On May 27, the Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint o block CSL Limited’s proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corporation. The administrative complaint alleges that the deal would be illegal and would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. markets for four plasma-derivative protein therapies – Immune globulin (Ig), Albumin, Rho-D, and Alpha-1. These therapies are used to treat patients suffering from illnesses such as primary immunodeficiency diseases, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, alpha-1 antitrypsin disease, and hemolytic disease of the newborn.
On May 3,2004, the Department of Justice's ("DOJ") Antitrust Division, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"), filed two civil suits against alleged violators of pre-merger notification filing requirements under the Hart-Scott-Rodino ("HSR") Act of 1976. The HSR Act imposes notification and waiting period requirements on individuals and companies over a certain size before they can consummate acquisitions of stock or assets valued at more than $50 million. The purpose of the HSR Act is to provide federal antitrust enforcement agencies an opportunity to investigate proposed transactions and determine whether the transactions would violate the antitrust laws. If the reviewing agency determines that a transaction violates the antitrust laws, it may seek to block that transaction before the waiting period expires. Therefore, the antitrust agencies take HSR violations very seriously, even ones where no competition overlaps exist. Indeed, a party is subject to a maximum civil penalty of $11,000 a day for each day it is in violation of the HSR Act.
On May 19, 2009, Ronald Douglas Matheny II, the former product merchant in Home Depot’s flooring department, pled guilty to his role in a conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and a conspiracy to commit money laundering connected to a scheme to defraud his former employer, Home Depot.
Mr. Matheny was employed with Home Depot from May 1987 to July 2007. He was responsible for locating outside firms to facilitate the displays of flooring merchandise in all of Home Depot’s retail stores. He and un-named co-conspirators sold items for re-sale to Home Depot and supplied services to Home Depot on less than advantageous terms. For this Mr. Matheny received approximately $1.5 million in kickbacks from his co-conspirators.
On May 14, 2009, Melissa Deaton Tesvich, ex-wife of former Home Depot employee, Anthony Tesvich, who pled guilty for one count of wire fraud, herself pled guilty to one count of filing a false tax return.
According to the Department of Justice, Ms. Tesvich filed a joint federal tax return for 2005 where she underreported her taxable income by $1.07 million and underreported taxes owed to the U.S. government by approximately $385,000. Ms. Tesvich was also served as a bookkeeper and assisted her husband in his side businesses.
On May 11, 2009, Christine A. Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division, delivered her first speech at an event sponsored by the Center for American Progress. The speech, entitled "Vigorous Antitrust Enforcement in this Challenging Era," confirms that the new administration intends be much more active role than the Bush administration in terms of antitrust enforcement. Her speech primarily focused on the Department's approach to enforcing Section 2 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits monopolization or attempts to monopolize.
On May 4, 2009, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) reached a settlement with Consolidated Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (“CMLS”) that requires CMLS to change its rules to allow for increased competition between low-priced, innovative real estate brokers compete with traditional real estate brokers in the Columbia, South Carolina market.
PRESIDENT OF DEFENSE CONTRACTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD U.S. NAVY IN ONGOING INVESTIGATION INTO MILITARY RESTRAINT INDUSTRY
On May 1, 2009, Thomas J. DeGirolamo, owner and president of a designing and manufacturing firm, pled guilty for his role in a conspiracy to allocate a U.S. Navy contract for navy straps.
Navy straps are a type of equipment used by the U.S. Navy to tiedown munitions and other equipment for transport on ships and airplanes.
The conspiracy took place between March 2004 and November 2007. This is the 11th indictment to arise from an ongoing investigation into the military restraint industry. Military restraint equipment is used to tie down and secure vehicles, aircraft, munitions, shipping containers, and other specialized military cargo requirements for transportation.