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Antitrust Win for J&J

Johnson & Johnson came out victorious yesterday in a lawsuit filed by Applied Medical Resources Corp. The case claimed that Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon unit engaged in anticompetitive business practices in the trocar market. According to Bloomberg News, Applied Medical accused Johnson & Johnson of using its monopoly on sutures to boost sales of its surgical devices.

The company stated that Ethicon offered discounts on sutures to hospitals that also purchased its trocars and clip appliers. William White, an antitrust lawyer who was quoted in the LA Times article, pointed out that companies who have monopolies walk a "very fine line," as what is legal for a nonmonopolist could be illegal for a monopolist. Applied Medical sued Johnson & Johnson three years ago for $54 million, which could have tripled under antitrust laws.

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