While online commerce has in many ways made the world more accessible to smaller competitors, the dominance of a select few companies and wide-scale adoption of limited platforms have presented new challenges to competition, along with temptations and opportunities for monopolists and other market-dominant players to act anticompetitively.
We understand these complex and difficult challenges like few litigation firms do, having dealt with market power inequities in high-profile disputes involving online payment processors, cryptocurrency companies, film and television studios, social media and online search giants, computer and semiconductor chip manufacturers, health care providers and insurers.
Our keen understanding of emerging technologies – like Internet-based media and blockchain – position us as one of the leading antitrust litigation firms in traditional and emerging markets. Our trial lawyers are known for aggressive and efficient representation and progressive application of the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, Robinson-Patman Act and other federal laws, as well as the Cartwright Act, California’s Unfair Competition Law, and other protections under California law and other state laws. We have prosecuted and defended antitrust litigation matters on a nationwide basis in both federal and state courts.
- United American Corp. v. Payward Ventures, Inc.
Currently defending Payward Ventures (operator of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange) and Jesse Powell (CEO) who are accused of conspiring with other entities and individuals in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Plaintiff alleges that defendants engaged in a bid rigging scheme and a group boycott. This closely watched action was filed in the Southern District of Florida and appears to be the first antitrust case involving cryptocurrency and blockchains.
- Image Technical Services, Inc. v. Eastman Kodak Co.
Successfully represented a group of 11 plaintiff independent service organizations, who each serviced and repaired Kodak equipment, in a federal antitrust monopolization trial against Kodak. Plaintiffs alleged that Kodak, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, unlawfully “leveraged” its monopoly power over equipment parts by refusing to continue to sell replacement parts to the plaintiffs, and others, in order to create or maintain a monopoly over the related servicing market for Kodak photocopier and micrographic equipment. The litigation and its multiple appeals raised novel legal theories and cutting edge issues, both in the antitrust and intellectual property arenas. The case was tried to a jury in San Francisco and the plaintiffs obtained a verdict in the amount of $71.8 million (after mandatory trebling). The trial court also issued a 10-year mandatory injunction which forced Kodak to change its parts sale policy and business practices. On appeal by Kodak, the Ninth Circuit affirmed on all liability issues and in substantial part the damages award. After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review, a significant settlement was reached for the plaintiffs.
- Sidense Corporation v. Kilopass Technology, Inc.
Successfully represented the plaintiff, a provider of complimentary metal-oxide-semiconductor logic embeddable antifuse one-time programmable nonvolatile memory technology, against a competitor. Plaintiff brought a federal antitrust lawsuit against the defendant under Section 2 of the Sherman Act alleging that defendant initiated a series of baseless lawsuits against the plaintiff, including patent infringement, in a coordinated campaign to drive it out of the relevant market so that defendant could monopolize that specialized market. Plaintiff had spent millions of dollars defending against the baseless infringement litigation and its business growth was severely impacted. The district court in San Francisco denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss finding that plaintiff had sufficiently pled its antitrust claim. The case was then promptly resolved resulting in a very substantial settlement for the plaintiff.
- Kentmaster Manufacturing, Co. v. Jarvis Products Corp.
Successfully defended a major manufacturer of a broad line of slaughterhouse equipment against a federal antitrust lawsuit and related state law claims alleging predatory pricing. The trial court on a motion to dismiss found that that the “antitrust injury” requirement was lacking in the plaintiff’s complaint and dismissed the action with prejudice. On appeal to the Ninth Circuit, the dismissal without leave to amend was affirmed in all respects.
- Modesto Irrigation District v. Pacific Gas and Electric. Co.
Represented plaintiff Modesto Irrigation District concerning competitor PG&E’s alleged unlawful refusal to allow it access to PG&E’s electric transmission lines to supply electric power through a substation in order to service a large potential customer. The case involved legal questions regarding antitrust immunity and regulatory requirements under the California Government Code. The case was also reviewed by the Ninth Circuit twice.
- Arminak & Associates., Inc. v. Saint-Gobain Calmar, Inc.
Successfully represented the plaintiff, a small trigger sprayer manufacturer, against its monopolist competitor in an antitrust dispute under the Sherman Act. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant entered into anticompetitive exclusive dealing contracts with customers and thereby foreclosed open competition in the trigger sprayer market. After extensive party, third party and expert discovery and motion practice, the case was resolved with a very substantial settlement for plaintiff on the eve of trial.
- UniStrip Technologies, LLC v. LifeScan, Inc.
Successfully represented the plaintiff, a manufacturer of single-use disposable blood glucose test strips, for use with defendant’s portable self-monitoring devices to manage diabetes in an antitrust action. Plaintiff sold test strips for use with the defendant’s portable self-monitoring devices to manage diabetes. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, also was the dominant supplier of test strips for its meters and unlawfully entered into exclusive dealing and bundling contracts to its resellers and distributors on the condition they not purchase test strips from plaintiff and other competitors. Plaintiff contended that such exclusionary conduct violated the Sherman Act and Clayton Act. After the district court in Pennsylvania denied defendant’s motion to dismiss and limited discovery was conducted, the litigation was settled favorably for plaintiff.
- Abbey House Media, Inc. v. Apple, Inc.
Successfully represented a group of independent e-book retailers against Apple and five major book publishing companies. Plaintiffs alleged antitrust violations pursuant to Section 1 of the Sherman Act in an action in the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs claimed they sustained significant business losses by reason of Apple’s conspiracy with the publishers to fix prices and reduce competition in the e-book industry. Extensive fact and expert discovery was conducted. After the Second Circuit’s affirmance of the Department of Justice’s trial court victory against Apple finding that it violated the price fixing prohibition of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, plaintiffs negotiated a substantial settlement with Apple.