The administrative trial in the matter of Altria Group/JUUL Labs (D-9393) is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 10 a.m. ET, following a pretrial conference on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET. This type of proceeding usually takes place at the Federal Trade Commission’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., but this trial will be completely virtual in light of ongoing public health concerns. The trial will be open to the public, except for those sessions that the Chief Administrative Law Judge orders to be closed, or held in camera. The public will be able to access the proceeding via telephone conference, as follows:
Dialing instructions for pretrial conference:
Access Code: 5137437
Dialing instructions for administrative trial:
Access Code: 9802192
In April 2020, the FTC 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, which 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.