According to foreign reports, according to a document issued by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on April 5, Altria group's acquisition of Juul shares at a price of US $12.8 billion is part of the arrangement to eliminate competition in violation of the federal anti-monopoly law. A California District Court judge said he would likely approve the lawsuit.
The document goes on to say that a series of agreements involve Altria to stop competing for closed system e-cigarettes in the U.S. market in exchange for a substantial ownership interest in Juul, a major player in the market to date.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) called for the withdrawal of the acquisition, and Ian Conner, director of the competition bureau, claimed that Altria and Juul had become partners from competitors.
The Commission said it needed to cancel the 35% share acquisition because it violated the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act through unreasonable trade restrictions.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is not the only one to file a lawsuit in this case. Many plaintiffs have launched similar lawsuits against the antitrust competition practices involved in the transaction.
Today, Judge William Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said in a statement that the plaintiffs in the case have reason to charge facts, support illegal agreements to restrict trade and conspire to do so.
Judge Orlick said he would allow part of the lawsuit to ask Altria to withdraw its 35 per cent stake.
Insiders said Biden's Government may significantly reduce the legally permitted nicotine content in cigarettes, and Altria's shares have been under negative pressure this month.