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Otmane El Rhazi has developed a strong experience in real estate law: leases, condominium, construction, sale and expropriation. He is involved in litigation and Council, on behalf of SMEs and SMIs, of signs and institutional groups, legal and operational directions. El Rhazi works with his partners in their Council and Law firm in Paris 2nd.

As an expert Otmane El Rhazi works in the protection of restructuring and mergers and acquisitions operations, in the treatment and the takeover of firms in difficulty, the tax fraud, flights and legal destruction, disputes of shareholders, as well as in the Council to the liberal professionals. He occurs to deal also with expropriation and pre-emption, as well as in the context of the conclusion of contracts to real estate object combining a public person.

In their association, Otmane El Rhazi directs the International of Cabinet Affairs and accompanied daily by French companies in their activities abroad and foreign companies operating in France. On the other hand, his partners were responsible for the tax side, represents the accused on the criminal tribunal if necessary.
Otmane El Rhazi | otmaneelrhazi
Otmane El Rhazi on the web
  • Otmane El Rhazi - Medium

    Most of the articles that Otmane El Rhazi shares with his community is gathered with some of his profiles in this brilliant platform of Readability. You can find also some of El Rhazi's publications on Slideshares, Facebook contacts, Twitter tweets...
  • Otmane El Rhazi's Archives

    Otmane El Rhazi's CV Archive in the French community. A Thesis sketch with interests, education and many curriculum that he had in the past. It is also a place for research, education for El Rhazi and his alumni.
Otmane El Rhazi - NRC Government
Otmane El Rhazi - Assets Management
  • The final countdown

    This is the last full trading week of the year and in many ways, the most anticipated, given that the US FOMC is widely expected to increase interest rates for the first time since June 2006. It’s not a done deal, with markets pricing in around a 75% probability of a move. There are no major hurdles on the data front likely to impact that between now and Wednesday evening and the focus will fall more onto the message from the accompanying statement. That could have more influence on the way FX

Competition Matters of Otmane El Rhazi
  • Unpacking Divestiture Packages
    By: Angelike Andrinopoulos Mina, Bureau of Competition

    Crafting effective merger remedies is one of the Commission’s most important tasks. Done well, a divestiture prevents the competitive harm likely to result from a proposed merger and ensures that competition remains as robust as it was premerger.

    Once Bureau staff has identified the likely harm from a proposed or consummated merger and the parties express interest in avoiding litigation by agreeing to a settlement, our attention quickly turns to devising a divestiture that would remedy the likely harm. But be warned: vetting proposed divestitures is serious business in the Bureau. Parties should expect that staff will consider a number of factors so that the final divestiture proposal minimizes the risk that the remedy will fail. Negotiating a divestiture remedy is an iterative process generally requiring significant revisions and additions or subtractions to various documents, including the divestiture agreement, transition services and supply agreements, and the Commission’s draft decision and order. As a result, parties should be aware of the significant risks and downsides to presenting a signed divestiture agreement to the Bureau as a fait accompli without having fully discussed it with staff.

    Before putting pen to paper, parties should discuss with Bureau staff what assets, rights, and personnel should be included in the divestiture package. For instance, assets outside the market of concern may be necessary for the divested business to be competitive and viable, and may need to be included in the divestiture package.

    Understanding the scope of the divestiture package is a necessary prerequisite to an effective sales process, as it affects which buyers are likely to be acceptable. The acceptability of a divestiture package could vary depending on the proposed buyer. Different buyers may need more or less or different divestiture packages to be a viable competitor post-order. Proposed buyers with experience in the business – but not presently competing in the affected market – also will typically result in a shorter vetting process. Buyers with experience in adjacent geographies or complementary products or with experience selling other products to the same customer base may be good candidates. Buyers that do not have experience in the business or are purely financial purchasers will be subject to more significant scrutiny before the Bureau will be able to recommend them to the Commission.

