Antitrust and Competition Law

  • Representation of a multinational food conglomerate in In re HFCS Antitrust Litigation, which involved an alleged conspiracy to fix the price of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  Plaintiffs alleged damages over $1 billion, making the case one of the largest alleged price-fixing conspiracies in U.S. history.  We obtained summary judgment by demonstrating that even if there were a conspiracy to fix the price of HFCS, our client was not a participant.  Although the court of appeals ultimately reversed the summary judgment for our client and other defendants, our client later settled the case for a small fraction of the damages plaintiffs sought.
  • Representation of Mitsubishi Electric and other Mitsubishi companies in cases in the Northern District of California alleging that defendant manufacturers conspired to fix prices for DRAM, SRAM and flash memory chips.
  • Representation of American Academy of Pediatrics in Nestle Food Co. v. Abbott Laboratories, et al., a price-fixing action brought against it and the two largest manufacturers of infant formula claiming that they had conspired to exclude the plaintiff from the U.S. market for baby formula.  We obtained a defense verdict after a two-month trial.
  • Representation of several major companies, including Cargill, The Coca-Cola Company, The Iams Company and Ralston Purina Co., in the Vitamins Antitrust Litigation, which involved a global conspiracy to fix prices of all major vitamins used for human and animal nutrition applications.  We developed and implemented strategies to meet the numerous procedural and substantive objections defendants raised, and ultimately recovered for our clients substantial multiples of what they would have received as class members.
  • Representation of a group of large purchasers of sorbates food preservatives, including Kraft Foods, Nabisco and Ralston Purina, in In re Sorbates Antitrust Litigation—a cartel case in which our clients recovered far more than they would have received if they had remained in the class.  Because many defendants had sold through trading companies, we successfully developed a novel strategy to circumvent the direct-purchaser defense by obtaining assignments and cooperation from the trading houses.
  • Representation of some of America’s largest food and beverage companies, including Anheuser-Busch, Cargill, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Kraft Foods and Sara Lee, in In re Carbon Dioxide Industry Antitrust Litigation.  This case involved a long-standing agreement among suppliers of liquid carbon dioxide to allocate customer locations and to fix prices of liquid carbon dioxide used as a refrigerant and an essential ingredient for soft drinks and other beverages.  Based on our extensive pre-trial preparation, our clients were able to settle on the first day of trial for far more than they would have received as class members.
  • Representation of Forest Laboratories in In Brand Name Prescription Drugs Litigation in defense of a nationwide class action alleging a conspiracy among pharmaceutical companies not to give retail druggists the same discounts offered to hospitals and managed care entities.  Although most defendants settled before trial for a total of $850 million, the court directed a verdict for Forest Laboratories after an eight-week jury trial and awarded over $2 million in sanctions under 28 U.S.C. §1927 against lead class counsel for misrepresenting the evidence in response to our summary judgment motion. 
  • Representation of the plaintiff before the Supreme Court in Verizon Communications, Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis Trinko LLP, in which the Court considered whether plaintiffs may state a claim under current antitrust laws by alleging that an incumbent local phone carrier denied competing local phone carriers access to the incumbent’s local phone network.
  • Representation of NCR Corporation against charges that it violated §1 of the Sherman Act by illegally tying hardware and software maintenance and support of its data warehousing equipment to an agreement by customers not to purchase used NCR data warehousing equipment from third parties.
  • Representation of NCR Corporation in First Financial Computer Services, Inc. v. NCR, a Sherman Act §1 and §2 action against Kodak-type claims by an independent service organization that NCR utilized its copyright on diagnostic software to foreclose competition in servicing check processing equipment used by major banks.  The case was settled with a dismissal of the antitrust claims and the ISO’s payment of license fees for its past and future use of NCR’s software. 
  • Representation of plaintiff, Omnicare, Inc., in a Sherman Act §1 action alleging a buyers’ price-fixing conspiracy by two major healthcare insurance companies.
  • Representation of Nippon Denkyoku K.K. (“NDK”) in a case charging NDK and other manufacturers with price-fixing in the carbon cathode block industry.
  • Representation of Schunk Graphite Technology and Schunk of North America (“Schunk”) in various state and federal cases charging Schunk with fixing prices of electrical carbon products used in transit, automotive and other applications.
  • Representation of Cerestar Bioproducts B.V. in a case charging that the defendant participated in a conspiracy to fix citric acid prices.
  • Representation of Mitsubishi Paper Mills, Ltd.  (“MPM”) in various state and federal cases charging MPM and other paper manufacturers with fixing prices and allocating customers in the thermal fax paper industry.
  • Representation of Dell Computer Corp. in Dickson v. Microsoft Corp., et al., a class action alleging that personal computer manufacturers conspired with an operating systems manufacturer to restrain trade in certain software products.  The trial court granted our motion to dismiss and we successfully defended the dismissal in the Fourth Circuit.
  • Representation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in the successful defense of plaintiff’s allegations, among others, that our client’s licensing arrangements violated §1 of the Sherman Act. 
  • Representation of SPX Corp. in Metzler v. Bear Auto. Serv. Equip. Co.,  in defense of claims that one of its business units had monopolized the “aftermarket” for certain automotive repair parts and services.  We succeeded in obtaining summary judgment for SPX on the claims. 
  • Representation of a race car importer in Fran-Am Partnership, LLC v. Sports Car Club of America against a sanctioning and membership association alleging restraint of competition in violation of §1 and §2 of the Sherman Act.  After defendants’ motion for summary judgment was denied, the case settled. 
  • Representation of the American Booksellers Association in Robinson-Patman Act litigation filed against Barnes & Noble and other bookstore chains, alleging that the chains received discounts and terms from book publishers and distributors not available to independent bookstores.
  • Representation of Tenneco Automotive in a Robinson-Patman action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York filed by a number of auto parts distributors against numerous major auto parts manufacturers and large retailers.  We settled the case against our client for nuisance value.