The FTC issued an administrative complaint challenging electronics component manufacturer Integrated Device Technology, Inc.’s proposed $330 million acquisition of PLX Technology, Inc., a deal that allegedly would give the combined firm a near-monopoly in the market for a type of integrated computer circuits called PCIe switches, which perform critical connectivity functions in computers and other electronic devices widely used by American consumers and businesses. The Commission also authorized the staff to seek a preliminary injunction in federal district court or other relief necessary to stop the deal pending a full administrative trial, but theparties abandoned the transaction and the Commission later dismissed the complaint.
In some situations the FTC files a complaint under its administrative process instead of taking the case to a federal court. This is called an adjudicative proceeding. The party can decide to settle with us or they can contest the charges. If they contest the case it is heard before an administrative law judge in a trial-type proceeding. The Legal Library has information about cases brought by us before an administrative law judge.
The FTC issued an administrative complaint against Reading Health System’s proposed acquisition of Surgical Institute of Reading L.P., alleging that the combination of the two health care providers would substantially reduce competition in the area surrounding Reading, Pennsylvania. The FTC also authorized staff, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Attorney General, to seek a preliminary injunction in federal district court or other relief necessary to stop the deal pending a full administrative trial. After the parties abandoned the transaction, on 12/7/2012, the FTC formally dismissed the administrative complaint.
The FTC filed an administrative complaint challenging OSF Healthcare System’s proposed acquisition of Rockford Health System, charging that the acquisition would substantially reduce competition among hospitals and primary care physicians in Rockford, Illinois, and significantly harm local businesses and patients. The FTC filed a separate complaint in federal district court seeking an order to halt the transaction temporarily to preserve competition for Rockford area residents pending the FTC’s administrative proceeding and any subsequent appeals. On 4/5/2012, the U.S. District Court ruled granting the FTC's request for a preliminary injunction. On 4/13/2012, the FTC dismissed the complaint in light of OSF Healthcare's decision to abandon the proposed transaction.
The Commission issued a complaint to block Omnicare, Inc.'s hostile acquisition of rival long-term care pharmacy provider PharMerica Corporation, alleging that the combination of the two largest U.S. long-term care pharmacies would harm competition and enable Omnicare to raise the price of drugs for Medicare Part D consumers and others. In its complaint, the FTC charges that a deal combining Omnicare and PharMerica would significantly increase Omnicare's already substantial bargaining leverage by dramatically increasing the number of skilled nursing facilities, known as SNFs, that receive long-term care pharmacy services from the company. Due to its substantial market share, the FTC alleges that the combined firm likely would be a "must have" for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, which are responsible for providing subsidized prescription drug benefit coverage for most SNF residents and other Medicare beneficiaries. On 2/23/2012, the FTC dismissed the complaint in light of Omnicare's decision to abandon the proposed transaction.
Universal Computers and Electronics, Inc., d/b/a Appliancebestbuys.com, and d/b/a universallcdtv.com, In the Matter of
Gemtronics, Inc., and William H. Isely, individually and as the owner of Gemtronics, Inc., In the Matter of
The FTC challenged Laboratory Corporation of America’s $57.5 million acquisition of rival clinical laboratory testing company Westcliff Medical Laboratories, Inc., alleging that the transaction would lead to higher prices and lower quality in the Southern California market for the sale of clinical laboratory testing services to physician groups. The complaint also alleges that LabCorp’s acquisition of Westcliff would leave only two significant laboratories in Southern California competing to provide critical testing services to most physician groups.The FTC also filed an action in federal court to prevent LabCorp from integrating the Westcliff assets while the case is being tried in the administrative court. The federal court denied the FTC motion for an injunction pending appeal. Staff filed an emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal with the 9th Circuit, which denied the Commission's appeal. The Commission dismissed its complaint and closed the investigation.
The Commission filed an administrative complaint against Intel Corp., the world’s leading computer chip maker, charging that the company had illegally used its dominant market position for a decade to stifle competition and strengthen its monopoly. The complaint alleged that Intel engaged in a course of conduct to shut out rivals’ competing microchips by cutting off their access to the marketplace. In particular, the complaint alleged that Intel unlawfully maintained its monopoly in relevant central processing unit, or CPU, markets, and sought to acquire a second monopoly in the relevant graphics markets, using a variety of unfair methods of competition. In August of 2010, Intel agreed to a settlement containing provisions that would undo the effects of Intel's past conduct, and prohibiting Intel from suppressing competition in the future.
The FTC issued an administrative complaint on 5/7/2010 challenging The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation February 2009 acquisition of Quality Education Data (QED) and alleging that the deal hurt consumers by eliminating nearly all competition in the market for kindergarten through twelfth-grade educational marketing databases. The data sold by these companies is used to sell books, education materials, and other products to teachers and other educators nationwide. The combination of the two companies gave Dun & Bradstreet, through its subsidiary Market Data Retrieval (MDR), more than 90 percent of the market for K-12 educational marketing data. Dun & Bradstreet acquired QED from Scholastic, Inc. for about $29 million, which was below the threshold amount that would have required the companies to notify U.S. antitrust authorities before finalizing the deal.
