Washington v. Tyson Foods, Inc.
Plaintiff state filed a lawsuit against 19 chicken producers accusing them of a wide-ranging illegal conspiracy to inflate and manipulate prices, rig contract bids and coordinate industry supply reductions to maximize profits. The defendants account for approximately 95 percent of the broiler chickens sold in the United States. The complaint asserts their conduct violates the…
Settlement Agreement Between Plaintiff States and Citibank (June 2018)
Forty-two plaintiff states reached a $100 million settlement with Citibank for fraudulent conduct involving interest rate manipulation that had a significant impact on consumers and financial markets around the world. UBS’ fraudulent conduct involved the manipulation of LIBOR (the London Interbank Offered Rate). LIBOR is a benchmark interest rate that affects financial instruments worth trillions…
California v. Denso, No. 2:19-cv-13566 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 3, 2019)
As part of its ongoing participation in the ongoing Automotive Parts multidistrict litigation, California reached a settlement with Denso to resolve claims that as part of a conspiracy with dozens of auto parts manufactures, competition in the automotive parts market was suppressed and eliminated by illegal bid rigging. The state’s complaint alleged that Denso had…
In re: Franchise No Poaching Provisions, King Cty. Super Ct., Wash. 2019
The Attorney General of Washington has entered into a series of agreements with 75 national chains who included so-called “no-poach” provisions in their franchise agreements. No-poach clauses appear in franchise agreements between owners of franchises and corporate headquarters. The clauses prohibit employees from moving among stores in the same corporate chain, a practice that economists…
Settlement Agreement Between Plaintiff States and UBS (Dec. 21, 2018)
Forty plaintiff states reached a $68 million settlement with UBS for fraudulent conduct involving interest rate manipulation that had a significant impact on consumers and financial markets around the world. UBS’ fraudulent conduct involved the manipulation of LIBOR (the London Interbank Offered Rate). LIBOR is a benchmark interest rate that affects financial instruments worth trillions…
Attorney General v. Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, LLC (Fl. Cir. Ct., Leon Cty., Apr. 30, 2020)
Florida reached a multimillion-dollar agreement with one of the largest oncology medical practices in Florida to resolve state antitrust and consumer protection concerns. The proposed consent decree with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC follows a civil antitrust investigation into whether the health care provider entered into illegal agreements with competitors that allocated geographic…
In the Matter of Nantucket Ass’n of Real Estate Brokers (Assurance of Voluntary Discontinuance)
Massachusetts attorney general alleged that the membership requirements for the Nantucket Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. (“NAREB”) unfairly excluded competitors from the Nantucket real estate brokerage market. The AG’s Office alleged that some of the requirements for brokers, including having a physical office on the island, a community involvement requirement (which the attorney general characterized as potentially pretextual) and high initiation fees, excluded competitors from the Nantucket real estate brokerage market. The attorney general alleged that NAREB controlled a multiple listing service that lists the vast majority of real estate listings on Nantucket. Without
this listing service, to which full members of NAREB have access, a broker was effectively excluded from competing. The agreement with NAREBrequired NAREB to allow brokers without a physical office on Nantucket to join the association if certain requirements regarding showing properties are met. NAREB also reduced the initiation fee for new members from $5,000 to $500, and eliminated the community involvement requirement for membership. In addition, NAREB paid $5000 in costs of the investigation.
New Hampshire Snowmobile Associaiton (Assurance of Discontinuance)
The New Hampshire Snowmobile Association, entered into an agreement to resolve allegations of price fixing conduct, and related unfair method of competition and unfair or deceptive practices in facilitating and securing agreements from NHSA member clubs to set uniform club dues for club members when selling club memberships through NHSA’s online club membership sales portal, and in requiring consumers who use NHSA’s online club membership sales portal to also become individual NHSA members without sufficiently informing them of, or providing an option regarding, a dual membership purchase.
West Virginia ex rel. Morrisey v. CRH, PLC, No. 17-C-41 (Cir. Ct. Kanawha Cty. Jan. 11, 2017)
CRH, PLC, through its subsidiary Oldcastle, is the largest producer of asphalt and the third-largest producer of aggregate in the U.S. the complaint alleges that through a series of acquisitions and anticompetitive actions, CRH has effectively exercised significant market power in West Virginia aggregate and asphalt markets. The conduct alleged includes inducing boycotts against competitors, threatening to put new competitors out of business; mandating statewide covenants not to compete for up to 10 years from competitors. The state alleged that CRH’s conduct has significantly increased prices for state road paving contracts in the three markets in the state between 2010 and 2014. the complaint included counts of violations of W.Va. Code 47-18-3 (restraint of trade); W.Va. Code 47-18-4 (monopolization and attempt to monopolize) and unjust enrichment. the complaint seeks injunctive relief, treble damages, disgorgement and restitution, divestiture; civil penalties and costs,
Texas et al. v. Penguin Group et al., No. 1:12-cv-03394-DLC (S.D.N.Y, Apr. 30, 2012)
TTexas and Connecticut led 33 state group that filed complaint charging three of the nation’s largest book publishers and Apple Inc. with colluding to fix the sales prices of electronic books. The States undertook a two-year investigation into allegations that the defendants conspired to raise e-book prices. Retailers had long sold e-books through a traditional wholesale distribution model, under which retailers, not publishers, set e-book sales prices. The states alleged that Penguin, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan conspired with other publishers and Apple to artificially raise prices by imposing a distribution model in which the publishers set the prices for bestsellers at $12.99 and $14.99. When Apple prepared to enter the e-book market, the publishers and Apple agreed to adopt an agency distribution model as a mechanism to allow them to fix prices. To enforce their price-fixing scheme, the publishers and Apple relied on contract terms that forced all e-book outlets to sell their products at the same price. Because the publishers agreed to use the same prices, retail price competition was eliminated. According to the States’ enforcement action, the coordinated agreement to fix prices resulted in e-book customers paying more than $100 million in overcharges. The States’ antitrust action seeks injunctive relief, damages for customers who paid artificially inflated prices for e-books and civil penalties. Case was filed in W.D. Tex., transferred to S.D.N.Y. as consolidated case. The States reached settlements with the five publishers, which granted E-book outlets greater freedom to reduce the prices of their E-book titles. Consumers nationwide received a total of $164 million in compensation. After entering into settlement agreement with all the Defendant publishers, DOJ and the states had a nearly 3 week trial against Apple in June 2013, during which numerous witnesses took the stand. On July 10, 2013, a decision was handed down in favor of the U.S. Department of Justice and the states against Apple. Trial of the damages phase is pending. United States et al. v. Apple, Inc., 12-CV-2826 (S.D.N.Y.).