The government’s successful prosecution of AU Optronics Corporation, its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, and two former company executives serves as a cautionary tale. The case marks the first time a company has gone to trial over charges resulting from a U.S. investigation into an international cartel. It highlights the dangers of participating in a price fixing…

In recent months, again there have been major developments in German competition law. Some of these developments have unfolded in high-tech industries, such as chipboard panel manufacturing, online video services and telecommunications, while others have arisen in more traditional contexts. At the legislative level, the German government has presented a draft bill for a major…

Federal legislative proposals that would have repealed the antitrust exemption enjoyed by freight railroads and would have permitted the U.S. Department of Justice to sue Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members for price fixing will not pass the Senate as part of the Surface Transportation Bill. Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin) last month introduced two…

The Department of Justice today announced a total of $548 million in fines resulting from a second round of charges in the government’s ongoing investigation into collusive activity in the auto parts industry. Two more Japanese companies have agreed to plead guilty for their roles in multiple price fixing and bid rigging conspiracies in the…

Something striking occurred in the Seventh Circuit this year. In two different, massive antitrust class actions, in the space of about nine months, panels of that court applied the Twombly-Iqbal pleading formula to reach opposite conclusions, even though both cases involved very similar fact allegations and the same procedural posture.  Both cases also involved the…

It is beginning to look like the U.S. Supreme Court will not be taking up any antitrust cases in the current term. Last week, the Court denied six petitions for review in antitrust-related matters. Just yesterday, the Court denied a petition for review in a Federal Trade Commission antitrust enforcement action. There have been far…

Antitrust plaintiffs asserting price fixing claims do not need a “smoking gun” to avoid dismissal of their complaint and proceed to discovery. Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago decided that consumers plausibly alleged a conspiracy among the nation’s leading wireless service providers to fix the price of text messaging services in violation of…

A decision from a divided U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta earlier this month continues the debate over the appropriate pleading standard for antitrust plaintiffs under Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly (2007) 550 U.S. 544. The appellate court held that consumers failed to support their resale price fixing and horizontal price fixing claims against the…

The federal district court in Sacramento, California, has refused to dismiss an antitrust claim alleging that SK Foods L.P.—a now-defunct food products distributor—conspired with others to eliminate competition in the market for processed tomato products. The private action brought by competitors of SK Foods parallels a closely-watched federal probe of anticompetitive conduct in the industry….

In a case of first impression, the California Supreme Court recently decided that alleged victims of a price fixing scheme can pursue treble damages claims under the California Cartwright Act, even though the victims passed on some or all of the purported overcharges to indirect purchasers downstream in the chain of distribution. Thus, the state’s…