The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Mylan May Have Violated Antitrust Law in Its EpiPen Sales to Schools. Schools across the country keep EpiPens in their nurses’ offices in case a student has a severe allergic reaction. For years, Mylan Pharmaceuticals has been selling the devices to schools at a discounted price, giving them a break from rising costs. But the program also prohibited schools from buying competitors’ devices — a provision that experts say may have violated antitrust law.
Uber Wins Halt to N.Y. Price-Fixing Lawsuit During Appeal. A federal judge on Friday granted a request by Uber Technologies Inc. and its chief executive officer to put a passenger’s price-fixing lawsuit against them on hold while they appeal his refusal to let them arbitrate the dispute. Calling his decision a “close call,” U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan said the defendants had not made a “strong showing” that their appeal would likely succeed, though they would face irreparable harm if arbitration were wrongfully denied. But he said the appeals court could clarify whether Spencer Meyer, the Connecticut plaintiff, and others like him consent to arbitration when they buy services subject to conditions in “clickwrap” and “browsewrap” agreements found online.
Senate Committee to Scrutinize DuPont-Dow Merger. The head of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has called for hearings next month on the proposed merger between the DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical, as well as on broader issues of consolidation within the seed and chemical industry. Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Wednesday that Iowans are concerned that consolidation could result in higher production costs in an already declining agriculture economy. The deal is being scrutinized by Justice Department and European antitrust authorities.
Tesla Wins U.S. Antitrust Approval to Buy SolarCity. Tesla Motors Inc. has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy solar panel installer SolarCity Corp., moving closer to its goal of creating a carbon-free energy and transportation company. The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday that the deal was approved. It was on a list of proposed transactions that were granted quickly because the merging partners have few or no overlaps.