The Antitrust Bulletin
horizontal mergers, monopolies, hospitals, drugs, price competition, Lundbeck, pharmaceuticals, market definition
In FTC v. Lundbeck, the Eighth Circuit affirmed a bench verdict finding a merger to monopoly, followed by a 1400% price increase, not only legal, but effectively not even subject to antitrust. The result followed from the district court's view that peculiarities in the market for hospital-administered drugs rendered it essentially immune from price competition. That being the case, the court found that even products very plainly substitutable on any traditional "functional interchangeability" analysis are not in the same "relevant market" for purposes of rules governing horizontal mergers. We think the court's analysis was incorrect for a number of factual reasons, but stress that, much more importantly, a case like Lundbeck calls for return to traditionally broad, prophylactic rules.
Sagers, Chris and Brunell, Richard M., "FTC v. Lundbeck: Is Anything in Antitrust Obvious, Like, Ever?" (2014). Law Faculty Articles and Essays. 796.