The Antitrust Week In Review
Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following.
Illumina wins fast-track appeal of FTC order to offload Grail. A U.S. appeals court said it will accelerate reviewing Illumina Inc’s challenge to a federal agency order requiring the biotechnology company to divest cancer diagnostic test maker Grail LLC. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling over the objection of the Federal Trade Commission. The agency said Illumina had not shown why the appeals court needed to speed up its consideration of the antitrust dispute. San Diego-based Illumina, which specializes in gene sequencing, is appealing an April 3 FTC order that said the company’s $7.1 billion acquisition of Grail will curb competition in the cancer-testing market.
Gucci Raid Part of Growing E.U. Antitrust Scrutiny of Fashion. Between staging glossy runway shows and dressing stars for the red carpet, Gucci is a company accustomed to the glare of the spotlight. Last week, however, that attention might have felt less comfortable after its Italian offices were raided by European Union antitrust officials. The unannounced inspection was the latest in a series of regulatory actions, as antitrust officials ratchet up scrutiny of the fashion industry over possible anticompetitive practices. In March, the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, carried out investigations into several beauty and fragrance companies linked to the supply of fragrance ingredients.
U. Chicago first to settle financial aid price-fixing claims in U.S. court. The University of Chicago will become the first school among 17 prominent colleges to settle claims that they conspired for many years to restrict financial aid and overcharged students by billions of dollars in violation of U.S. antitrust law. The preliminary settlement between the private liberal arts university and the plaintiffs was disclosed in a court filing, and it was the first pact in the lawsuit since it was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois last year.
FTC sues to stop the integration of New Orleans-area hospitals. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it sued to block Louisiana Children’s Medical Center from integrating three competing hospitals it recently acquired, saying it failed to report the acquisition to federal authorities. LCMC and HCA Healthcare “defied federal law by consummating the $150 million acquisition without reporting it to U.S. antitrust authorities and without observing the mandatory waiting period,” the FTC said.
Edited by Gary J. Malone