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First Circuit Finds Claims Of Gasoline Price-Fixing On Martha’s Vineyard Running On Empty

Posted  03/3/11
Rejecting claims of a horizontal price-fixing conspiracy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has affirmed summary judgment against a class of Martha’s Vineyard residents suing gas station owners on the picturesque, emphatically low-key island that is best known as a summer colony. The appeals court held that the plaintiffs in White v. R.M. Packer Co., Inc., failed to raise any fact question as to...

32 State Attorneys General Ask The Supreme Court To Overturn The Second Circuit's Legal Standard Governing Reverse Payments

Posted  02/28/11
In January, 32 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the Court to hear and overturn Arkansas Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund v. Bayer AG (In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litig.), 05-2851-cv(L) (2d Cir. 2010) (“Cipro”).  In Cipro, the Second Circuit affirmed its legal standard governing so-called "reverse payments," which are payments by a brand name drug...

Lightening Strikes: In A First, NY Electric Company To Give Up Profits In Antitrust Settlement

Posted  02/22/11
A judge in the Southern District of New York has approved a settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and KeySpan Corporation (“KeySpan”) in which KeySpan agreed to disgorge $12 million of profits for alleged violations of Sherman Act Section 1.  KeySpan was once the largest seller of electricity generating capacity in New York City and is owned by National Grid, which purchased it in 2007. The...

Ninth Circuit Gives Supermarkets Coupon For Second Bite At The Antitrust Apple

Posted  02/16/11
California’s largest supermarkets will have another chance to argue that actions they took in response to a labor strike did not violate antitrust laws.  This second bite at the apple comes courtesy of the Ninth Circuit which, on February 11, granted an en banc hearing to reconsider the initial panel’s decision against the supermarkets. In the case, California sued the state’s three largest supermarkets:...

Package Deal By FedEx And UPS?

Posted  02/9/11
According to media reports, the DOJ Antitrust Division is investigating accusations that UPS and FedEx colluded to freeze third-party shipping consultants out of the their shipping businesses.  The reports indicate that Justice has opened an investigation into possible collusion between FedEx and UPS, the two largest companies in the package shipping world. This investigation would come on the heels of a private...

Music Labels Can’t Convince Supremes To Sing Stop In The Name Of Twombly

Posted  02/1/11
The four major U.S. music labels have lost their bid to convince the Supreme Court to pull the plug on an antitrust class action under the high court’s Twombly standard for pleading. The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in Sony Music Entertainment v. Kevin Starr, a price-fixing class action against Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Sony, and EMI.  The denial of certiorari leaves standing the...

New York Court Reinstates Reinsurer’s Case, Reaffirming Antitrust Injury Extends Beyond Competitors And Consumers

Posted  01/24/11
The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court has reinstated an antitrust lawsuit against a reinsurer created in the 1990s to rescue underwriters at Lloyd's of London from soaring asbestos and environmental liabilities stemming from policies Lloyd’s sold before 1993. The appellate court opinion reaffirms the principle that antitrust injury can extend beyond simply competitors and consumers of a...

Circumstantial Evidence Batting .500 In Seventh Circuit This Month With Omnicare Defeat

Posted  01/13/11
Proponents of proving antitrust conspiracies with circumstantial evidence are one for two in Seventh Circuit decisions decided in the last two weeks with the plaintiff’s summary judgment loss in Omnicare Inc. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirming Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer’s grant of summary judgment to the defendants in Omnicare is that court’s...

Judge Posner Texts Twombly No Bar To Texters’ Circumstantial Class Action

Posted  01/10/11
In an opinion written by antitrust expert Judge Richard Posner, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has rejected a bid by defendant cell phone companies to throw out a class action alleging that the companies conspired to fix text message prices. The Seventh Circuit held that the plaintiffs’ second amended complaint in In re: Text Messaging Antitrust Litigation contained enough circumstantial...

Priceline Loses Bid To Participate In Payment Card Settlement

Posted  01/5/11
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed a lower court’s ruling that, Inc. did not fit the definition of a class member described in a $336 million antitrust class action settlement agreement that resolves claims of price fixing in the consumer payment card industry. The plaintiffs in the In re Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust Litigation alleged a price-fixing conspiracy among...
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