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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

Linde AG and Praxair, Inc., In the Matter of

In 2019, following a public comment period, the FTC has approved a modified final order requiring industrial gas suppliers Praxair, Inc. and Linde AG to sell assets in nine industrial gases product markets in numerous U.S. geographic markets to four divestiture buyers. The nine product markets in which the Commission alleged harm in its October 2018 complaint are bulk liquid oxygen, bulk liquid nitrogen, bulk liquid argon, bulk liquid carbon dioxide, bulk liquid hydrogen, bulk refined helium, on-site hydrogen, on-site carbon monoxide, and excimer laser gases. In November 2022, the FTC announced the approval of a petition to modify the final order in this case.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
C4660

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

Meta Platforms, Inc./Mark Zuckerberg/Within Unlimited, FTC v.

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.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
221 0040
Docket Number
3:22-CV-04325
Case Status
Pending

ARKO/GPM Investments, In the Matter of

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.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
211 0187
Docket Number
C-4773
Case Status
Pending

JAB Consumer Partners/National Veterinary Associates/SAGE Veterinary Partners, In the Matter of

The Federal Trade Commission imposed strict limits on JAB Consumer Partners’ future acquisitions of specialty and emergency veterinary clinics as a condition of JAB’s proposed $1.1 billion acquisition of specialty and emergency veterinary services provider SAGE Veterinary Partners, LLC. The Commission also alleged that the acquisition was likely to be anticompetitive in three geographic markets, ordering divestitures for various types of veterinary care in and around Austin, Texas, in and around San Francisco, California, and in and between Oakland, Berkeley, and Concord, California, and it ordered divestitures in these market.  On Aug. 5, 2022, the Commission announced the final consent agreement in this matter.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
2110140
Docket Number
C-4766