The Commission issued an administrative complaint challenging Carilion Clinic’s 2008 acquisition of two competing outpatient clinics in the Roanoke, Virginia, area. The complaint alleges that Carilion’s acquisition of these outpatient centers eliminated competition for patients in the Roanoke area. On October 7, 2009 Carillion agreed to sell two independent outpatient medical clinics it acquired last year to settle the charges.
Daniel Chapter One, and James Feijo individually and as an officer of Daniel Chapter One, In the Matter of
M Group, The, Inc., d/b/a Bamboosa, and Mindy Johnson, Michael Moore, and Morris Saintsing, In the Matter of
The Commission issued an administrative complaint charging Realcomp with violating Section 5 of the FTC Act by prohibiting information on Exclusive Agency (EA) Listings and other forms of nontraditional listings from being transmitted from the multiple listing service (MLS) it maintains to public real estate web sites. The complaint further alleged that the conduct was collusive and exclusionary, because the brokers enacting the rules were essentially agreeing among themselves how to compete with one another, and were withholding the valuable benefits of the MLS from nontraditional real estate brokers. After the ALJ dismissed the complaint, Commission staff appealed the initial decision, and on November 2, 2009 the Commission issued an Opinion finding that Realcomp II had violated federal law by restricting the ability of member real estate agents to offer consumers lower-priced alternatives to traditional real estate services. Realcomp refused to transmit discount real estate listings to its own and other publicly available Web sites and excluded such listings from the default searches within its own database. The Commission found that these policies restricted access to these listings and harmed competition. The FTC’s Final Order requires Realcomp to provide its members non-discriminatory access to non-traditional and lower-price listings on its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and to stop preventing such listings from being sent to its public real estate sites. Following an appeal by RealComp, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the FTC order. On August 15, 2011 Realcomp appealed to the Supreme Court. On October 11, 2011 the Supreme Court denied Realcomp's petition for a writ of certiorari.
Under terms of the order, Aspen agreed to divest Hypotech’s continuous process and batch process assets and Aspen’s operator training software and service business to a Commission-approved buyer to settle charges in the complaint and resolve the administrative proceedings. The Commission issued an administrative complaint on August 6, 2003 that challenged Aspen’s 2002 acquisition of Hyprotech, Ltd. alleging that the acquisition eliminated a significant competitor in the provision of process engineering simulation software for industry. According to the complaint, the acquisition has led to reduced innovation competition in six specific process engineering simulation software markets.
The Commission authorized a preliminary injunction to block Thoratec Corporation’s proposed $282 million acquisition of rival medical device maker HeartWare International, Inc., charging that the transaction would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. market for left ventricular devices (LVADs), a life-sustaining treatment for patients with advanced heart failure. The FTC’s administrative complaint alleges that Thoratec seeks to maintain its monopoly by acquiring HeartWare, thus eliminating the only significant threat to Thoratec’s continued dominance of the LVAD market. In August of 2009, the parties announced they would not to proceed with the proposed acquisition, and the Commission dismissed the Administrative Complaint without filing an motion for preliminary injunction in federal court.
The FTC authorized a lawsuit to block CSL Limited’s proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corporation, charging that the deal would would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. markets for four plasma-derivative protein therapies – Immune globulin (Ig), Albumin, Rho-D, and Alpha-1. These therapies are used to treat patients suffering from illnesses such as primary immunodeficiency diseases, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, alpha-1 antitrypsin disease, and hemolytic disease of the newborn. In approving the administrative complaint seeking to block the deal, the Commission also authorized the staff to seek a preliminary injunction in federal district court in Washington, D.C., to stop the transaction pending completion of the administrative trial. Following the FTC's lawsuit to block the transaction, CSL Limited announced that it would not proceed with its proposed acquisition.
The Commission filed an administrative complaint charging that between 1991 and 1996 Rambus, Inc. joined and participated in the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association (JEDEC), the leading standard-setting industry for computer memory. According to the complaint, while a member of JEDEC, Rambus observed standard-setting work involving technologies which Rambus believed were or could be covered by its patent applications, but failed to disclose this to JEDEC. In 1999 and 2000, after JEDEC had adopted industry-wide standards incorporating the technologies at issue and the industry had become locked in to the use of those technologies, Rambus sought to enforce its patents against companies producing JEDEC-compliant memory, and collected substantial royalties from several producers of DRAM (dynamic random access memory).
The administrative law judge dismissed all charges against Rambus, finding that Rambus’ conduct before the JEDEC standard-setting organization did not amount to deception and did not violate any extrinsic duties, such as a duty of good faith to disclose patents or patent applications. Upon review, the FTC issued an opinion concluding that Rambus unlawfully monopolized markets for four computer memory technologies that have been incorporated into industry standards DRAM chips. The Commission found that, through a course of deceptive conduct, Rambus was able to distort a critical standard-setting process and engage in an anticompetitive “hold up” of the computer memory industry. In a separate opinion on the appropriate remedy, the Commission barred Rambus from making misrepresentations or omissions to standard-setting organizations, and required Rambus to license its SDRAM and DDR SDRAM technology and setting limits to the royalty rates it can collect under the licensing agreements.Tp>
Rambus appealed the Commission’s order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and in April 2008, the appellate court set aside the Commissions final orders. The Supreme Court denied the Commission's Petition for Writ of Certiorari, and on May 14, 2009 the Commission formally dismissed the complaint.