On July 30, 2009, the DOJ announced that it reached a settlement that will require Sapa Holding AB and Indalex Holdings Finance Inc. to divest a North Carolina aluminum sheathing facility in order to proceed with Sapa's proposed $150 million acquisition of Indalex. According to the complaint, the transaction would substantially lessen competition for the manufacture and sale of aluminum sheathing (coiled extruded aluminum tubing) used in the manufacture of high frequency coaxial cable in the United States, resulting in increased prices and reduced quality, service and innovation, had the parties not agreed to the divestiture.
On July 24, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission issued an administrative complaint challenging Carilion Clinic’s August 2008 acquisition of two outpatient clinics in the Roanoke, Virginia, area. Prior to the acquisition, the Center for Advanced Imaging ("CAI") and the Center for Surgical Excellence ("CSE") had strong reputations for offering high-quality care and convenient services at prices much lower than Carilion’s.
Although the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) became functional on April 1, 2008, several other provisions of the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007 (“Competition Act”) have not been notified. According to the Indian legislative process, the Act, even though passed by the Parliament, has to be notified by the President of India to become functional. Section 66 of the Competition Act requires the dissolution of the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (“MRTPC”), which to this point was the erstwhile competition authority in the country. This section has not been notified. As a result, there has been a multiplicity of regulators. The CCI has already begun seeing cases with is first formal complaint of “cartelization” coming from the Multiplex Association of India against the United Producers and Distributors Forum, Association of Motion Pictures and TV Program Producers; and Film and TV Producers Guild of India. However, the MRTPC is also continuing to take cases (at least 30 a month).
In addition, even though the merger control regulations, under the Competition Act, 2002 were issued in January 2008, they are yet to be enacted. As such there seems to be some overlap regarding the role of the CCI in merger regulations as well.
On July 17, 2009, Patriot Services Inc. (“Patriot”), a temporary staffing company used by various government agencies and departments, and its owner/president, Stephanie Blackmon, pled guilty to making a false statement to the U.S. Small Business Association (“SBA”).
Although Ms. Blackmon was officially the owner/president of Patriot from November 2003, the operations of Patriot was actually run by Ms. Blackmon’s former employer who also ran other temporary staffing companies. Specifically, Ms. Blackmon admitted to providing false statements so that Patriot could receive a certification under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act. This certification, designated for small businesses run by economically and socially disadvantaged people, qualified Patriot to receive government contracts specifically set aside for 8(a) companies. Since Ms. Blackmon is an African-American, Patriot qualified for the certification. In addition, Patriot also used Ms. Blackmon’s status as a service-disabled veteran to receive other contracts as well. The government had awarded Patriot $5.4 million in contracts.
On July 6, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) modified a 2004 consent order against Aspen Technology, Inc. (“Aspen Tech”).
On May 31, 2002, Aspen Tech consummated a $106.1 million acquisition of Hyprotech, Ltd., its closest competitor in developing and supplying certain specialized engineering
process simulation software products, according to the FTC. In August 2003, the FTC challenged the acquisition stating that the transaction would violate antitrust statutes and lessen competition in several U.S. software markets. In July 2004, Aspen Tech, through an FTC consent order, was required to divest software assets to Honeywell International, Inc. (“Honeywell”).
On July 6, 2009, Robert P. Griffiths, a former executive at Bennett Environmental Inc (“BEI”), a Canadian company that provides soil treatment, pled guilty to charges for paying kickbacks and committing fraud at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Superfund-site Federal Creosote in New Jersey. Mr. Griffiths also pled guilty to money laundering charges and obstruction of an impeding proceeding by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
On July 1, 2009, First Lieutenant Robert Moore (Ret.), plead guilty to conspiracy and bribery charges. Mr. Moore accepted money from contracts in exchange for Department of Defense (“DOD”) contracts at the Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan (“Bagram”). He also falsified the number of bunkers and barriers delivered to Bagram, causing the DOD to pay for bunkers and barriers it never received. Mr. Moore also falsified the damages to leased vehicles at Bagram causing the DOD to pay for repairs performed or not needed.