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Scrap Metal Cartels Facing Global Scrutiny

Posted  10/25/10
A worldwide antitrust crackdown on scrap metal cartels has landed in Korea with the Korean Fair Trade Commission’s recent imposition of a $1.45 million fine against 25 scrap metal processors for price fixing. Scrap metal processors purchase the scraps that are produced by the steel production process.  The processors in turn sort and clean the scrap metal and sell the final product to end users, frequently other...

EU College Of Commissioners May Promote Antitrust Class Action Plan Despite Last Year’s Failing Grade

Posted  10/15/10
Although the American version of class actions may still be viewed as an unwelcome immigrant by businesses in Europe, the European Commission appears to be reviving efforts to fashion its own kinder, gentler, European version of class actions for antitrust violations. Recent reports indicate that the European Commission has gone back to work on an initiative to allow collective actions for damages by parties...

Wells Fargo A Day Late And A Dollar Short In Bid For Visa Check/MasterMoney Settlement Funds

Posted  10/15/10
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district court ruling that dismissed belated claims by Wells Fargo to participate in the groundbreaking settlements of the Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation. The settlements, finalized in 2005, involved payment of $3.05 billion by defendants Visa and MasterCard to a plaintiff class of millions of U.S. merchants afflicted by the defendants’ “Honor All...

You Say Potato, Plaintiffs Say Conspiracy In “OPEC Of Potatoes” Case

Posted  10/14/10
A group of Wisconsin consumers is asking the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin to mash the alleged “OPEC of potatoes” in a class action alleging price fixing by a purported cartel of U.S. and Canadian potato growers and their co-conspirators, including leading agricultural technologist Bayer CropScience. This case – Rizzo, et al. v. United Potato Growers of America, Inc. et al. – is...

Supreme Court Declines Review Of Strict Price Discrimination Standard

Posted  10/12/10
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., 591 F.3d 191 (3d Cir. 2010), cert. denied, No. 09-1499, a competitor price-discrimination action brought under the Robinson-Patman Act, after the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit instructed the district court to enter judgment as a matter of law for the defendants. If adopted by other circuits, the legal standard articulated...

Court Puts Phone Depositions On Do Not Call List In Marine Hose Antitrust Litigation

Posted  10/6/10
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has denied a motion by class action plaintiffs in the In re Marine Hose Antitrust Litigation case to take “trial depositions” of foreign-based witnesses by telephone, including corporate executives residing in Japan, France, and Italy. The executives are employees of corporations that are in the process of settling the ongoing class action,...

Skyhook Sues Google Over Location Positioning Technology

Posted  09/22/10
The competitive battle between Google and Skyhook Wireless to provide cutting-edge location positioning technology for such devices as mobile phones and laptops has found a new location for conflict – the courtroom. Skyhook, a company that provides mobile software for determining location using nearby Wi-Fi signals, has filed a lawsuit against in Massachusetts Superior Court alleging that Google unfairly...

Ninth Circuit Holds Labor Dispute No Excuse For Anticompetitive Profit-Sharing Agreement Among California Supermarkets

Posted  09/7/10
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held that a profit-sharing agreement among the grocery store defendants in California v. Safeway, Ralph’s, Von’s, Albertson’s and Food4Less violated the Sherman Act, despite the supermarkets’ defense that the agreement was intended to respond to a labor dispute, not to eliminate competition. The Court of Appeals reversed the district court ruling, and held...

NOT DEAD YET: Third Circuit Almost, But Not Quite, Kills Massive Suit Against Insurers

Posted  08/23/10
The Third Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of most of the claims in a massive antitrust class action against most of America’s biggest insurance companies. Due to their failure to meet heightened pleading requirements, the plaintiffs in In re: Employee Benefit Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation will not be able to pursue their claims of per se violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  The plaintiffs...

Gambling Company Rolls Dice On Lawsuit And Comes Up Snake-Eyes

Posted  08/16/10
Thanks to a Nevada federal judge that dismissed its antitrust suit, casino payment company Sightline Payments, LLC, might be experiencing some fear and loathing in Las Vegas. In March, Sightline sued its larger competitor, Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc., under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, and under Section 7 of the Clayton Act.  Both companies offer services to provide cash access at casinos. ...
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