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Court Pulls Plug On Complaint Challenging Power Company’s Overcharges

Posted  04/5/11
Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York has dismissed a class action alleging that regional power generator KeySpan Corp. overcharged millions of electricity customers. The complaint in Simon v. Keyspan Corp., 10 CIV. 5437 SAS (S.D.N.Y. 2011), challenged a derivative transaction – the “KeySpan Swap,” arranged by financial advisor Morgan Stanley – relating to New York City’s...

Third Circuit Keeps Former Morgan Crucible CEO In Prison For Obstructing Antitrust Probe

Posted  03/28/11
The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has upheld an 18-month prison sentence in U.S. v. Norris for former Morgan Crucible Co. PLC CEO Ian Norris, who was found guilty last December of conspiring to obstruct justice in a price-fixing investigation of the carbon products industry. Norris was sentenced to 18 months in prison, three years of probation, and a $25,000 fine after a federal jury in...

Players Hope To Score A Touchdown In Brady v. NFL

Posted  03/22/11
Packers v. Steelers may have been the official “Big Game” this year, but Brady v. NFL is turning out to be the real contest to watch. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and eight of his fellow professional football stars (plus a potential one) kicked off the game on March 11, 2011, by suing the National Football League and its 32 member teams under the federal antitrust laws. The NFL sought to block...

Concert Fans Scream At Live Nation’s Fees For Phantom Parking Spaces

Posted  03/18/11
Concert fans claim they are being cheated by Live Nation’s practice of charging fans without cars fees for parking spaces that don’t exist. In the latest challenge, Chicago concertgoer James Batson has filed, on behalf of himself and event attendees nationwide, a class action antitrust complaint against Live Nation, the alleged “largest live entertainment company in the world.”  Batson accuses Live Nation...

Merchants Unexpectedly Win Antitrust Class Action Skirmish Against American Express

Posted  03/15/11
In a surprising and important decision, a two-judge panel of the Second Circuit has refused to enforce a mandatory class action waiver found in the standard small-merchant American Express contract. The decision in the In re American Express Merchants' Litigation clears the way for a class action (as well as a related action which was partially stayed) challenging American Express’s Honor All Cards rule as an...

Human Genome Sciences Enlists Antitrust Law In DNA War With Genentech

Posted  03/11/11
Human Genome Sciences Inc. (“HGS”) is asking a federal court in Delaware to find that rival drug developer Genentech Inc. has violated U.S. antitrust laws by colluding with Celltech R&D Ltd. to fraudulently extend the life of a disputed patent. The complaint in Human Genome Sciences Inc. v. Genentech Inc. alleges that Genentech and Celltech conspired in 2001 to fraudulently extend the life of the Cabilly...

Supremes To Resale Price Maintenance: Your Name Is Leegin

Posted  03/10/11
The U.S. Supreme Court has told manufacturers engaged in resale price maintenance that they can continue to rely on its controversial 2007 opinion in PSKS Inc. v. Leegin Creative Leather Products, which struck down the Court’s long-standing precedent that such vertical price restraints are per se illegal. After nearly four years of additional proceedings, the Supreme Court’s original Leegin decision has now...

Supremes Take A Pass On Challenge To Patent Holders’ Payments To Generics

Posted  03/8/11
Patent holders seeking to settle patent infringement cases are breathing a little easier today as a result of yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court not to review the ruling of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Arkansas Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund v. Bayer AG (In re Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litig.), 05-2851-cv(L) (2d Cir. 2010) (“Cipro”). The Supreme Court thereby leaves undisturbed...

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...
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