposed merger between virtual reality (VR) giant Meta and Within Unlimited, the VR studio that markets Supernatural, a leading VR fitness app. Formerly known as Facebook Inc., Meta sells the most widely used VR headset, operates a widely used VR app store, and already owns many popular VR apps, including Beat Saber, reportedly one of the best-selling VR apps of all time, which it markets for fitness use. The agency alleges that Meta’s proposed acquisition of Within would stifle competition and dampen innovation in the dynamic, rapidly growing U.S. markets for fitness and dedicated-fitness VR apps. A federal court complaint and request for preliminary relief was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to halt the transaction.
U.S. Federal Trade Commission Returning Almost $25 Million to Consumers Worldwide Who Were Defrauded by Next-Gen Sweepstakes Scheme
Federal Trade Commission, National Labor Relations Board Forge New Partnership to Protect Workers from Anticompetitive, Unfair, and Deceptive Practices
FTC Approves Final Order Preserving Competition for Development and Marketing of Steroid Injectable Drug
FTC Marks One-Year Anniversary of Government-Wide initiative to Promote Competition in the American Economy
The Federal Trade Commission authorized an administrative complaint and a suit in federal court to block the acquisition of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System by RWJBarnabas Health, or RWJ, which is one of the largest hospital systems in New Jersey. The complaint alleges that in Middlesex County, in the central part of the state, the acquisition will harm competition for inpatient general acute care services, which are a broad range of essential medical and surgical diagnostic and treatment services that require an overnight hospital stay. The FTC’s federal court suit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the deal and maintain the status quo while the agency pursues an administrative trial on the merits of the case. On June 14, 2022, the parties announced that they had abandoned the transaction.
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.
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.
FTC Approves Final Order Requiring Prince International Corp. and Ferro Corp. to Sell Off Three Facilities amid Concerns that Deal would Increase Concentration in North American Market for Porcelain Enamel Frit
The Federal Trade Commission has required Prince International Corp. and Ferro Corp. to divest three facilities used to make porcelain enamel frit, glass enamel, and forehearth colorants, as a condition of Prince’s parent company – American Securities Partners VII, L.P. – acquiring competitor Ferro Corp. for $2.1 billion. According to the complaint, the acquisition as proposed likely would allow the merged firm to unilaterally raise prices for porcelain enamel frit in the North American market, and for forehearth colorants in the world market. It also would eliminate Prince as an independent competitor in the world market for glass enamel, increasing the likelihood of coordination between the merged firm and its largest competitor, Fenzi Holdings SPV S.p.A. On July 5, 2022, the Commission announced the final consent agreement in this matter.
FTC Approves Final Order Protecting Patients Who Rely on Medical Instruments Used in Sinus Procedures
The Federal Trade Commission required Medtronic, Inc. to divest a key subsidiary of Intersect ENT, Inc. as a condition of acquiring Intersect. Under the FTC consent decree, Instersect’s Fiagon subsidiary, which makes ear, nose, and throat navigation systems and balloon sinus dilation products, will be sold to Hemostasis, LLC. According to the complaint, without this divestiture, the acquisition would pose a threat to future competition in the United States for both ENT navigation systems and balloon sinus dilation products. On June 30, 2022, the Commission announced the final consent agreement in this matter.
FTC Takes Second Action Against JAB Consumer Partners to Protect Pet Owners from Private Equity Firm’s Rollup of Veterinary Services Clinics
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