Antitrust

Exact Product Market Boundaries Not Required at Pleading Stage

The court denied defendants' motion to dismiss the indirect class plaintiffs' Sherman § 1 claims because IPPs sufficiently alleged a conspiracy in a relevant product market. "The issue, at its core, is whether IPPs’ use of the term 'AC Systems' to include various components that make up the systems to cool the interior of a vehicle is overreaching. The Court finds it is not. Throughout this multidistrict litigation, the Court has held that a defendant need not manufacture an entire automotive system to meet the Twombly plausibility standard and allowed complaints to survive as to a defendant that only manufactures [...]

2018-01-18T15:45:05+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Communications Decency Act Immunizes Google et al From Sherman Act Claims Arising From Allegedly Buried Search Results

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's Sherman Act claims because defendants were immune from suit under the Communications Decency Act. "In common sense terms, it is the scam locksmiths and not the [defendants] who are providing the information that potentially creates liability here. The complaint strains to avoid this conclusion, alleging that the mapping information 'independently and deliberately deceives consumers beyond the original deception purveyed by the scam locksmiths,' and 'facilitates, enhances, and legitimizes' the scam locksmiths. But most websites that incorporate content from elsewhere could be said to 'facilitate, enhance, and legitimize' original content by amplifying its [...]

2018-01-17T13:05:02+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Faurecia Entities Settle End-Payor Claims for $1.48 Million

The court granted preliminary approval over a settlement agreement involving a class of end-payor plaintiffs in the amount of $1.482 million because the settlement was substantively and procedurally fair. "The terms of the Settlement Agreement are hereby preliminarily approved, including the release contained therein, as being fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Settlement Class . . . . The Court finds that the Settlement Agreement was entered into at arm’s length by experienced counsel and is sufficiently within the range of reasonableness that notice of the Settlement Agreement should be given, pursuant to a plan to be submitted by Settlement [...]

2018-01-16T15:16:03+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Hard-Fought Year-And-A-Half Suit, Proceeding Through Claim Construction Not Objectively Baseless

The court granted a pharmaceutical company defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's Sherman § 2 monopolization and attempt claims because plaintiff failed to sufficiently allege that defendant's litigation against a competitor was objectively baseless constituting sham litigation. "⁠[T]he parties in [the underlying litigation between defendant and its competitor] engaged in a claim construction dispute addressing various elements of the ‘864 patent. If [the competitor's product] was completely different, and bore no relationship to the [defendant's product] (as plaintiffs allege) there would have been no reason for [the competitor] to have participated in a claims construction exercise. . . . The fact [...]

2018-01-12T13:08:09+00:00 January 12th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

No Sherman § 1 Conspiracy Between Jaguar Land Rover and Its Dealers to Enforce a No-Export Policy

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's Sherman § 1 claims because plaintiff failed to sufficiently allege concerted action between defendants and their dealers. "Plaintiff only alleges that the dealers comply with the Policy; he does not allege anywhere that the dealers actually conspired with Defendants to develop and implement the Policy. The Complaint makes clear that Defendants unilaterally implemented the Policy and required their dealers to enforce it. 'Independent action is not proscribed. A manufacturer of course generally has a right to deal, or refuse to deal, with whomever it likes, as long as it does so independently.' [...]

2018-01-11T13:52:03+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Post-Dodd-Frank Jointly-Operated Electronic Marketplace Relevant to In re Interest Rate Swaps Sherman § 1 Claims

The court partially granted plaintiffs' motion to compel the production of documents related to a co-operated electronic marketplace because the information could be relevant to plaintiffs' Sherman § 1 claims. "⁠[T]here is relevance to the Dealers' joint operation of [the marketplace] after Dodd-Frank. First . . . because of the Dealers' common control of [the marketplace], after Dodd-Frank, supplied a potential forum for communications antecedent to, and from 2013 on in furtherance of, the well-pleaded conspiracy. Second, after Dodd-Frank, [the marketplace] itself eventually came to operate two [swap execution facilities (SEFs)], but neither operated as an anonymous all-to-all IRS trading [...]

2018-01-10T13:12:05+00:00 January 10th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Airplane Restraint System Hold Separate Order Endorsed

The court adopted the parties' hold separate stipulation pending final divestiture of certain airplane restraint systems. "The Final Judgment filed in this case is meant to ensure [defendant's] prompt divestiture of [certain shares and assets including real property, warehouses, and real property leases and fixtures] for the purpose of establishing one or more viable competitors in the airplane restraint systems business in order to remedy the effects that the United States alleges have resulted and will continue to result from [defendant's] acquisition of [a third party]. This Hold Separate Stipulation and Order ensures, prior to such divestitures, that the Divestiture [...]

2018-01-09T13:24:03+00:00 January 9th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

UNC Entities Settle Sherman § 1 Claims Despite Potential Immunity as State Entities

The court granted final approval over a class action settlement because the settlement secured important and consequential substantive relief for the class. "⁠[The individual defendant] would have been shielded from liability for damages unless [plaintiffs] established that [the defendant] violated 'clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.' Legal precedent must place the legal violation 'beyond debate.' In light of the Court’s earlier finding that a 'substantial ground for difference of opinion' exists as to whether ipso facto immunity applied to [the individual defendant] it would be essentially impossible to prove that the issue [...]

2018-01-08T13:13:06+00:00 January 8th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

$15 Million Icebreaker Settlement Achieved with Southwest in ​In re Domestic Airline Travel

The court granted preliminary approval over an icebreaker class settlement in the amount of $15 million because the agreement was substantively and procedurally fair. "The Court finds that the Settlement Agreement with Southwest was entered into at arm's-length by highly experienced counsel and is sufficiently fair, reasonable and adequate to authorize dissemination of notice to the Settlement Class . . . and scheduling of the Fairness Hearing . . . ." In re: Domestic Airline Travel Antitrust Litigation, 1-15-mc-01404 (DCD 2018-01-03, Order) (Colleen Kollar-Kotelly)

2018-01-05T13:18:02+00:00 January 5th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Comity Does Not Require Deference to Korean Supreme Court in In re Korean Ramen

The court denied defendants' motion for summary judgment that adjudicative comity required the court to defer to the Korean Supreme Court decision. "The Korean Supreme Court weighed evidence (presumably consistent with principles of Korean law regarding admissibility and sufficiency), made credibility determinations, and determined what the inferences supported on a matter that was within its jurisdiction – whether the [Korean Fair Trade Commission's] order concluding there was a conspiracy and as a result imposing fines on defendants was adequately supported under Korean law. There is a different question before this Court: did defendants’ conduct as it impacted sales of products [...]

2018-01-04T13:17:03+00:00 January 4th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|