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Antitrust

Lidoderm Packaging

Three settlements resolve class actions against a number of companies:

Sign for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has agreed to pay out nearly $30 million to settle a class action alleging that it had “most favored nation” clauses in its contracts with 70 general acute care hospitals in Michigan. According to the complaint, these clauses violated antitrust laws and inflated the price of health care.

Illustration of Train Braking System

The complaint for this class action alleges that the anti-competitive agreements between rail companies in this case were aimed not at limiting technology or suppressing new products or keeping prices high. They were aimed at limiting competition for workers and keeping wages down. The complaint claims that on April 3, 2018, the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil antitrust action and announced a settlement with two of the defendants in this case, Knorr Brake Company and Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation.

Bottles of Solodyn

The final two defendants in a class action have agreed to settle a class action alleging that a group of companies engaged in anti-competitive behavior. The complaint alleges that Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp.(“Medicis”), Impax Laboratories, Inc., Lupin Limited, Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Sandoz Inc. unlawfully settled patent lawsuits covering the drug Solodyn.

Two Aggrenox Capsules

This settlement is a pricey one for Boehringer Ingelheim, requiring $54 million to settle claims alleging that it delayed the availability of a less-expensive version of its drug Aggrenox through illegal agreements with Barr (later acquired by Teva).

O2 Arena in London

“London’s most essential large concert venue” is the O2 Arena, selling fifty percent more tickets in 2016 than any other arena-sized venue in the world. Why, then, has rock star Ozzy Osbourne filed a class action relating to it? Because, the complaint says, Anschutz Entertainment Group, Inc. (AEG) requires that artists who book the O2 as part of a tour also book the Staples Center for the Los Angeles part of their tours, in what the complaint says is an anti-competitive condition that violates antitrust laws.

DuPont Ti-Pure Titanium Dioxide Paint

EI DuPont de Nemours and Company, Huntsman International, LLC, Kronos Worldwide, Inc. and Cristal USA, Inc. (formerly known as Millennium Inorganic Chemicals, Inc.) are settling a class action alleging that they conspired to keep the price of titanium dioxide architectural paint high, in violation of the Sherman Act antitrust and other laws.

Sign on Building Saying "Henry Schein" and "NASDAQ"

Henry Schein, Inc.’s Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2013 said that “the health care industry has increasingly focused on cost containment” including through the growth of buying groups. But the company seems to have been determined not to give its customers what they wanted. The complaint for this securities class action alleges that the company secretly agreed with competitors to refuse price breaks to buying groups, in violation of antitrust laws, and without disclosing this illegal activity to investors, in violation of Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 

Panasonic Inductor

The US Department of Justice obtained guilty pleas in a recent antitrust case relating to makers of capacitors. Now comes a similar price-fixing case relating to makers of inductors, another type of electronic component, alleging violations of the Sherman Act. The complaint alleges that the defendants, who control 75% of the global market, colluded to raise inductor prices and keep them high.

Colorful Pile of Silicone Wristbands

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating promotional wristbands—or the companies that make them. This class action grew out of that investigation, according to its complaint, which claims that from at least June 2014 to at least June 2016, the defendants used text messages, online messaging platforms, and in-person meetings to conspire to fix prices for wristbands and other customized merchandise.

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