Dîner en l’honneur de Joshua Wright & Eric Stock

Joshua D. Wright - FTC Commissioner - and Eric Stock - Chief of the NY Attorney General Antitrust Bureau - delivered remarks about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent “reverse payment” settlement decision in FTC v. Actavis at the Concurrences Journal Annual Dinner. A summary of those remarks follows*. Dinner sponsored by Bates & White. Debate chaired by Ilene Gotts - Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Joshua D. Wright (FTC Commissioner)

In June 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in FTC v. Actavis that reverse payment settlement agreements between branded and generic pharmaceutical companies are subject to antitrust scrutiny and should be analyzed under the traditional, but not necessarily full-blown, rule-of-reason. The Court’s decision represents a significant victory for the Federal Trade Commission because it brings these agreements firmly within the scope of the antitrust laws and rejects the “scope of the patent” test.

A critical next step is to begin to answer the important questions left open by Actavis. Although the Court’s decision puts reverse payment settlement cases squarely within the rule-ofreason framework, a key issue going forward is identifying what legal burdens and presumptions apply to the analysis of such agreements. Some commentators believe that although the Court rejected the Commission’s invitation to adopt a truncated analysis, the Court nevertheless implicitly endorsed a “quick-look” treatment of such agreements because the Court’s adoption of the size of the reverse payment as a proxy for market power and anticompetitive effects generally will result in plaintiffs successfully shifting the burden to defendants without a detailed showing.

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  • Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz (New York)
  • George Mason University (Fairfax)
  • Gibson Dunn (New York)
  • Bates White (Washington)