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.