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Feds seek breakup of Altria-Juul deal on antitrust grounds

Posted at 12:26 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 12:26:21-04

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday sued to break up the multibillion-dollar partnership between tobacco giant Altria and e-cigarette startup Juul Labs.

In a legal filing Wednesday, the watchdog agency said the financial and business dealings between the companies amounted to an agreement not to compete.

Marlboro-cigarette maker Altria initially competed against Juul in the vaping market.

But in late 2018, the company pulled its e-cigarettes and purchased a one-third stake in Juul at the cost of nearly $13 billion.

The legal complaint alleges that the agreement violated U.S. antitrust laws.