Pharmaceutical and biologic manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Celgene Corporation agreed to divest Celgene’s Otezla, the most popular oral treatment in the United States for moderate-to-severe psoriasis, for $13.4 billion. The divestiture settled Federal Trade Commission charges that BMS’s proposed $74 billion acquisition of Celgene would violate federal antitrust law. Under the terms of the proposed consent order, the parties were required to divest Celgene’s worldwide Otezla business – including its regulatory approvals, intellectual property, contracts, and inventory – to Amgen, Inc. no later than 10 days after consummating the proposed acquisition. On Nov. 12, 2021, the Commission announced that it has approved certain modifications to Bristol Meyers Squibb’s divestiture agreements.
Every year the FTC brings hundreds of cases against individuals and companies for violating consumer protection and competition laws that the agency enforces. These cases can involve fraud, scams, identity theft, false advertising, privacy violations, anti-competitive behavior and more. The Legal Library has detailed information about cases we have brought in federal court or through our internal administrative process, called an adjudicative proceeding.
The Federal Trade Commission issued a proposed order imposing strict limits on future mergers by DaVita, Inc., a dialysis service provider with a history of fueling consolidation in life-saving health industries. The complaint alleged that DaVita’s proposed acquisition of the University of Utah Health’s dialysis clinics would reduce competition in vital outpatient dialysis services in the Provo, Utah market. Under the proposed order, DaVita is required to divest three Provo-area dialysis clinics to Sanderling Renal Services, Inc. and is prohibited from entering into or enforcing non-compete agreements and other employee restrictions.
7-Eleven, Inc. and Marathon Petroleum Corporation have agreed to divest retail fuel assets used to sell gasoline and diesel fuel in 293 local markets across 20 states, to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that 7-Eleven’s acquisition of Marathon’s Speedway subsidiary violated federal antitrust laws. The complaint alleges that the acquisition will harm competition for the retail sale of fuel in 293 local markets across Arizona; California; Florida; Illinois; Indiana; Kentucky; Massachusetts; Michigan; North Carolina; New Hampshire; Nevada; New York; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; Tennessee; Utah; Virginia, and West Virginia. In addition to the divestitures, the proposed order prohibits 7-Eleven from enforcing any noncompete provisions as to any franchisees or employees working at or doing business with the divested assets. On November 10, 2021, the Commission announced the final consent agreement in this matter.
Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan Joined by Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter Regarding the FY 2020 Hart-Scott-Rodino Annual Report for Transmittal to Congress
Statement of Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson Regarding the FY 2020 Hart-Scott Rodino Annual Report to Congress
The Federal Trade Commission obtained an order permanently banning a payment processor that facilitated a fraudulent student loan debt relief scheme from processing debt relief payments. The order also requires the company and its owner to surrender $500,000 to the FTC for consumer redress.
The FTC’s complaint against Automatic Funds Transfer Services, Inc. (AFTS) and its owner, Eric Johnson, alleges that AFTS processed at least $31 million in consumer payments for a fraudulent student loan debt relief scheme sued by the FTC in 2019. The debt relief scheme used numerous names, including The Student Loan Group (SLG).
The Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint and authorized a suit in federal court, to block Hackensack Meridian Health, Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Englewood Healthcare Foundation. The complaint alleges that the merged healthcare system would control three of the six inpatient general acute care hospitals in Bergen County, New Jersey. The proposed acquisition would eliminate close competition between Hackensack Meridian Health and Englewood in Bergen County and leave insurers with few alternatives for inpatient general acute care services, which encompass a broad range of inpatient medical and surgical diagnostic and treatment services that require an overnight hospital stay. The administrative trial will begin 30 days after the Third Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the appeal of the Preliminary Injunction.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a complaint charging Broadcom with illegally monopolizing markets for semiconductor components used to deliver television and broadband internet services through exclusive dealing and related conduct. The complaint alleges that Broadcom illegally maintained its power in the three monopolized markets by entering long-term agreements with both OEMs and service providers that prevented these customers from purchasing chips from Broadcom’s competitors. The complaint also alleges that Broadcom leveraged its power in the three monopolized chip markets to extract from customers exclusivity and loyalty commitments for the supply of chips in the five related markets. Under the consent order, Broadcom must stop requiring its customers to source components from Broadcom on an exclusive or near exclusive basis.
Amazon will pay more than $61.7 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it failed to pay Amazon Flex drivers the full amount of tips they received from Amazon customers over a two and a half year period. The FTC’s complaint alleges that the company stopped its behavior only after becoming aware of the FTC’s investigation in 2019.
The $61.7 million represents the full amount that Amazon allegedly withheld from drivers and will be used by the FTC to compensate drivers. The FTC announced approval of the final order in June 2021.
Dissenting Statement of Commissioners Christine S. Wilson and Noah Joshua Phillips Regarding the Statement of the Commission on Use of Prior Approval Provisions in Merger Orders
Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson on Enforcement Policy Statement Regarding Negative Option Marketing
Concurring Statement of Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips on Enforcement Policy Statement Regarding Negative Option Marketing
Joint Statement of Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson in the Matter of the Final Rule amending the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act's Safeguards Rule
Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan Joined by Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter Regarding Regulatory Review of the Safeguards Rule
In October 2021, the FTC sued Xlear, Inc., a Utah-based company, for violating the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act, alleging that it falsely pitched its saline nasal sprays as an effective way to prevent and treat COVID-19. DOJ filed the complaint on the FTC’s behalf.
The Federal Trade Commission issued an administrative complaint in August 2020 against a marketer, Traffic Jam Events, LLC, and its owner, David J. Jeansonne II (collectively, the "Respondents"), charging multiple counts of deceptive conduct. The administrative complaint mirrors a prior federal court complaint, which the Commission voluntarily dismissed to pursue a broader administrative proceeding. On October 25, 2021, the Commission granted Complaint Counsel’s Motion for Summary Decision and ordered Respondents to cease and desist from such conduct for twenty years.