A PYMNTS Company

Big Tobacco Meet Big Antitrust

 |  November 18, 2010

Supreme Court Is Asked to Strike Down Tobacco Settlement

Last week the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based free-market advocacy group, filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement on the grounds it violates federal antitrust laws and is unconstitutional.

The tobacco MSA is the result of 46 state attorneys general striking a deal with the four major tobacco companies in 1998 to settle Medicaid lawsuits over tobacco-related health care costs. Tobacco companies agreed to fork over $246 billion to the states over 25 years and adhere to restrictions on advertising, marketing and promotion of cigarettes.

Never mind that smoking already generates huge sums of tax revenues and saves taxpayers’ dollars on entitlement expenses when smokers die before they can draw benefits.

Read the complete article here: http://bit.ly/cRhfkW