Sherman Act Price-Fixing

News & Analysis as of

Rejection of the Antitrust Division's Position on the Running of the Statute of Limitations until the Last Payment

The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice claims the statute of limitations for a criminal antitrust violation does not begin to run until the last payment is collected by a conspirator on a sale that was the...more

Enforcement Provides Important Update for Auto Industry

For the last several years, the global auto industry has been rocked by unprecedented investigations and prosecution. Numerous international cartels, involving scores of companies and individuals, have engaged in...more

Second Circuit Continues the Ebook Saga by Affirming Apple’s Role in an Unlawful Price Fixing Conspiracy

On June 30, 2015, the same day as the launch of Apple’s new streaming music service, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals coincidentally affirmed a district court ruling that Apple conspired with five of the country’s largest...more

Second Circuit Affirms District Court Ruling Against Apple in E-Books Price-Fixing Suit, Creating Potential Circuit Split

On June 30, 2015, in a 2-to-1 ruling, the Second Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in United States v. Apple, Inc. that Apple and five of the largest book publishers in the U.S. entered into a per se illegal...more

Clarity Put on Hold as FTAIA Conflict/Confusion Continues

The Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) was enacted in 1982 to help achieve clarity in the application of U.S antitrust laws to international trade. More than 30 years since that effort, the FTAIA has not...more

Supreme Court Surprises the Antitrust World with Denial of Cert in Motorola and AU Optronics

Today the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in two cases, Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics et al. and Hsiung and AU Optronics Corp. America Inc. v. United States, declining to resolve a closely watched...more

Shipping Executive Acquitted of Antitrust Charge

On May 8, 2015, a jury in Puerto Rico acquitted Thomas Farmer (Farmer), the former vice president of price and yield management for Crowley Liner Services, Inc., of conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition in...more

Six-Month DOJ Criminal Cartel Summary, Part I: Auto Parts

Today we bring you the first part of our second biennial update on DOJ criminal actions in the cartel area. This has been a busy six months for the Antitrust Division, so we are breaking this update up into installments. ...more

Third Circuit Remands Class Certification Ruling in Blood Reagents Price-Fixing Case

On Wednesday, April 8, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a district court’s order certifying a class of direct purchasers of blood reagents in a price-fixing suit against Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc. In re...more

Seventh Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Text Messaging Price-Fixing Claims

On Thursday, April 9, 2015, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for AT&T Mobility LLC, Verizon Wireless LLC, T-Mobile USA Inc. and Sprint Corp., in a text messaging price-fixing...more

Shipping Executive Pleads Guilty to Ocean-Shipping Price Fixing Conspiracy

On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, an employee of the Japan-based Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) pleaded guilty to a violation of the Sherman Act for conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for international ocean shipping from...more

Parking Heater Manufacturer Pleads Guilty to Price-Fixing

On March 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Espar Inc., pleaded guilty to one count of price-fixing under the Sherman Act in a scheme involving parking heaters for commercial vehicles that ran from...more

Seventh Circuit Denies Rehearing in LCD Price-Fixing Suit by Motorola

On January 12, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals refused Motorola Mobility LLC’s petition for a rehearing en banc of its price-fixing claims against foreign manufacturers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. Motorola...more

Follow up to Beyond Borders: The Reach of Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp.

In October, we wrote about the Seventh Circuit’s reconsideration of Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., 746 F.3d 842 (7th Cir. 2014) and the reach of the Sherman Act and the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act...more

Allegations That Designer Wedding Dress Line Constitutes A Relevant Product Market Found Implausible

Allegations that a highly specialized designer line of wedding dresses lacks reasonable substitutes fail to support allegations of Sherman Act violations for price fixing and group boycott claims.  House of Brides etc., v....more

Seventh Circuit Limits Antitrust Actions for Harm Caused to Foreign Affiliates of U.S. Companies

The Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA), 15 U.S.C. § 6a, was enacted to provide greater clarity on the Sherman Antitrust Act’s reach. However, the FTAIA continues to muddy the waters. In a recent decision from...more

International Cartel Sales to Global Supply Chains Raise U.S. Antitrust Issues

In a widely awaited opinion, the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has issued an opinion which affects the scope of government enforcement actions and which purchasers may pursue private civil treble damage...more

Motorola’s FTAIA Quest Ends With a Whimper in the Seventh Circuit

On November 26, 2014, the Seventh Circuit (Posner, J.) issued its order upon rehearing of Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp. (Case No. 14-8003). Motorola still effectively lost the appeal, but the Court’s more...more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of 99% of Motorola’s Claims in LCD Case Based on Motorola’s Lack of Standing

On the day before Thanksgiving—less than two weeks after oral argument—the Seventh Circuit issued its ruling on Motorola’s interlocutory appeal in Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., affirming dismissal of the vast...more

Summary Judgment Affirmed by Sixth Circuit in Broker Commission Price-Fixing Litigation

On November 13, 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of price-fixing claims against two home brokerage service firms in Kentucky, McMahon Co. and HomeService of America, Inc. Hyland, et al. v....more

DOJ Criminal Cartel Enforcement: Six-Month Summary

This is the first in what we expect to be a series of updates on DOJ criminal actions in the cartel area. Here, we look at highlights over the last six months in the DOJ’s investigations of the auto parts industry, LIBOR, and...more

Protection Against Foreign Anticompetitive Practices Affecting U.S. Activities

Antitrust laws, like the Sherman Act, protect American markets from anticompetitive practices. But, under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA), American antitrust laws only reach foreign conduct in specific...more

Pursuit of a “Smoking Gun” May Be a Recipe for Disaster

In the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly recently held that plaintiffs alleging price-fixing in the text messaging market were not entitled to an adverse inference after...more

Milk Processors Soured After Federal District Court Rules They Must Face Monopsonization Claims at Trial

Nearly five years into a wide-ranging monopsonization suit accusing milk processors of conspiring to depress and fix the prices paid to independent and cooperative milk suppliers, Judge Christina Reiss of the District of...more

2nd Circuit Decision in Lotes Clarifies FTAIA’s Effect on the Extraterritorial Reach of the Sherman Act, But Leaves Unresolved the...

Long-simmering issues concerning the applicability of the Sherman Act to foreign conduct under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, 15 U.S.C. § 6a (FTAIA), were addressed in the June 4, 2014 decision of the 2nd U.S....more

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