Health Law Highlights

FTC Seeks to Secure First Disgorgement in Nearly a Decade

Summary of article by Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP:

The FTC announced that Cardinal Health, Inc. has agreed to pay $26.8 million to settle allegations of anticompetitive behavior, marking the agency’s first disgorgement in a competition case in nearly a decade. The Complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, accuses Cardinal of monopolizing the radiopharmaceuticals market by securing exclusive distribution rights to essential heart perfusion agents from Bristol-Myers Squibb and General Electric, thus impeding competition in 25 geographic markets. The Commission’s decision to pursue disgorgement was narrowly approved by a 3-to-2 vote, with dissenting Commissioners arguing insufficient evidence of antitrust violations and lack of clear guidance on disgorgement policies. Traditionally reserved for severe antitrust breaches like price fixing, this use of disgorgement could signal a shift in enforcement strategies, though it may also be specific to the unique circumstances of this case. The settlement awaits federal court approval.