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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  June 1, 2015

Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.

Teva Settles Cephalon Generics Case With F.T.C. for $1.2 Billion.  The Federal Trade Commission has announced that its seven-year lawsuit against Cephalon, now owned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, would be settled for $1.2 billion, the largest amount ever secured by the competition watchdog.  The settlement resolves the FTC’s charges that Cephalon bought off generic drug makers selling far cheaper versions of Provigil, Cephalon’s prescription drug for sleep disorders.

Apple loses bid to disqualify antitrust monitor – U.S. court.    The U.S. Court of Appeals has rejected Apple’s bid to disqualify an antitrust compliance monitor appointed after the technology giant was found liable for conspiring with five publishers to raise e-book prices.  Although the appellate court said some of the charges against monitor Michael Bromwich gave it “pause,” the court held that Judge Denise Cote did not abuse her discretion in rejecting Apple’s bid to end his two-year appointment early.

As Facebook Sweeps Across Europe, Regulators Gird for Battle.  In recent months, European regulators have placing Facebook under the microscope.  While one arm of the European Union is looking into whether Facebook and other tech companies unfairly favor their own services over those of rivals, at least five data protection watchdogs across the region are questioning Facebook’s privacy settings.  Plus, in a case that could have broad implications for many tech companies, the European Union’s top court will issue a preliminary decision next month on whether Facebook can continue transferring user data between Europe and the United States.

Reynolds American wins U.S. antitrust approval to buy rival Lorillard.   Reynolds American has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy smaller rival Lorillard in a $27.4 billion deal that would combine the No. 2 and No. 3 U.S. cigarette companies.  The Federal Trade Commission said it would allow the acquisition to go forward on condition that the companies sell four cigarette brands – Winston, Kool, Salem and Maverick, which will be purchased by Imperial Tobacco Group.

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