In re Rotavirus Vaccines Antitrust Litigation

The Third Circuit ruled that the District Court should have compelled Sugartown Pediatrics, Schwartz Pediatrics, and Margiotti & Kroll Pediatrics (the Pediatricians) to arbitrate their claim that Merck’s vaccine bundling scheme was anticompetitive. The Pediatricians filed federal suits alleging Merck’s vaccine bundling program was anticompetitive. Merck responded with a motion to compel arbitration based on an arbitration clause in its contracts with the Physician Buying Groups (PBGs). The District Court denied the motion. The Third Circuit reversed, holding that “Schwartz Pediatrics made the PBG its agent by contract, then the PBG used its authority to bind Schwartz to the arbitration clause. Sugartown and Margiotti & Kroll must arbitrate because their PBG had apparent authority to bind them to the arbitration clause with Merck.”

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