Retailers charge that proposed Visa/MasterCard interchange settlement is unacceptable
ARLINGTON, Va. — Retailers are up in arms over the proposed settlement filed in July of antitrust lawsuits filed by merchants against Visa, MasterCard and the nation’s largest banks. A total of nine associations representing a broad swath of retail industry expressed their reservations to members of Congress on Thursday, charging that their interests were not represented and asking Congress to reject that settlement.
“The proposed settlement, which was negotiated by Visa, MasterCard and lawyers purporting to represent the merchant community, is one-sided and preserves the very anticompetitive actions that were the genesis of the lawsuits," the collective associations suggested. "Quite simply, the proposed settlement is a bad deal for merchants and their customers. While the card networks and their representatives have suggested it is a fait accompli, the growing objections from the merchant community foreshadow the fight that lies ahead as Visa and MasterCard attempt to force the terms of the settlement on nearly 8 million merchants.”
“Given the important oversight role of Congress and your continued interest in this important issue, we write today to urge you to reject the false claims from the card networks and their representatives. The proposed settlement does nothing to resolve the failures in the electronic payment market and continued Congressional involvement in these issues is imperative. We look forward to keeping you fully informed as the legal process moves forward and the chorus of objections grows,” the letter closed.
The letter was signed by the National Association of College Stores, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the National Community Pharmacists Association, the National Cooperative Grocers Association, the National Grocers Association, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America.
Sanofi, TB Alliance to collaborate on tuberculosis drugs
NEW YORK — French drug maker Sanofi announced a deal with the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development to develop drugs for tuberculosis.
The drug maker and the TB Alliance said the deal will include discovery and development of new drug compounds for the disease, which caused almost 1.5 million deaths globally and affected nearly 9 million in 2010, according to the World Health Organization.
Under the agreement, the two will work on several new compounds in Sanofi’s library that have shown effectiveness against the bacterium that causes TB, known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This will include in-depth research of lead compounds and the chemical optimization of compounds that have been identified as hits through high-throughput screening.
Alliance Boots acquires stake in Chinese wholesale market
LONDON — Alliance Boots, under the terms of a strategic alliance agreement signed earlier this week, announced that it will acquire a 12% stake in Nanjing Pharmaceutical for a total consideration of approximately $90.7 million. On completion of the transaction, which is subject to various regulatory approvals, Alliance Boots will be the second largest shareholder in Nanjing Pharmaceutical with board and operational management representation.
"This agreement builds on the success we have already had in China and further strengthens our commitment to the country as well as our willingness to play an active role in the evolution of the market in partnership with the authorities and key players," Alliance Boots executive chairman Stefano Pessina said. "We believe that this strategic investment marks an important step in our long-term development in Asia.”
"By introducing Alliance Boots advanced supply chain management technology and experience, Nanjing Pharmaceutical will be able to improve its management practices, achieve greater performance and help China’s medical industry reach global standards, as well as support the pharmaceutical sector in establishing a vibrant social responsibility," Nanjing chairman Zhou Yaoping said.
Nanjing Pharmaceutical, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, is the fifth-largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in China with sales of around $3.2 billion in 2011.
Alliance Boots first entered the Chinese pharmaceutical distribution market in 2008 through its Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corporation joint venture, which operates in complementary geographies.