Justia Antitrust & Trade Regulation Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al.
This case involved a type of patent litigation settlement known as a "pay for delay" or "reverse payment" agreement. In this type of settlement, a patent holder paid the allegedly infringing generic drug company to delay entering the market until a specified date, thereby protecting the patent monopoly against a judgment that the patent was invalid or would not be infringed by the generic competitor. This case began when the FTC filed a complaint in district court alleging that the reverse payment settlements between the holder of a drug patent and two generic manufacturers of the drug were unfair restraints on trade that violated federal antitrust laws. The court's precedent established the rule that, absent sham litigation or fraud in obtaining the patent, a reverse payment settlement was immune from antitrust attack so long as its anticompetitive effects fell within the scope of the exclusionary potential of the patent. The court rejected the FTC's claims to the contrary and affirmed the judgment. View "FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al." on Justia Law
Federal Trade Comm’n v. Phoebe Putney Health Sys., et al.
The Commission brought this action to obtain a preliminary injunction against appellees, alleging that the Authority's purchase of Palmyra would create a monopoly in the relevant market. The district court dismissed the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6), holding that appellees were entitled to the state-action immunity. The Commission appealed. The court agreed with the Commission that, on the facts alleged, the joint operation of Memorial and Palmyra would substantially lessen competition or tend to create, if not create, a monopoly. The court held, however, that the acquisition of Palmyra and its subsequent operation at the Authority's behest by PPHS were authorized pursuant to a clearly articulated state policy to displace competition. Consequently, the execution of the plan was protected by state-action immunity. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court was affirmed. View "Federal Trade Comm'n v. Phoebe Putney Health Sys., et al." on Justia Law
CompuCredit Holdings Corp. v. Akanthos Capital Mgmt, LLC, et al.
Plaintiff brought suit alleging antitrust violations against a number of hedge funds (defendants) that held convertible senior notes issued by plaintiff. Plaintiff claimed that defendants acted collectively to force plaintiff to pay above-market prices to redeem its notes early, thus violating the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1. The court found that the behavior of defendants alleged by plaintiff did not constitute a violation of the Sherman Act. The cases that plaintiff offered in support of its position were factually distinguishable from and thus irrelevant to the current dispute, and the court found no other case law that would support the proposition that the actions alleged were illegal under the Sherman Act. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court. View "CompuCredit Holdings Corp. v. Akanthos Capital Mgmt, LLC, et al." on Justia Law
Trailer Bridge, Inc. v. Illinois Nat’l Ins. Co.
Trailer Bridge appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Illinois National on Trailer Bridge's complaint, alleging that Illinois National failed to defend Trailer Bridge in an underlying antitrust action and thereby breached its commercial general liability insurance policy issued to Trailer Bridge for the year July 2004 to July 2005. The central issue on appeal was whether the CEO's statement triggered the duty to defend under the "personal and advertising injury" provision in the policy. After review and oral argument, the court held that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment for Illinois National for the reasons set forth in the district court's order, which the court adopted as its own. In particular, the court agreed with the district court's rejection of Trailer Bridge's argument that the CEO's statement deployed the advertising idea of "another." The court rejected Trailer Bridge's contention that the use of a co-defendant's idea could qualify as an "offense" under the policy. The underlying plaintiffs sought only antitrust damages; they did not seek to impose any legal obligations upon the insured to pay them damages "because of . . . advertising injury." No facts were alleged in the underlying complaint on the basis of which the underlying plaintiffs might have recovered damages "because of . . advertising injury"; and the underlying plaintiffs could not have recovered such damages because the allegedly misappropriated "advertising idea" was not that of the underlying plaintiffs, but rather was alleged to have been the advertising idea of other parties altogether. View "Trailer Bridge, Inc. v. Illinois Nat'l Ins. Co." on Justia Law