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Market Extra: AbbVie says it will appeal $448 million antitrust judgment

AbbVie Inc. says it's going to enchantment a $448 million judgment filed through the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that the pharmaceutical manufacturer and its spouse overcharged shoppers for a testosterone drug.

“We are upset through the ruling. We consider our habits was lawful and the damages award is incorrect. We intend to enchantment,” said an AbbVie spokeswoman, Toni Haubert in an emailed commentary to MarketWatch.

In 2014, the FTC charged that Chicago-based AbbVie and its spouse Besins Healthcare Inc. blocked shopper access to lower-cost variations of the testosterone replacement drug AndroGel.

The FTC accused AbbVie of the use of “sham litigation” to take care of its monopoly. AbbVie has in the past denied the allegations and the breakdown of aid between AbbVie and Besins wasn’t immediately clear. “This determination is a double victory, each for sufferers who depend on AndroGel and for competition more widely,” said FTC chairman Joe Simons in a commentary on Friday.

“It sends a clear sign that pharmaceutical firms can’t use baseless litigation to prevent competition from cheap generics.”

The determination passed down within the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania is the biggest monetary award in a litigated FTC antitrust case, the company said.

AbbVie inventory ABBV, +zero.24% closed up zero.2% to $92.65 on Friday. AbbVie shares are down 4.2% this year, whilst the S&P 500 index SPX, +zero.08% won 1.7%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +zero.23% lost 1.8%.

Max A. Cherney is a MarketWatch technology reporter based in San Francisco. Follow him on Twitter @chernandburn.

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