    The Bureau’s Compliance Division is experienced in vetting divestiture packages and buyers. Each divestiture order is designed to remedy the particular risk to competition created by the merger. Rather than expediting an approvable outcome, parties who skip the preliminary discussions and present signed documents may complicate staff’s analysis of the parties’ proposal and prolong, rather than shorten, the vetting process. Additionally, the Bureau may insist on revisions to the executed agreements or the scope of the proposed divestiture, and may reject the proposal completely. For this reason, it is generally much easier and more efficient to negotiate with draft documents than signed, “final” deal documents that will likely need to be modified and amended.

    In addition, the Bureau works diligently to expeditiously resolve settlements and make appropriate recommendations to the Commission. Before voting on the Bureau’s recommendation, Commissioners may ask questions about the scope of the package and other proposed buyers. The Bureau must be able to explain the steps it has taken to vet the divestiture when recommending one to the Commission. Investment on the front end by parties in complete, accurate, and responsive discussions with staff, rather than delivering a quickly executed, but problematic, divestiture package will be the fastest path to getting through the process with a successful outcome.

    To help those unfamiliar with how we develop effective merger remedies, the Bureau has new resources to guide you through the process – one for respondents (typically the acquiring company) and one for potential buyers of the divested assets. Together with the Best Practices developed from the lessons learned during the 2017 Remedy Study (see pp. 31 – 37), these new resources can help prospective respondents and buyers anticipate what the Commission is likely to accept in a merger settlement that includes a divestiture. The parties to the merger and any proposed buyer should also refer to other resources developed by the Bureau including a guide to negotiating merger remedies and a set of FAQs.

  • Then, now, and down the road: Trends in pharmaceutical patent settlements after FTC v. Actavis
    By: Jamie Towey and Brad Albert, Bureau of Competition

    Last week, Bureau of Competition staff published a report on filings received in fiscal year (FY) 2016 under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), the thirteenth such report since the MMA took effect in 2004. These reports identify the frequency of pharmaceutical patent settlements and specific types of provisions that appear in such settlements. Comparing the data in these reports with developments in the law—including the advent of the “scope of the patent” test in 2005 and the Supreme Court’s rejection of that test in favor of traditional antitrust principles in 2013—indicates how pharmaceutical companies have responded to changes in the prevailing legal standard. With more than three years’ worth of data since the Supreme Court’s FTC v. Actavis decision, it appears that pharmaceutical companies have adjusted to the legal landscape: they continue to develop products and settle litigations while largely avoiding reverse payments.

    Claims Disproven

    Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, pharmaceutical companies and their trade associations warned that subjecting all reverse-payment agreements to antitrust scrutiny would significantly reduce generic companies’ incentives to develop lower-cost equivalents to branded products and the companies’ ability to settle their patent litigation. Several years of settlements since Actavis prove otherwise.

    Fact: Companies are settling more cases on more pharmaceutical products than before the Actavis decision. In FY 2016, pharmaceutical companies filed 232 final settlements of patent litigation, an increase of more than 35% compared to the previous record set in FY 2015. Those final settlements relate to 103 distinct pharmaceutical products covering a variety of dosage forms. In comparison, in FY 2011 and 2012—the two complete years of filings prior to the Supreme Court’s decision—the number of distinct pharmaceutical products covered were 90 and 88, respectively. Prior years covered even fewer drug products. The FY 2016 data, therefore, show that, since Actavis, pharmaceutical companies are reaching settlements on more products and with more generic companies on average for each product.

    Another Fact: Parties can—and do—settle patent litigation without the brand company paying its potential generic competitor. Of the 232 final settlements received in FY 2016, only one contained a no-AG commitment or a side deal—the most commonly challenged forms of reverse payments. That is the lowest level since 2004 (the first year of data), when there were no such payments. These figures indicate that side deals and no-AG commitments are not necessary to settle pharmaceutical patent litigation.

