The European Commission has blocked a merger that did not meet any European jurisdictional thresholds for the first time. In a case that has seen the Commission pushing at the boundaries of its remit, it has prohibited Illumina’s $8 billion acquisition of GRAIL. Article 22 EUMR The Illumina/GRAIL merger did not meet the thresholds under … Continue reading Illumina/Grail: An unholy war continues
Private equity (PE) is in focus for antitrust authorities. In a merger control context, concerns around roll-up and keeping the bigger picture in mind occupy both Jonathan Kanter at the DOJ and Lina Khan at the FTC. My colleague Stijn Huijts covered this in his 13 June 2022 blog. Consideration of the PE angle is … Continue reading Antitrust and private equity – parental liability rules can allow authorities to claw back profits in UK and Europe
On 21 July 2022 the CMA imposed fines of £63m on Pfizer and £6.7m on Flynn in relation to the excessive pricing of the generic drug phenytoin, an anti-epilepsy drug. This comes nearly six years on from the CMA’s first infringement decision in relation to the conduct. That first decision imposed fines of £84.2m on … Continue reading Phenytoin – was it worth it?
Today the General Court handed down its hotly anticipated judgment in the Illumina/GRAIL merger, deciding that the European Commission has jurisdiction to review the merger. This judgment is hugely consequential, as it confirms that EU Member States have the power to refer mergers to the Commission even when those mergers do not meet the national … Continue reading Legitimately expected: Commission may review Illumina/GRAIL deal
The heads of the two main US antitrust regulators, Jonathan Kanter (US Department of Justice) and Lina Khan (US Federal Trade Committee), each recently expressed an uneasiness about the lack of antitrust scrutiny of private equity (PE) deals. Mr Kanter told the Financial Times that PE firms aim to “hollow out or roll up an … Continue reading Demystifying the antitrust case against private equity
The UK Supreme Court issued an interesting judgment yesterday involving the question whether the CMA should cover a party's litigation costs when that party successfully appeals the CMA’s decision under the Competition Act. The judgment is related to the CMA’s decision to impose penalties on Pfizer and Flynn Pharma for hiking up the prices of … Continue reading The loser still pays – The Supreme Court’s judgment on costs in Phenytoin
Early spring brought us a couple of interesting competition law developments involving France. First, the Court of Appeal in Paris annulled a judgment by a lower court that dismissed a damages action against Sanofi in relation to its practice of “denigration” or “disparagement” of competitors. Next, the European Commission partly referred the McKesson/Phoenix merger to … Continue reading Sanofi and McKesson/Phoenix – Better late than never?
There was an interesting development at the intersection of Big Tech and medical devices in California this week, as Justice Jeffrey S. White largely denied Apple’s motion to dismiss a claim from AliveCor in the US District Court, Northern District of California, alleging that Apple unlawfully monopolised the U.S. market for watchOS heart rate analysis … Continue reading Apple v AliveCor – What it tells us about future MedTech antitrust battles
No-poach and wage-fixing agreements are somewhat of a new trend in antitrust enforcement. The US Department of Justice (DoJ) recently beat a challenge against its first criminal wage fixing case, involving wages for physical therapists. The DoJ has opened two further labour-related cases, also in healthcare. Meanwhile in the EU, the Commission has been vocal … Continue reading No-poach and wage-fixing agreements – Is antitrust game?
The National Security and Investment Act 2021 (NSI Act) comes into force on 4 January 2022. From then, the UK Government will be empowered to call in for review any qualifying acquisition which may give rise to UK national security concerns. The NSI Act captures acquisitions of any size, including in certain cases where minority … Continue reading New UK national security rules – What do they mean for life science investments?