Antitrust

Allegation Defendant’s Average Sales Price Increased Despite Entry of Plaintiff’s Lower Cost Biosimilar Supports Antitrust Injury Claim

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's antitrust claims and determined plaintiff sufficiently pled it attempted to compete. "⁠[Defendant] mainly takes issue with [plaintiff's] reliance on Average Sales Price ('ASP') and Wholesale Acquisition Cost ('WAC'). According to [defendant], [plaintiff] cannot rely on ASP and WAC to support its efforts to compete with [defendant] by offering lower prices because both metrics lack sufficient specificity. . . . At this stage, we find that [plaintiff's] allegations containing ASP data do support the plausibility of its claims. According to [plaintiff], it has priced [its product] lower than [defendant's product] even accounting for [...]

2018-08-14T12:16:02+00:00August 14th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Allegation State Agency Replaced Plaintiff With Another Contractor Does Not Support Antitrust Injury Claim

The court granted dentist and dental provider defendants' motion to dismiss a dentist plaintiff's Sherman § 1 claim because plaintiff did not plausibly allege an injury to competition. "Plaintiff's loss of his 'niche' practice due to the decision to terminate his contract and to contract with a replacement service provider is not the type of injury that the antitrust laws were designed to prevent. The Complaint contains no plausible allegations that this action by [plaintiff's former employer] taken at the direction of [the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services] will produce anticompetitive results in the relevant market. Plaintiffs contention that [...]

2018-08-13T11:33:02+00:00August 13th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Predicted 95.7% Injury Rate of Proposed Class Members ​Supports Predominance Finding

The court granted plaintiffs' motion to certify two classes of airline ticket purchasers and determined class issues predominated over individual issues with regard to antitrust injury. "Plaintiffs assert that fuel surcharge increases represent price increases to passengers. This is partially based on a common-sense theory that 'there would be no reason to collude on fuel surcharges if [a current airline defendant and a former airline defendant] were going to continue to compete on base fares.' Plaintiffs also rebut Defendant’s theoretical assertion with a practical examination of the data. Plaintiffs’ expert purportedly found 'no decline in base fares when fuel surcharges [...]

2018-08-10T11:40:03+00:00August 10th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Class Settlement Administration Company Ordered to Turn Over Contact Information for 396 Entities On Whose Behalf It Purported to Assert Claims

After the claims administrator determined that each of the claims a non-party class settlement distribution company submitted were invalid, the court ordered the settlement distributor to turn over to the claims administrator contact information for each of 396 entities on whose purported behalf the company had filed a claim. "The notices proposed by the Claims Administrator and [the settlement company] differ only as to the options presented to the recipient. The Claims Administrator's notice allows the recipient to (1) 'Confirm that [the settlement company] did NOT have your authorization to submit a claim'; (2) 'Dispute the Claims Administrator's determination and [...]

2018-08-09T12:10:02+00:00August 9th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Allegation that Two Products Were Historically Sold Separately Supports Tying Coercion Claim

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's Sherman § 1 tying claim because plaintiff sufficiently pled that defendant's catheter tip location system and defendant's peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) were separate products. "According to [defendant], the Complaint 'alleges next to nothing' concerning the character of the demand for PICCs and tip location systems. [Defendant] characterizes the allegation that Cleveland Clinic requested to purchase the stylets separately as an 'isolated example of one hospital out of thousands in this country,' and faults [plaintiff] for not including 'any facts to support that customers in general actually wish to purchase PICCs and [...]

2018-08-08T12:01:02+00:00August 8th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Allegation of Vertical Restraint Involving Defendant and Unnamed Competitors of Plaintiff Does Not Support Claim of Antitrust Injury

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' Sherman § 1 claims and determined plaintiffs did not sufficiently assert antitrust injury or a relevant market. "This Court finds the Supreme Court’s recent decision in [Ohio v. Am. Express Co., No. 16-1454, 2018 WL 3096305 (U.S. June 25, 2018)] to be instructive here. In American Express, plaintiffs challenged antisteering provisions in the agreements between American Express and merchants. The Court held that the provisions had no anticompetitive effects. The same is true here. Assuming that a vertical restraint existed between a Defendant insurance company and other, unnamed, contractors who compete with [...]

2018-08-07T11:41:03+00:00August 7th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Barclays and Citi Settle In re LIBOR OTC Claims for $250 Million

The court granted final approval over two class settlement agreements totaling $250 million and determined the agreements were substantively fair considering the complexity and expense of continued litigation, the reaction of the class, and the amount of discovery engaged in. "'⁠[T]his case is rapidly approaching its seventh birthday, having journeyed up and down the appellate ladder in the process,' and 'we have issued opinions on substantive issues totaling more than 1000 pages.' And as complex as this action has been, 'we have only proceeded beyond the pleading stage' and class certification, and we 'have not yet reached summary judgment.' . [...]

2018-08-06T12:02:03+00:00August 6th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Allegation that Musicians Were Required to Play One Show at Staples Center if Any in Los Angeles in Order to Book London’s O2 Arena Supports Tying Claim

The court denied music presenter defendants' motion to dismiss a musician plaintiff's Sherman Act suit and rejected defendants' contention that plaintiff did not sufficiently plead coercion in its tying claim. "The suit challenges [defendants'] alleged policy of allowing the O2 Arena in London to be booked by an artist only if the artist agrees to play at least one of the artist’s dates in Los Angeles (if any) at the Staples Center. . . . The complaint alleges that because [plaintiff's] only reasonable choice of venue in London is the O2 Arena, he is explicitly coerced by a contract that [...]

2018-08-03T12:06:02+00:00August 3rd, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

No-Hire Agreements Among Restaurant Franchisees With Third-Party Beneficiary Clauses Support Hub-and-Spoke Claim

The court denied defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's Sherman § 1 claim and determined plaintiff sufficiently asserted a hub-and-spoke conspiracy among a corporate restaurant franchisor and franchisee restaurants not to hire each other's employees. "The scheme in this case is similar to the scheme in Toys “R” Us, Inc. v. F.T.C., 221 F.3d 928 (7th Cir. 2000). The franchisees are independently-owned horizontal competitors, just like the toy manufacturers. Jimmy John’s corporate enters into a franchise agreement with each franchisee, which contains the no-hire provision. The franchisees tacitly agree amongst each other to enforce the no-hire provision through austere enforcement of [...]

2018-08-02T12:16:02+00:00August 2nd, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Allegation of High Cost of Market Entry for Defendants Undercuts Plaintiff’s Refusal to Deal Claim

The magistrate judge recommended granting defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' Sherman § 2 suit because plaintiffs did not assert a plausible refusal to deal claim. "⁠[P]laintiffs’ claims turn on the alleged failure of [defendants] to create and provide a software interface that would permit plaintiffs’ products to function in IT environments run by those defendants’ management software systems. The problem for plaintiffs, however, is that according to the allegations of the complaint . . . the cost of providing such an interface for the [defendants'] system was estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. . . . Therefore, assuming [...]

2018-08-01T12:30:03+00:00August 1st, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|