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Bayer Faces US Antitrust Suit Over Pet Meds Competition

 |  May 2, 2024

An antitrust ruling unsealed on Wednesday has paved the way for life-sciences behemoth Bayer to confront a lawsuit alleging anti-competitive behavior in the market for tick and flea meds for pets. U.S. District Judge Beth Freeman, presiding over the case in San Jose, California, deemed that the plaintiff, pet products company Tevra, presented adequate evidence to warrant a trial.

According to Reuters, Tevra accuses a former unit of Bayer, a German multinational corporation, of engaging in maneuvers designed to stifle competition for alternative tick and flea treatments. The lawsuit contends that Bayer collaborated with retailers and distributors to impede the entry of Tevra’s generic, cost-effective pet medications into the market.

Bayer, however, denies any wrongdoing. The conglomerate deferred requests for comment on the recent ruling to Elanco Animal Health, which acquired Bayer’s animal health business in a $7.6 billion transaction five years ago.

Elanco, not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, refrained from immediate comment regarding the ruling. Nonetheless, in a partial victory for Bayer, Judge Freeman stipulated that the plaintiffs could not pursue damages beyond July 31, 2020, the date Bayer exited the animal health market.

The trial for this high-stakes case is slated for July, promising to shed further light on the intricate dynamics of the pet medication industry. According to an expert for the plaintiffs cited by Reuters, Americans annually expend billions of dollars on tick and flea treatments for their beloved pets, underscoring the significance of the legal showdown between Tevra and Bayer.

Omaha-based Tevra initiated legal proceedings against Bayer in 2019, seeking compensation exceeding $76 million for alleged lost profits stemming from the sale of its generic topical imidacloprid, a key ingredient in tick and flea treatment for both cats and dogs.

Source: Reuters