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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. ...

Third Circuit Gives Failing Grade To Indirect Purchasers Seeking National Class For State Antitrust Claims

Posted  07/26/10
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that state antitrust laws’ treatment of indirect purchaser claims are too disparate to meet the predominance and commonality requirements of Rule 23. In Sullivan v. DB Investments Inc., plaintiffs alleged anticompetitive conduct in the diamond industry by the De Beers group of companies, the South African conglomerate synonymous with diamond production and...

iPhone Antitrust Suit Clears Class Certification Hurdle

Posted  07/14/10
Judge James Ware of the Northern District of California has granted a motion for certification of a class of iPhone consumers in an antitrust suit against Apple and AT&T.  An estimated 15 to 20 million U.S. iPhone purchasers are potential members of the class. Filed in 2007, the suit alleges that Apple and AT&T secretly agreed to restrict iPhone service for five years.  Although plaintiffs purchased a two-year...

Sirius XM Seeks To Block Consumers’ Transmission Of Claims Across State Lines

Posted  04/23/10
Sirius XM Radio, the holding company for the two satellite radio services operating in the U.S., is asking a federal court in Manhattan to dismiss state claims being asserted by class action representatives who reside in other states. Sirius XM is asking Judge Harold Baer to rule that the class representatives do not have standing to assert claims based on the laws of states in which they do not reside in Blessing...

Justice Scalia Supports Class Actions. Justice Ginsburg Doesn't. Really.

Posted  04/2/10
Despite a recent federal law that clamps down on class actions, the Supreme Court on Wednesday breathed new life into the viability of some such cases – and in their 70-some pages of opinions, scrambled the Court’s usual ideological lines. In the case, Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 08-1008, a group of doctors sued an insurance company when it paid an insurance claim...

The Great Google Books Settlement Debate

Posted  02/22/10
The fate of the massive digital library that Google hopes to create now lies in the hands of U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, who heard nearly a full day of oral argument on Thursday from supporters and opponents of the proposed settlement agreement that would settle the class action brought on behalf of authors and publishers against Google Book Search. The parties in The Authors’ Guild, et al. v. Google Inc. are...

Microsoft’s Datel Defense Takes Bite Out Of Apple’s Playbook

Posted  02/8/10
Microsoft is battling its latest antitrust challenger – Datel – by taking a page out of the antitrust playbook of its archrival, Apple. Microsoft is being sued by Datel, a manufacturer of “video game enhancement products,” for allegedly monopolizing an aftermarket for accessories to Microsoft’s popular Xbox 360 video game system in Datel Holdings Ltd. et al. v. Microsoft Corp., Case No. CV 09-5535 EDL. ...

Will Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision Doom McCarran-Ferguson Repeal?

Posted  02/2/10
The prospects for repeal of the McCarren-Ferguson Act’s antitrust exemption for health insurers may have gotten a bit dicier with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision giving the green light to corporate spending in political elections. The Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that the government may not ban “independent expenditures” for “political speech” by corporations in...
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