FTC Proposes Settlement with Hearst Corp.

The Federal Trade Commission said it has a proposed settlement with Hearst Corp. that would resolve charges that Hearst unlawfully acquired J.B. Laughery Inc., which included the Medi-Span drug information database.

Under the terms of the settlement, Hearst would divest the former Medi-Span business and pay $19 million. The proposal will be presented to the federal district court for entry of a final judgment.

The database is used by pharmacists, other healthcare professionals, hospitals and health plans.

The FTC charged Hearst in April with illegally acquiring a monopoly through its 1998 acquisition of Medi-Span, its main competitor in that market. The only other commonly used database is owned by Hearst's subsidiary, First DataBank.

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