June 16, 2014

In re Student Athlete Name and Likeness Litigation – Recap Of The First Week Of Trial

By David Scupp

The participants in the highly anticipated, and potentially transformative, antitrust trial In re Student Athlete Name and Likeness Licensing Litigation spent their first week of trial grappling with the myths and realities of college athletics.

Plaintiffs, led by former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon, challenge the NCAA’s rules denying compensation to college athletes for use of their name and likeness in television broadcasts, rebroadcasts, game clips, and video games. To win, plaintiffs will have to overcome the NCAA’s “amateurism” justification for restricting its athletes’ compensation – a defense that the NCAA has employed successfully for decades. This will be one of, if not the, primary battlegrounds in the case. Much of the testimony heard during the first week of trial focused on this issue.

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Categories: Antitrust Litigation

    June 16, 2014

    EU General Court Upholds Record 1.06 Billion Euro Antitrust Fine Against Intel

    A View from Constantine Cannon’s London Office

    By Irene Fraile

    The General Court of the European Union has dismissed Intel’s appeal of the European Commission´s decision fining the computer chip manufacturer a record 1.06 billion euros for breaching EU competition law.

    The European Commission imposed the fine on Intel in May 2009, after finding that Intel abused its dominant position in the x86 CPU microprocessors market by attempting to foreclose Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), its main rival, between 2002 and 2007.

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    Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, Antitrust Litigation, International Competition Issues

      June 9, 2014

      Container Shipping Companies Seek To Steer Clear Of European Antitrust Shoals

      A View from Constantine Cannon’s London Office

      By Natalia Mikolajczyk and Richard Pike

      Major container shipping companies are attempting to resolve the European Commission’s antitrust probe into their practice of publicly announcing price increases.

      The two biggest players in the container shipping market, A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S and Mediterranean Shipping Company, hope to end the proceedings without paying any fines, according to news reports.

      Since 2009, container liner shipping companies have been publicly announcing their plans to increase prices, often through press releases available on company websites.  Between 2009 and 2013, carriers on the benchmark Asia-to-Europe route gave advance notice, via press release, of at least 34 rate increases.  These announcements, which were made several times a year, included information on the amount of the rate increase and the date of implementation.

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      Categories: Antitrust Enforcement, International Competition Issues

        June 6, 2014

        District Court Rejects “Double Counting” Attack On Damages Theory In Meritor’s Exclusive Dealing Case

        By Matthew L. Cantor and Allison F. Sheedy

        Judge Sue L. Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has denied a motion for summary judgment on damages in ZF Meritor LLC and Meritor Transmission Corporation v. Eaton Corporation, setting up the long-running antitrust case for a trial on damages that is slated to start on June 23, 2014.

        Plaintiffs are now free to seek the full $800 million they claim as damages, which, after trebling, would total $2.4 billion.  Plaintiffs have already won a jury verdict on liability that found that Defendant Eaton Corporation, an electrical and hydraulic systems maker, violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act by entering into unlawful exclusive dealing agreements.

        The plaintiffs are Meritor Transmission Corp. and an extinct joint venture between Meritor and a German manufacturer, which sold manual transmission systems to truck manufacturers.  Plaintiffs claimed that Eaton excluded their joint venture from the market by entering into long-term arrangements with major American truck manufacturers.  Plaintiffs alleged that these long-term arrangements—which included loyalty “discounts” that plaintiffs claimed were pricing penalties—were actually unlawful exclusive dealing agreements.

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        Categories: Antitrust Litigation

          May 22, 2014

          $20 Million Settlement Domino Falls In High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, With More On The Brink

          By David Golden

          The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has granted the motion of plaintiffs in In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation for final approval of class action settlements with Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Intuit for $20 million.

          The court’s final approval of these settlements follows the recent announcement of another, much larger, proposed settlement in the same lawsuit with tech heavyweights Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe Systems.  That settlement is reported to total $324 million.

          The class action complaint alleges that several high-profile companies conspired to fix wages and eliminate competition for workers in high-tech industries.  The case has received considerable media attention because of allegations that Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, was centrally involved in the conspiracy at both Pixar and Apple.  In an unusual twist, one of the named class representatives recently objected to the proposed settlement with Google, Apple, Intel, and Adobe.  The court has scheduled a hearing regarding preliminary approval of that settlement for June 19, 2014.

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          Categories: Antitrust Litigation

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