Civil Procedure General Business Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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Competition News October 2016

The General Court of the European Union validates the admission of illegally obtained telephone recordings to prove an anticompetitive agreement - In the Goldfish BV e.a. versus Commission case, the General Court of...more

New York Rejects Antitrust Defense To Breach Of Distribution Contract

Your client is sued for failure to pay on a contract and says it shouldn’t have to pay because the prices were fixed by a cartel or that it was strong-armed into paying for a “bundle” of services or distribution channels even...more

Gold and Silver price fixing suits may be expensive for banks

The Southern District of New York recently denied motions to dismiss filed by several banks that allegedly conspired to manipulate the price of gold and silver. Only defendant UBS was successful in convincing the court that...more

A Superficial Analysis of Competitive Foreclosure Won’t Play in Peoria

A federal trial court rejected a hospital’s antitrust claims that it was substantially foreclosed from the market by its rival’s exclusive contracts with payors. The court concluded that foreclosure in healthcare services...more

Practical Guidance for Framing an Unfair-Trade-Practices Claim

A recent decision from a North Carolina federal court underscores the importance of how a plaintiff frames an alleged violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1. In Hongda Chemical USA, LLC v. Shangyu Sunfit Chemical Co.,...more

Big Summary Judgment Win for Hospital Defending $300M Exclusive Dealing Antitrust Suit

After fending off a motion for judgment on the pleadings in March 2015, a small hospital in Peoria, Illinois lost on summary judgment in its $300 million antitrust suit alleging illegal exclusive dealing and attempted...more

Third Circuit Applies Presumption of Timeliness to Pre-Certification Motion to Intervene as Class Representative

This case concerned a federal antitrust class action involving a proposed class of Class 8 truck purchasers who alleged a conspiracy by several truck transmission suppliers and manufacturers to raise prices by eliminating...more

WTO Appellate Body Report: India – Solar Cells

Decision: The WTO Appellate Body has affirmed that local content requirements maintained by India for solar cells and modules violate India's obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and...more

General Court Confirms that the Commission May Rely on Lawfully Seized Recordings Even if Made Unlawfully by a Third Party

On 8 September 2016 the General Court (“GC”) dismissed Heiploeg’s appeal against the European Commission’s (“Commission”) decision in Shrimps (AT.39633) and confirmed that the Commission may rely on recordings seized lawfully...more

The Eighth Circuit Extinguishes Claims of Continuing Conduct in Propane Tank Conspiracy

Before plaintiffs could light the pilot on antitrust claims against two propane tank distributors, a split Eighth Circuit panel cut the gas. In doing so, the majority espoused a narrow view of the applicability of the...more

Ninth Circuit Issues “Antitrust Primer for Aftermarket Issues” in Aerotec

In a precedent-setting opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Aerotec International, Inc. v. Honeywell International, Inc., No. 14-15562, 2016 WL 4709868 (9th Cir. Sept. 9, 2016), affirmed the summary...more

Antitrust-Related Recent Developments: Merger Agreement Efforts Subject of Litigation

In a recent action raising the issue of the nature of a merger party’s obligation to take steps necessary to clear antitrust regulatory hurdles “as promptly as reasonably practicable,” Alere, Inc. sued Abbott Laboratories in...more

A Sovereign Thumb on the Scale: Appeals Court Defers to China’s Interpretation of Its Own Laws To Dismiss Antitrust Suit

The Second Circuit recently set aside a $147 million verdict against two Chinese companies accused of conspiring to fix the price and supply of vitamin C sold to U.S. buyers. In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation. The panel...more

WSGR Persuades Second Circuit to Overturn $150 Million Judgment Against Chinese Vitamin C Manufacturers

On September 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decision in a closely watched dispute over the question of whether foreign companies may be held liable under U.S. antitrust law for price...more

Breaches Of Covenants Not To Compete As Unfair And Deceptive Practices? The North Carolina Business Court Weighs In

When does a breach of a covenant not to compete violate N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1? Is tortious interference a per se violation of section 75-1.1? Departing-employee cases often raise both questions, but the answer to each...more

Caution: Mediator’s Proposal May Not Be Confidential Where Both Federal and State Claims are at Issue

On September 1, 2016, the Ninth Circuit held that, where both federal and state law claims are at issue, the federal law of privilege applies to mediation negotiations. In re: TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, Sony...more

Seventh Circuit Reverses Promotional Service Decision Under the Robinson-Patman Act

On August 12, 2016, the Seventh Circuit decided Woodman’s Food Market, Inc. v. Clorox Co., No. 15-3001, and held that Clorox’s refusal to sell bulk-sized packages of certain products to some retailers, like Woodman’s, when it...more

Package Size Is Not a “Service” Under Section 2(e) of the Robinson-Patman Act, Says Seventh Circuit in Clorox

On August 12, the Seventh Circuit issued its decision in Woodman’s Food Market v. Clorox Co., an appeal that we have been watching closely. The Seventh Circuit’s ruling, which held that product package size is not a...more

Questioning 2nd Circ. Analysis in Aluminum Antitrust Case

In a painstaking dissection of the “inextricably intertwined” standard often used by courts to determine whether plaintiffs can show they suffered “antitrust injury” if they neither purchased from, nor competed with, a...more

Private Antitrust Damage Actions in China: An Emerging Force?

China has emerged as a global power in merger review with surprising speed. Does the surge in private antitrust litigation suggest a similar pattern? Introduction - This Client Alert provides a general description...more

Court Finds Spanish-Language Movies May Be A Proper Antitrust Product Submarket

Can Spanish-language media content constitute a proper antitrust product submarket for purposes of a Sherman Act claim? A federal district court in Houston appears to be the first to address the issue and has signaled that,...more

No Resuscitation of Hospital’s Exclusive Dealing Antitrust Suit against Competing Hospitals and Physicians

The Third Circuit reminds, “[i]n antitrust suits, definitions matter.” Last week, in applying that maxim, the court affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a suit filed by a hospital against a competing hospital and physician...more

Seventh Circuit Reverses Package Size Promotional Service Decision Under the Robinson-Patman Act

On August 12, 2016, the Seventh Circuit reversed the district court decision allowing Woodman’s Food Market, Inc.’s (Woodman’s) price discrimination lawsuit against The Clorox Company and The Clorox Sales Company (Clorox) to...more

Second Circuit: Aluminum End Users Lack Antitrust Standing; Price Manipulation Claims Against Traders and Warehouses Foiled

Last week, in In re Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust Litigation, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”) rejected a claim by certain downstream end-users of aluminum that their price manipulation...more

No More Tears (Enough is Enough)… Ending the Debate About Unlawful Means in Conspiracy Torts

It was 1983. The Police’s Every Breath You Take was top of the charts. Return of the Jedi was tearing up the box office. And the Supreme Court of Canada released that seminal case seared into every competition litigator’s...more

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