The Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general sued Amazon alleging that the online retail and technology company is a monopolist that uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power. The FTC and its state partners say Amazon’s actions allow it to stop rivals and sellers from lowering prices, degrade quality for shoppers, overcharge sellers, stifle innovation, and prevent rivals from fairly competing against Amazon.
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Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan Regarding the Petition for Recusal from Involvement in the Proposed Merger Between Meta Platforms, Inc. and Within Unlimited, Inc. (Approved for Publication by Commission Vote)
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.
The Federal Trade Commission required energy pipeline and storage companies Buckeye Partners, L.P. and Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. to divest to U.S. Venture, Inc. petroleum terminals in the two states as a condition of Buckeye’s $435 million proposed acquisition of 26 Magellan terminals. The complaint alleged that without a remedy, the acquisition would harm competition for terminaling services both for all LPPs, and for gasoline specifically, in North Augusta, South Carolina; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Montgomery, Alabama. The complaint alleged that in all three geographic markets, the acquisition would eliminate the close competition between Buckeye and Magellan, increase the likelihood of collusive or coordinated interaction between the remaining competitors, reduce the number of terminaling options for third-party customers, and increase prices for terminaling services. On Aug. 9, 2022, the Commission announced the final consent agreement in this matter.
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.
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 suit in federal court, to block the proposed $350 million acquisition by Memphis-based Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare of two Memphis-area hospitals, known as Saint Francis, owned by Dallas-based healthcare system Tenet Healthcare Corporation. The complaint alleges that the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition in the Memphis area for a broad range of inpatient medical and surgical diagnostic and treatment services that require an overnight hospital stay, known as inpatient general acute care services, sold to commercial insurers and their insured members. According to the complaint, if the proposed acquisition is consummated, healthcare costs will rise, and the incentive to expand service offerings, invest in technology, improve access to care, and focus on quality of health care provided in the Memphis area will diminish. On Dec. 23, 2020, the parties announced that they were abandoning the acquisition.
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