Here are some of the developments in antitrust news this past week that we found interesting and are following
U.S. Appeals Court Blocks Anthem Bid to Merge with Rival Cigna. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday blocked health insurer Anthem Inc.’s bid to merge with Cigna, upholding a lower court’s decision that the $54 billion deal should not be allowed because it would lead to higher prices for healthcare. The ruling will probably kill the proposed merger, which was opposed by the U.S. Justice Department, 11 states and a District Court judge after consumers, medical professionals and others objected to it. In the end, Cigna itself tried to back out. Still, Anthem and Cigna have the option of trying to save the deal by asking the appeals court to re-consider the case or appealing straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
How Trump’s Pick for Top Antitrust Cop May Shape Competition. Makan Delrahim, the nominee for chief antitrust cop at the Justice Department, was 10 when his family immigrated to the United States from Iran as Jewish political refugees. Unable to speak English, he struggled to keep up in school. He worked afternoons and weekends at his father’s gas station near Los Angeles until college. As a young Senate staff member years later, Mr. Delrahim found those early experiences had laid the foundation for his conservative views.
Sanofi Files U.S. Antitrust Lawsuit Against Mylan Over EpiPen. France’s Sanofi SA on Monday sued Mylan NV, accusing the pharmaceutical company of engaging in illegal conduct to squelch competition to its EpiPen allergy treatment, which has been at the center of a public debate over drug prices. In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, Sanofi said Mylan caused it to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in sales by erecting barriers to U.S. consumers’ access to and use of a rival product, Auvi-Q. In particular, Sanofi said Mylan offered rebates to insurers, pharmaceutical benefit managers and state Medicaid agencies conditioned on Auvi-Q not being an epinephrine auto-injector device they would reimburse for use by consumers.
FTC Allows Sycamore to Sell Family Dollar Stores to Dollar General. The Federal Trade Commission gave a private equity firm approval on Thursday to sell to Dollar General Corp 323 stores that Sycamore purchased as part of a divestiture package two years ago, the agency said on Thursday. Sycamore Partners II, LP bought the stores in 2015 when Dollar Tree was forced to sell shops in 35 states to win antitrust approval to buy the Family Dollar chain in what was then a $9.2 billion deal. Sycamore, which had created Dollar Express LLC to run the business, asked the FTC to approve the stores’ transfer to competitor Dollar General (DG.N) in March and said in a document filed with the FTC that the chain could “no longer viably operate as a standalone business.”