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Court Tells Optical Disk Drive Plaintiffs To Refocus Antitrust Claims

Posted  08/10/11
Plaintiffs alleging a conspiracy among manufacturers of drives that play CDs and other optical discs are going to have to refocus their allegations in order to screen their claims of price-fixing in federal court. Judge Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss each of the plaintiffs’ consolidated complaints, with...

Ninth Circuit Slams The Gate On Prison Health Care Antitrust Suit

Posted  08/5/11
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of Colonial Medical Group Inc.’s antitrust suit against a competing health care provider and a hospital that Colonial alleged engaged in anticompetitive conduct in a prison health care market. Colonial, a medical services provider, had claimed that its competitor, Golden Empire Management Care and Managed Care Systems LP (“GEMCare”),...

GSI Technology Sues Cypress Semiconductor In High-Tech Memory Suit

Posted  08/1/11
GSI Technology, a producer of computer memory products, has filed an antitrust complaint charging Cypress Semiconductor with monopolizing the high-tech static random access memory (“SRAM”) market. Cypress is one of the major players in the market for static random access memory SRAM market, while GSI is a much smaller producer. The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of...

Consumer Groups Win As FCC Finds Itself Bound In Sequel To Prometheus

Posted  07/25/11
In a major victory for consumer groups and a substantial blow to deregulation proponents, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has reined in the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) and struck down its revised rules designed to deregulate media ownership. The Third Circuit’s second major decision in Prometheus Radio Project v. Federal Communications Commission (“Prometheus II”) rejects...

Lackadaisical Discovery And Vague Allegations Cancel Flight Of Oil Helicopter Conspiracy Case

Posted  07/19/11
A combination of a failure to pursue discovery and vague allegations have led  Judge Legrome D. Davis of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to grant summary judgment, dismissing price-fixing claims in Superior Offshore Int'l, Inc. v. Bristow Group Inc.. Plaintiff Superior Offshore is a purchaser of helicopter services to offshore oil and gas sites.  Defendants Era Helicopters, LLC, Era Group...

Sixth Circuit Revives Carpet Wars

Posted  07/12/11
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has revived an antitrust suit brought by carpet dealer Watson Carpet & Floor Covering, Inc. alleging rival dealer Carpet Den Inc. and supplier Mohawk Industries Inc. conspired against Watson to harm its business. In Watson Carpet & Floor Covering, Inc. v. Mohawk Industries Inc. et al., No. 09-6140, the Sixth Circuit reversed the lower court’s ruling that Watson had...

Huntsman Settles Polyurethane Price-Fixing Case

Posted  07/7/11
Huntsman International LLC, a subsidiary of the chemical giant Huntsman Corp., has agreed to pay $33 million to settle a class action suit alleging anticompetitive practices. The direct purchaser plaintiffs claim that five major chemical companies, BASF, Dow Chemical, Bayer, LyondellBasell, and Huntsman, colluded to fix the price of feedstock used to make polyurethane foam.  They point to repeated instances of...

U.S. v. Microsoft Was A Decade-Long Education On Antitrust In The New Economy

Posted  06/29/11
The end of the decade-long federal court supervision of Microsoft’s licensing practices last month provides an opportunity to reflect on the impact that case has had.  A lasting legacy of the U.S. v. Microsoft case is that monopolists in dynamic and rapidly changing high-tech industries do not receive special treatment under the Sherman Act.  There is no presumption that high market shares will be counteracted by...

Supremes Raise Hurdle For Invalidating Patents And For Antitrust Counterclaims

Posted  06/17/11
Antitrust counterclaims are going to be more difficult to prove in patent cases as a result of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that all court challenges to the validity of a patent must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. In Microsoft v. i4i Partnership, the Court held that although the Patent Act is silent on the standard of review that courts should apply to patent defenses based on invalidity, the...

Canadian Court Green Lights Worldwide Diamond Price-Fixing Case Against De Beers

Posted  06/15/11
A justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court has ruled that an alleged worldwide diamond cartel led by rough diamond seller De Beers had sufficient anticompetitive impact on Canadian consumers to enable a price-fixing class action to survive a motion to dismiss at the pleading stage. The plaintiff alleges that De Beers and the other defendants sought to eliminate competition in the sale of gem grade diamonds in...
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