April 09, 2020

On April 1, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or the Commission) voted 5-0 to challenge Altria Group’s acquisition of a 35% stake in e-cigarette vendor JUUL Labs.[1]  The Commission has published a public version of the complaint[2] and an administrative trial is scheduled to commence on January 5, 2021.  This appears to be the first time the Commission has filed an administrative complaint to unwind a minority stake in a competitor without a simultaneous antitrust settlement.  In other words, this has the potential to be the first FTC litigated case against a minority investment.

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