The Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (Act), 15 U.S.C. 18a, added section 7A to the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, 15 U.S.C. 12 et seq., to establish notification and waiting requirements for large acquisitions and mergers. The principal purpose of the Act is to facilitate Government identification of mergers and acquisitions likely to violate federal antitrust laws before the proposed deals are consummated. In 2013, the FTC modified its reportable asset acquisition regulations to clarify that, even if patent holders retain limited manufacturing rights or co-rights, transfers of patent rights within the pharmaceutical industry constitute reportable asset acquisitions if all commercially significant rights are transferred. PhRMA filed suit challenging the FTC's Rule and the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the FTC. The court concluded that the Rule does not violate the plain terms of the Act; the court owes deference to the FTC because the contested rule embodies a permissible construction of the Act; and the Commission's action also survives review under the arbitrary and capricious standard. Because the FTC's action is supported by reasoned decisionmaking and PhRMA's claims are without merit, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Pharmaceutical Research v. FTC" on Justia Law
Justia U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries
Plaintiff, CHW, was the surviving entity after a merger between Marian and the hospitals previously constituting CHW. Plaintiff's claim related to depreciation taken by Marian in the years before the merger. Plaintiff argued that the merger transaction revealed the inadequacy of that depreciation and that, under the statute and regulations applicable to the merger, the deficiency was subject to recoupment as part of Medicare providers' general entitlement to compensation for the "reasonable cost" of services rendered, 42 U.S.C. 1395f(b)(1). The Secretary rejected the claim, reasoning that the implicit selling price showed a transfer for much less than Marian's true worth, so that the merger did not present a "bona fide sale" between "unrelated parties," a prerequisite for use of the transaction as evidence that the prior depreciation had been inadequate. The court concluded that, under the valuation methods permitted prior to the Program Memorandum at issue and in fact championed by plaintiff here and in the administrative proceedings, there was a gross disparity between Marian's value and the implicit price paid. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's judgment affirming the Secretary. View "Catholic Healthcare West v. Sebelius" on Justia Law
In 1995, two non-profit hospitals consolidated to form Pinnacle. Pinnacle subsequently submitted a Medicare reimbursement claim for the losses the hospitals had incurred through the sale of their depreciable assets in the consolidation. The Administrator denied Pinnacle's claim, and that order became the final decision of the Secretary. On Pinnacle's Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., challenge, the district court upheld the Secretary's decision in full. Because the Secretary's interpretation of the relevant Medicare regulations was not plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation, the court concluded that the Secretary reasonably applied the bona fide sale requirement to a reimbursement request from a participant in a "statutory merger." The court also held that the Secretary's finding that the bona fide sale requirement applied to consolidations involving non-profit Medicare providers, like Pinnacle, was not plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation. Finally, substantial evidence supported the Secretary's finding that Pinnacle did not satisfy the bona fide sale requirement. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "Pinnacle Health Hospitals v. Sebelius" on Justia Law
Forsyth Memorial Hospital, Inc. and other providers (collectively "appellants") appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Secretary of Health and Human Services ("HHS") upholding the denial of their reimbursement claims arising from the merger of Presbyterian Health Services Corporation ("Presbyterian") and Carolina Medicorp, Inc. ("Carolina"). At issue was whether the denial of the reimbursement claims was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, contrary to law, or unsupported by substantial evidence. The court affirmed the denial of the reimbursement claims and held that the district court properly concluded that it was neither arbitrary and capricious nor contrary to law for the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("Administrator") to find that appellants were not entitled to reimbursement where, in the merger between Carolina and Presbyterian, no bona fide sale took place and the parties were related.