On January 18, the Commission announced its challenge to Hospira Inc.’s (“Hospira”) proposed $2 billion acquisition of rival drug manufacturer Mayne Pharma Ltd. (“Mayne”), along with an agreement and order requiring the companies to sell assets used to manufacture and supply five generic injectable pharmaceuticals in order for the transaction to proceed. Absent relief, the FTC charged that the deal would violate U.S. competition laws.
FTC Provides Senate Testimony on Anticompetitive Patent Settlements in the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry
On January 17, testifying before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the subject of anticompetitive patent settlements in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz said that recent court cases have made it more difficult to bring antitrust cases to stop exclusion payment settlements between brand manufacturers and their generic competitors, and that “the impact of the court rulings is becoming evident in the marketplace.”
On January 9, the Commission received a petition from Service Corporation International (SCI) and Alderwoods Group, Inc. seeking approval to divest the properties listed below under three sale agreements, to KAG, LLC, which, prior to the closing of the transaction, will be a subsidiary of NorthStar Memorial Group, LLC.
On January 8th, a payment processor violated federal law when it debited, or tried to debit, more than $9.9 million from consumers’ bank accounts – at $139 each – without their approval. According to a complaint the FTC filed in federal court, Nevada-based InterBill Ltd. acted on behalf of a fraudulent enterprise known as “Pharmacycards.com.” In 2004 the FTC charged Pharmacycards with debiting millions of dollars from consumers’ checking accounts, without their consent, for nonexistent discount pharmacy cards.
On January 5, the Commission received a petition from Service Corporation International (SCI) and Alderwoods Group, Inc. seeking approval to divest a range of funeral home and cemetery services companies. Through this petition, a public version of which can be found on the Commission’s Web site as a link to this press release, the companies have requested approval to divest Parnick Jennings Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Cartersville, Georgia, to Rollings Funeral Service, Inc.
Federal Trade Commission Reaches New Year’s Resolutions with Four Major Weight-Control Pill Marketers
The FTC filed complaints on January 4th, in four separate cases alleging that weight-loss and weight-control claims were not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Marketers of the four products –Xenadrine EFX, CortiSlim, TrimSpa, and One-A-Day WeightSmart –settled with the FTC, surrendered cash and other assets worth at least $25 million, and agreed to limit their future advertising claims.