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Open Access An Analysis of the FTC's Attempt to Stop the Altria-Juul Labs Deal

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On 20 December 2018, Altria, the largest US cigarette company, announced an offer for a 35% share of the large and rapidly growing vaping product company, Juul Labs. On 2 April, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission issued a complaint that the deal was anticompetitive and should be voided. This paper analyzes the deal. We find that the deal gives Altria market power in the e-cigarette market through its support of Juul in retail stores and through the agreement not to otherwise compete in the e-cigarette market. The deal also has implications for its marketing of heated tobacco product IQOS and generally may provide Altria greater control of the broader nicotine delivery product market.

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Document Type: Commentary

Publication date: July 2020

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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