Antitrust and Unfair Competition > Antitrust Litigation

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP lawyers have extensive experience litigating antitrust cases. We represent clients in private antitrust actions and in matters brought by government agencies. We handle antitrust cases running the gamut from industry-wide multidistrict consumer class actions to disputes between two competitors and claims of horizontal conspiracy. We also regularly represent both plaintiffs and defendants in monopolization cases and in cases alleging vertical restraints. Our lawyers have substantial experience litigating predatory pricing and price discrimination cases. We regularly represent clients, both principals and third parties, in merger-related litigation. We craft and prosecute antitrust counterclaims in intellectual property and other types of cases.

Our litigators know the substance of antitrust law, but also know how to navigate the procedural issues that often arise with antitrust claims, including joint defense agreements, proceedings before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), class certification and Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), coordination of private actions and government enforcement proceedings, and third-party practice. We understand the potential costs to clients that come with allegations of antitrust violations, and we have had much success disposing of antitrust claims on motions to dismiss and on summary judgment. We also have the experience necessary to take complex cases to trial, and we make sure our cases are well positioned to be tried.

Expert witnesses, particularly economists, are a staple in antitrust litigation, and we know how to work hand in hand with experts to advance the client’s case. We are experienced in bringing and defending Daubert challenges and, where our own experts are concerned, minimizing the risk of such a challenge.

We are skilled in the litigation aspects of enforcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state agencies. We represent clients in government investigations, regulatory proceedings and agency litigation concerning both competition law and consumer protection issues. Several of our lawyers have worked at the DOJ or FTC and bring that experience to bear in their representation of clients in matters before those agencies. Our approach in government investigations and other regulatory matters is to position clients to avoid litigation when it is to their advantage.

Representative Antitrust Litigation Matters

Conspiracy

  • representing a publisher in government and private antitrust litigation in the Southern District of New York against the principal electronic book publishers
  • representing a large Russian oil company defendant in an antitrust class action MDL brought by direct purchasers of refined petroleum products alleging collusion with companies owned by, or affiliated with, members of OPEC—the district court granted a motion to dismiss, the 5th Circuit affirmed and the Supreme Court denied certiorari
  • defending a large pharmaceutical company in a class action antitrust lawsuit in which the plaintiffs attacked four “reverse payments” patent litigation settlements, accusing the defendants of antitrust conspiracy and monopolization claims
  • defending a hedge fund against class action antitrust and RICO conspiracy allegations
  • defending a manufacturer of oriented strand board, a building material, in nationwide class actions alleging conspiracy to restrict supply and fix prices

Monopolization

  • defending a major integrated oil company against (i) Sherman Act claims alleging monopolization and attempted monopolization of the market for purchasing and transporting Alaska North Slope natural gas and (ii) Clayton Act claims challenging the lawfulness of a series of oil company mergers—the district court granted motion to dismiss
  • defending a health care equipment company in a monopolization suit arising from a distribution arrangement involving another company’s patented medical device

Merger

  • defending one of the largest agricultural processing firms in the world in one of the longest-running Clayton Act Section 7 cases ever brought by the DOJ Antitrust Division. After nine years of litigation, including a two-month trial on the merits, the court dismissed the government’s complaint, and the government did not appeal.

Government Enforcement

  • representing four major refiners in the FTC’s investigation and enforcement action alleging that a competitor, by failing to disclose its patenting activity to regulators, improperly obtained power in the market for California reformulated gasoline
  • defending a large medical products company in a lengthy FTC investigation of a consummated acquisition of patents and patent rights that resolved a patent infringement action by client
  • representing a large refiner of petroleum products in price manipulation investigations by the FTC and state attorneys general
  • representing physicians in a DOJ investigation concerning possible collusion in activities relating to state rate regulation and dealings with third-party payors

Consumer Protection

  • defending a large refiner and marketer in a massive consumer class action MDL claiming that the failure to adjust price or volume when selling at retail motor fuel warmer than the alleged industry standard of 60°F is a deceptive practice in violation of state consumer protection statutes.