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THE LATEST: FTC Challenges Retail Fuel Station and Convenience Store Transaction— Requires Ten Localized Divestitures in Wisconsin and Minnesota

WHAT HAPPENED: Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (ACT) and its subsidiaries (including Circle K Stores, Inc.) are engaged in the retail sale of gasoline and diesel fuel in the United States, as well as in the operation of convenience stores. ACT is the largest convenience store operator in terms of company-owned stores and is the second-largest chain overall in the United States. Pursuant to an Equity Purchase Agreements, dated July 10, 2017, ACT would acquire, through its wholly owned subsidiary Oliver Acquisition Corp., all of the equity interests of certain Holiday subsidiary companies. The FTC defined the relevant product markets as the retail sale of gasoline and the retail sale of diesel. The FTC defined local geographic markets, identifying ten separate geographic markets in Wisconsin (including Hayward, Siren and Spooner) and Minnesota (including Aitkin, Hibbing, Minnetonka, Mora, Saint Paul and Saint Peter). In its complaint, the FTC stated that the...

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FTC Comment: Minnesota Law Requiring Public Disclosure of Health Care Contract Data Increases Risk of Anticompetitive Behavior

On June 29, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) responded to a request for comment from two Minnesota state legislators concerning recently enacted amendments to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA). Under the amendments, the MGDPA would be expanded to cover all data collected by health maintenance organizations, health plans, and other health services vendors that contract with the state to provide health care services to Minnesota residents. In practice, this means that the confidential terms and conditions of health plans’ contracts with health care providers could be subject to public disclosure. While they commended the “laudable goals” of the MGDPA, the FTC ultimately concluded that the amendments could lead to the disclosure of competitively sensitive information and, therefore, increase the likelihood of anticompetitive behavior. Specifically, there were two major concerns raised in the FTC comment. First, the amendments likely...

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Market Definition Spurs District Court’s Decision Denying Product Ownership Challenge

by Jon B. Dubrow, David Marx, Jr. and Rachael Lewis The Federal District Court in Minnesota recently decided Ovation Pharmaceutical did not violate federal or state antitrust laws when it acquired Indocin IV and NeoProfen, the only two drugs approved for treatment of a specific heart condition that primarily affects premature babies, because the challengers failed to establish that the drugs were in the same product market.  The decision raises significant issues to consider when evaluating antitrust risks in future transactions. To read the full article, please visit: http://www.mwe.com/info/news/ots0910i.htm.  

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