On December 29, 2008, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) required a divestiture to resolve antitrust concerns with King Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (“King”) $1.6 billion acquisition of Alpharma, Inc. (“Alpharma”). To remedy the situation, the FTC is requiring King to divest Alpharma’s brand Kadian, an oral long-acting opioid (“LAO”) analgesic drug, to Actavis, one of the world’s largest generic drug companies, no later than 10 days of King’s acquisition of Alpharma. According to the FTC, King’s own brand of an oral LAO drug, Avinza, is a close substitute to Kadian for many customers.
On December 19, 2008, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.’s settled charges that its proposed $8.9 billion acquisition of rival generic drug maker Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. would be anticompetitive. The consent order required Teva and Barr to sell assets in 29 relevant markets, including generic drugs commonly used to treat acid reflux disease, various types of cancer, bacterial infections, diabetes, and depression.
On December 18, 2008, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsemi Corporation (“Microsemi”) alleging that Microsemi’s acquisition of Semicoa Inc.’s (“Semicoa”) assets has reduced or eliminated competition for the development, manufacture, sale of certain semiconductor devices used by the U.S. military and space programs, resulting in the increase in the price of these products and a potential decline in quality.
On December 18, 2008, Zul Tejpar, a former employee at Bennett Environmental Industries (“BEI”), a Canadian soil treatment company, pled guilty for defrauding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) at the EPA-designated Superfund site, Federal Creosote in Manville, NJ and agreed to pay a criminal fine of $1 million and help in the ongoing investigation.
On December 15, 2008, ESL Partners (“ESL”) of Greenwich, Conn., and ZAM Holdings (“ZAM”) of New York City, two investment funds with holdings in numerous companies, will pay $525,000 and $275,000, respectively, in civil penalties for violating antitrust pre-merger notification requirements under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 (“HSR Act”).
On December 11, 2008, Cynthia K. Ayer, Bambarg County (South Carolina) School District’s former technology coordinator, pled guilty for her role in a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Communication Commission’s E-Rate Program and agreed to serve two years in jail and pay a criminal fine of $468,496.
NINTH INDIVIDUAL PLEADS GUILTY TO RIGGING BIDS AND VIOLATING THE FCPA IN DOJ’S ONGOING INVESTIGATIO IN MARINE HOSE INDUSTRY
On December 10, 2008, Misao Hioki, general manager of International Engineered Products, pled guilty to his role in a conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices and allocate market shares of marine hose in the United States. He also pled guilty for his role in another conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) by making corrupt payments to government officials in Latin America and elsewhere to obtain and retain business. He has agreed to serve two years in jail, pay a criminal fine of $80,000 and help in the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) investigation.
On December 10, 2008, Randall Lee Rahal, the owner and president of Intramark USA Inc., a New Jersey wholesaler of food ingredients, was charged for his role in conspiracies involving racketeering, price fixing, bid rigging and contract allocation, and with money laundering, in the processed tomato products industry. Mr. Rahal agreed to forfeit $600,000 as well.
On December 4, 2008, the French Competitive Council (“Council”) fined four oil companies, Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon, and Shell, €41.1 million for their role in price fixing of fuel for Air France flights on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion. According to the Council, the four companies violated the European Community Treaty’s Article 81 and a corresponding French law provision.
On December 3, 2008, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) required Republic Services Inc. (“Republic”) and Allied Waste Industries Inc. (“Allied”) to divest to divest 87 commercial waste collection routes, nine landfills and 10 transfer stations for Republic’s $4.5 billion acquisition of Allied to proceed.
On December 1, 2008, Dunlop Oil & Marine Ltd (“Dunlop”), located in Grimsby, England, pled guilty to rigging bids, fixing prices and allocating market shares of marine hose sold in the United States. Dunlop also agreed to pay a $4.54 million criminal fine and cooperate with the DOJ’s ongoing antitrust investigation.