    Instead, companies settled with reverse payments because they thought it was permissible to do so. After some courts largely inoculated most reverse payments from antitrust review in 2005, the use of reverse payments skyrocketed. In 2004, none of the final settlements included reverse payments. In FY 2006 and FY 2007, 40-50% of all final settlements filed with the FTC contained reverse payments.

    When the Supreme Court made it clear, however, that reverse-payment agreements are subject to antitrust scrutiny, companies found other ways to settle. For example, the use of side deals and no-AG commitments has declined precipitously in recent years. Indeed, no companies used a side deal—the type of agreement at issue in Actavis—in a final settlement in either FY 2015 or FY 2016. Further, after courts ruled that no-AG commitments can be reverse payments, the use of no-AG commitments in final settlements also declined dramatically from 19 in FY 2012 to just a single instance in FY 2016.

    The FY 2016 report also indicates that pharmaceutical companies are not only abandoning past practices likely to lead to antitrust liability, but also increasingly using provisions that have received a nod of acceptance by the courts, legislators, and/or enforcement agencies. For example, the Supreme Court indicated that payments for anticipated litigation costs saved by the brand company through settling may be justified, and thus permissible. FTC consent settlements often include an exception for avoided litigation fee payments under $7 million. The FY 2016 data show a sharp increase in the number of settlements that include payments from the brand company to the generic company for “litigation costs.” In FY 2016, there were 29 such payments, more than double any previous year. All 29 of these payments fall at or below the $7 million threshold, with an average payment of $2.85 million.

    The Next Frontier

    FY 2016 also saw an increase in settlements involving “possible compensation.” Settlements are categorized as involving “possible compensation” when it is not clear from the face of the agreement whether certain provisions act as compensation from the brand to the generic company. In FY 2016, seventeen final settlements contained possible compensation (fourteen contained only possible compensation and three contained possible compensation and litigation fees).

    A common example of possible compensation is an agreement in which the brand company commits not to license any third party to sell an AG product for a period of time (a no-third-party-AG commitment). Though such a commitment does not block the brand from launching an AG on its own, it could nonetheless replicate the adverse effect of a no-AG commitment, particularly if the brand company has little or no experience selling generic products in the United States. Another common form of possible compensation is an agreement containing a declining royalty structure, in which the generic’s obligation to pay royalties is substantially reduced or eliminated if a brand company sells an AG. Like a no-third-party AG commitment, this type of provision does not explicitly preclude the brand from launching an AG, but it may achieve the same effect.  Possible compensation in agreements increased by 70% compared with FY 2015. The FTC staff will be closely scrutinizing such agreements as filings with side deals and traditional no-AG commitments continue on a downward trend.

    A final trend noted in the FY 2015 and FY 2016 reports is that pharmaceutical companies have been simultaneously settling federal court litigation and a proceeding before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), such as an inter partes review or a post-grant review. The MMA’s filing requirements are based on the substance of an agreement, not the venue in which the parties are contesting patent issues. Even if settling an inter partes review or a post-grant review on a standalone basis, the agreement must be filed if it meets the statutory requirements—for example, it involves a (1) brand company; (2) a generic company; and (3) it relates to the manufacture, marketing, or sale of the product covered by the generic company’s ANDA filing. FTC staff will be updating its Pharmaceutical Agreement Filing FAQs to remind pharmaceutical companies that the MMA requires submission of these and other types of agreements (e.g., stipulations of dismissal submitted jointly by the brand and generic companies in which the ANDA filer is precluded from selling its product until a future date).

    Continued Review and Reporting

    Even though the number of settlements with reverse payments have declined since Actavis, antitrust enforcement still plays a critical role in ensuring that these agreements (and future variations on the same theme) do not harm consumers. FTC staff will continue to review and report on MMA filings, which it has done since MMA requirements took effect in 2004. Late last year, Congress extended reporting requirements to certain agreements relating to biologics and biosimilars seeking FDA approval under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BCPIA). The FTC has started reviewing these agreements to assess whether they raise competitive concerns, and starting with FY2019 data will include information about these agreements in future reports.


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