The united states trade watchdog said Wednesday it had sued Altria and Juul over a $12.8 billion e-cigarette deal which presumably breached antitrust legislation.
Based on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the businesses produced string of agreements that eradicated competition surrounding tobacco giant Altria’s purchase of a 35 % stake in Juul, the once high-flying vaping brand.
“for quite some time, Altria and Juul had been rivals in the market for closed-system e-cigarettes,” the FTC stated in a declaration announcing it had filed a complaint that is administrative the set.
“By the finish of 2018, Altria orchestrated its exit through the e-cigarette market and became Juul’s biggest investor,” added Ian Conner, through the FTC’s bureau of competition.
“Altria and Juul switched from rivals to collaborators by removing competition and sharing in Juul’s profits.”
In late January, Altria, the master of Marlboro along with other leading smoking brands, slashed the value of its stake in Juul while the e-cigarette business encountered legal actions and a regulatory crackdown.
Altria announced the $4.1 billion write-down on its Juul investment, which adopted a move that is similar October that whacked $4.5 billion from the value on its publications. (more…)