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The Antitrust Week In Review

Posted  April 19, 2021

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

4th Circuit revives antitrust claims against Actelion over Tracleer pricing.  The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday revived a proposed class action against Janssen’s Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd accusing the company of extending its patent monopoly on its pulmonary artery hypertension drug Tracleer past the patent’s expiration date. A three-judge 4th Circuit panel found that claims brought by the City of Baltimore and the Government Employees Health Association, a healthcare provider for federal workers, shouldn’t have been found to be time-barred by U.S. District Judge George Russell in Baltimore. “At Janssen, we cooperate with generic manufacturers so they have access to our medicines at reasonable, market-based prices,” Janssen spokeswoman Natalia Salomao said. “Following today’s decision, we intend to defend our position in court.”

Aon, seeking EU nod on $30 billion Willis bid, offers to sell assets -source. Insurance broker Aon has offered to sell assets in several EU countries and the reinsurance unit of takeover target Willis Towers Watson to gain EU antitrust approval for its $30 billion acquisition bid, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday. Aon, which clinched the deal a year ago to create the world’s largest insurance broker ahead of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc, submitted concessions to the European Union’s competition watchdog last Friday, an EU filing showed. The sector’s biggest-ever deal comes as insurers grapple with rising claims and new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

Alibaba Will Lower Merchant Fees After Antitrust Fine. Two days after Chinese regulators fined the e-commerce giant Alibaba $2.8 billion for placing illegal restrictions on the vendors on its shopping sites, the company said it would lower the fees it charges such merchants and invest in new services for them. “We will incur additional cost,” Alibaba’s chief executive, Daniel Zhang, said on Monday during a conference call with analysts. “We don’t view this as a one-off cost. We view this as a necessary investment to enable our merchants to have a better operation on our platform.”

Edited by Gary J. Malone

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues,