Antitrust and Competition
Practice Co-Chairs: Barbara T. Sicalides and Jeremy Heep
Pepper Hamilton LLP has a strong team of lawyers who focus on antitrust litigation. We represent companies and, often, their officers and directors, in civil and criminal antitrust matters in federal and state courts and before various agencies. Our trial teams are carefully chosen to achieve client goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We have extensive trial experience in antitrust cases. That experience includes handling class action and multidistrict litigation, and often coordinating litigation filed by various plaintiffs in multiple jurisdictions.
Pepper has considerable experience with the investigative and enforcement staff of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, the FTC and the offices of state attorneys general nationwide. Our practice in these areas includes matters involving the Sherman and Clayton Acts, the Robinson-Patman Act and state antitrust laws, as well as civil RICO claims, consumer protection statutes, franchise laws and a range of other antitrust, trade regulation, and competition statutes and regulations. We also have experience defending clients in patent-antitrust cases, including against allegations of “sham” patent litigation, fraud on the PTO, improper Orange Book listings and anticompetitive settlement agreements with generics.
A significant portion of our practice involves counseling clients in various industries to avoid antitrust liability and implement effective compliance programs.
Representative antitrust litigation engagements include:
- Toledo Mack Sales & Service v. Mack Trucks, Inc. — full defense verdict following four-week jury trial for a major truck manufacturer in claims alleging violations of the Robinson-Patman Act, the Sherman Act and state laws, and awarded $11.3 million on counterclaims, later reduced to $1.6 million; on appeal a new trial was ordered on the Sherman Act claims, and at the retrial in 2009 we again obtained a full defense jury verdict
- In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation — defense of two Capper-Volstead egg producer cooperatives and a trade association in a series of putative class actions alleging an industry-wide supply restriction scheme to fix the prices of eggs and egg products sold in the United States during an eight-year period; representation includes acting in capacity of liaison defense counsel
- Just New Homes v. Beazer Homes — Represented a national homebuilder in defense of price-fixing and monopolization antitrust claims; obtained dismissal on summary judgment
- Mack Trucks, Inc. v. Motor Vehicle Dealers Board — successful termination of independent truck dealership following a two-week hearing for misappropriation of trade secrets
- LePage’s, et al. v. 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) — won jury verdict and $65 million judgment (after trebling) for plaintiff in monopolization (“bundling”) claim. The case tried in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and defendant’s petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court was denied in 2004.
- Zoom Imaging, L.P. v. St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network, et al. — defense of a hospital system, exclusive radiology provider, and chairs of Departments of Radiology and Surgery in a health care antitrust case alleging conspiracy and group boycott of imaging center alleged to be competing with St. Luke’s and its exclusive radiology provider; the suit was dismissed with prejudice.
- Home Health Specialists, Inc. v. Liberty Health Systems, et al. — defense of a hospital in a health care antitrust case alleging monopolization and conspiracy to preclude a home health agency’s participation in the market. Plaintiff’s claims were defeated on summary judgment, which was affirmed by the Third Circuit.
- American Health Systems, Inc. v. Liberty Health System, et al. — defense of a hospital in a health care antitrust case alleging monopolization, attempt to monopolize, and conspiracy to restrain competition in the market for home health services; the case settled on terms favorable to our client.
- Ayodeji O. Bakare, M.D. v. Pinnacle Health Systems — obtained summary judgment for Pinnacle Health Systems against Sections 1 and 2 claims that the hospital allegedly instituted peer review proceedings as part of an alleged scheme to monopolize the market for OB/GYN services
- McDonough v. Toys R Us, et al. and BabyAge.com v. Toys R Us, et al. — represented a baby products manufacturer in a series of cases alleging Sherman Act violations based on allegations of vertical resale price maintenance agreements
- In re: Microcrystalline Cellulose Antitrust Litigation — represented a large chemical company in multiple class actions alleging market allocation, monopolization and attempted monopolization
- In re: Plumbing Fixtures Antitrust Litigation — defending leading manufacturer of bathroom and kitchen fixtures and fittings against allegations of price fixing
- In re: Flat Glass Antitrust Litigation — represent a leading glass manufacturer in several putative class actions alleging a conspiracy to fix prices for flat glass in the second antitrust MDL action involving the flat glass industry; Pepper also represented the same glass manufacturer in the first flat glass antitrust MDL against price fixing allegations brought by direct and indirect purchasers, as well as in various related state indirect purchaser antitrust actions
- In re: Linerboard Antitrust Litigation — representing one of the principal defendants in the cases charging price fixing, and arguing the class action issues in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on behalf of a group of defendants
- In re Lower Lake Erie Iron Ore Antitrust Litigation — defended Consolidated Rail Corporation against charges of conspiracy involving transportation of iron ore on the Great Lakes; obtained a favorable settlement after six weeks of trial
- Queen City Pizza v. Domino’s Pizza, Inc. — on behalf of a national franchiser, Domino’s Pizza, obtained dismissal of an action alleging violations of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act
- Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, Inc. v. American Bar Ass’n — as co-counsel to the American Bar Association, obtained summary judgment in a private antitrust action brought by an unaccredited law school claiming that the ABA’s refusal to accredit the school was a group boycott
- In re: Mushroom Antitrust Litigation — representing defendant in this litigation, including direct and indirect purchaser actions
- Freightliner v. General Motors — prosecuted successfully monopolization, Robinson-Patman and other exclusionary conduct claims
- In re: Relafen Antitrust Litigation — represented a Fortune 100 research-based pharmaceutical company in a monopolization and attempted monopolization case based on allegations of sham patent litigation and unlawful intellectual property strategies
- United States v. Ludowici-Celadon Co., et al. — representation of manufacturing company in request to terminate consent decree
- Smithkline Beecham Corp. v. Eastern Applicators, Inc., et al. — representation of contractor in antitrust litigation
- Arden Architectural Specialties, Inc., et al. v. Washington Mills Electro Minerals Corporation, et al., and General Refractories Company v. Washington Mills Electro Minerals Corporation, et al., — representation of abrasive grain manufacturer in antitrust class action
- In Re: Tampico Fiber Antitrust Litigation — representation of importer/distributor in antitrust class action
- Datasat, Inc. v. Unisys Corporation — representation of computer manufacturer in antitrust litigation
- Atlass v. Texas Air Corp. — representation of airline in antitrust litigation
- represented a U.K. parts manufacturer in defense of patent and monopolization claims brought by a terminated distributor
- obtained verdict at trial for a “Big Three” automobile manufacturer in defense of a suit by a distributor charging various antitrust violations in connection with the sale of branded replacement parts
- represented a biomedical manufacturing company in prosecution of patent infringement claims and expected antitrust counterclaims
- defended a major automotive parts wholesaler in Robinson-Patman Act “mass action” brought by almost 200 plaintiffs
- represented an international electronics manufacturer in defense of claims brought under the Sherman and Robinson-Patman Acts
- defended a major oil company against claims that a group of competitors engaged in an anticompetitive information exchange
- represented cosmetics manufacturer in a criminal antitrust investigation involving division of markets; no indictments returned
- represented a major health maintenance organization in a suit alleging tying in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act
- defended companies involved in Water Heaters Antitrust Litigation and Glassine and Greaseproof Paper Antitrust Litigation
- defended an airline in price-fixing litigation
- defended a film distribution and production company in defense of refusal to deal case charging violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act and Pennsylvania’s film distribution statutes
- representation of Pilkington plc in connection with its proposed acquisition of one of its competitors
- representation before the DOJ in an acquisition by a leading newsprint manufacturer acquiring a competitor.
Criminal Antitrust Cases
Pepper has considerable experience defending clients in criminal antitrust investigations and prosecutions. Our team includes former federal and state prosecutors who represent companies and individuals named as targets, subjects or fact witnesses in federal and state grand jury investigations and prosecutions. Our broad and deep experience in the representation of clients facing parallel civil and criminal investigations results in a well-coordinated team of professionals able to defend clients on all fronts.
Representative criminal antitrust engagements include:
- representation of targets of two active and high-profile criminal antitrust investigations in New York and Philadelphia
- representation of importer/distributor in price fixing investigation
- representation of plastic pipe manufacturer in price fixing investigation
- representation of United Kingdom corporate officer in U.S. price fixing prosecution
- representation of oil exploration and development company in price fixing investigation concerning posted price of crude oil
- representation of roofing shingle manufacturer in price fixing investigation
- representation of abrasive grain manufacturer in price fixing investigation
- representation of a manufacturing company in antitrust investigation and prosecution.