Our experience includes these matters:

Class Action and Other Litigation

  • We represent an international industrial equipment wholesaler in 19 class actions and one individual action in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging price fixing and monopolization in the sale of ductile iron pipe fittings. The actions have been consolidated into two complaints, consisting separately of direct and indirect purchasers. We scored an early success in the case, securing the dismissal of most of the indirect purchaser claims.

  • We served as sole counsel to a major pharmaceutical company in two related antitrust cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania arising out of alleged conspiracy between our client and its promotional partner to bring sham patent litigation against prospective generic manufacturers for an antidepressant drug and file a sham citizen petition, allegedly resulting in the delayed entry of generic versions of the drug. The two cases were brought on behalf of a putative direct purchaser class and putative indirect purchaser class seeking overcharges. We obtained a motion to dismiss the indirect purchaser action in large part, dismissing all but six of the 64 state law claims originally asserted. After three days of hearings, the court granted in part and denied in part plaintiffs' motions for class certification. The court then granted our summary judgment on all but one claim, on which the court deferred decision pending further briefing. The sole claim remaining in the case is whether the settlement of the patent infringement actions violated antitrust laws.

  • We represent a major radio broadcasting and programming company against alleged causes of action for violations of the antitrust laws and the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, intentional interference with prospective business advantage, and tortious interference with contractual relationships in Colorado state court. We obtained dismissal on the antitrust and Consumer Protection Act claims and then resolved the remaining claims.

  • We represent a cable TV system operator in a class action case involving claims that it violated federal antitrust laws and created a monopoly in the Philadelphia area resulting in consumers paying higher prices for expanded basic services. As local counsel, Ballard Spahr took the lead in drafting decertification papers, which resulted in decertification of the existing classes, and then took the lead again in drafting the opposition to the amended certification motion. After an evidentiary hearing, the court significantly narrowed the grounds upon which the plaintiff may seek to show class-wide antitrust impact. We obtained summary judgment on the class’s section 1 and section 2 claims contending that our clients conduct constituted acts of monopolization or attempted monopolization. The U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed the Third Circuit's decision upholding certification of the narrowed class.

  • We represented a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in a series of related putative class actions that allege antitrust and related state law violations. According to the complaints, our client abused its purported monopoly power by filing sham citizen petitions with the FDA regarding bioequivalency and manufacturing standards for its product. Multiple complaints were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by direct and indirect purchasers and the first company to receive approval to sell a generic version. Ballard Spahr secured an early victory with the dismissal of the indirect purchasers’ complaint for failure to allege standing. Since then, we have successfully pared back the claims to a four-state class. Following a three-day evidentiary hearing on class certification and a two-day Daubert hearing on the admissibility of the parties’ proposed experts, the parties resolved the pending claims.

  • We serve as co-counsel to a telecommunications company in a multidistrict litigation that has been transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The complaints, which number in excess of a dozen, purport to assert a Section 1 tying claim between premium cable services and a set top box offered by our client.

  • We serve as co-counsel to a convenience store and truck stop company in two class action antitrust cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The case arose out of an alleged conspiracy between national truck stop companies and their supplier in the fuel card market, the purpose of which was to maintain and enhance a purported monopoly.

  • We represent an agricultural chemical manufacturer against one of its distributors in a case involving 20 claims under the Sherman Act, the Robinson-Patman Act, the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, and numerous common-law doctrines.

  • We defended a major public chemical manufacturer in an investigation by the Antitrust Division into an alleged cartel to restrict output and follow-on multidistrict federal and state court litigation. After conducting a seven-year investigation, the division declined to take any action. We favorably settled the federal civil litigation and continue to defend the state court litigation.

  • We represented three leading egg producers in multiple putative class actions alleging an unlawful conspiracy to fix and inflate the prices of egg products and shell eggs by restricting the production of eggs and dividing up market share for shell eggs in violation of antitrust laws. We also represented the three manufacturers in connection with a concurrent Department of Justice investigation into the allegations.

  • We defended a well-known banking institution retained against a nationwide class action against MasterCard, Visa, and five other banks, alleging price-fixing conspiracies involving foreign currency conversion fees charged on credit card transactions. After obtaining rulings significantly narrowing the size of the class, including a ruling that cardholders from other banks could not adequately represent our client's cardholders, the defendants negotiated a favorable settlement.

  • We represented a Fortune 1000 manufacturer in connection with damages it sustained as a result of an international price-fixing conspiracy engaged in by its suppliers. We resolved the litigation on terms more favorable than any other purchaser, including the class from which our client opted out. Through aggressive discovery, we proved that the conspiracy period was substantially longer and involved more parties than the case brought by the government, thus allowing our client to recover more than any other purchaser.

Antitrust Implications of Planned Business Combinations, Acquisitions, and Collaborations

  • We advised a large utilities infrastructure company in connection with a now-completed billion-dollar transaction, including responding to informal FTC inquiries.

  • We represented a manufacturer of molecular diagnostic tests in connection with a review by the FTC into a proposed merger with a manufacturer of cancer screening tests. After a period of intensive litigation, including extensive responses to second requests, the parties decided not to proceed with the transaction.

  • We convinced the FTC to allow a merger between our client and another manufacturer of diagnostic tests to proceed after an informal investigation by the FTC into the proposed merger.

  • On behalf of a specialty gas manufacturer proceeding with a merger, we responded successfully to informal FTC inquiries, including producing the chief executive officer of our client for an informal interview. The waiting period expired without a second request.

  • We successfully represented a daily newspaper in its acquisition of another daily newspaper. Our client received a second request, but through extensive productions and interviews, we were able to demonstrate that the transaction would not be harmful to competition. The transaction was completed.

Antitrust Counseling on Compliance and Policy Issues

  • We serve as antitrust counsel to an innovator of minerals for pharmaceutical and agricultural uses. Ballard Spahr provides ongoing counseling with respect to business transactions, including licensing and distribution agreements.

  • We represent a national organization of utilities formed to develop voluntary environmental standards and guidance for the industry supply chain.

  • We advise professional sports clients on the potential formation of a group-selling organization.

  • We provide antitrust and environmental advice to a property owners association in Northeastern Pennsylvania in establishing a common form gas lease that provides environmental protections.

  • We advise independent system operators, public power entities, traditional utilities, independent generators, and power marketers on the electric power and transmission markets.

  • We served as antitrust adviser to a not-for-profit, member-driven professional association whose purpose is to advance the use of sound risk principles in the financial services industry. This well-known trade association promotes an enterprise-wide approach to risk management that focuses on credit risk, market risk, and operational risk. Its member base totals 3,000 institutional members that include banks of all sizes as well as nonbank financial institutions, and 17,000 risk management professionals in North America and overseas. The trade association hosts roundtable meetings of its members. We provide antitrust monitoring at roundtable meetings that draw key executives of competing financial institutions. In our role as an antitrust monitor, we will review meeting agendas and materials, provide appropriate antitrust admonitions at the start of meetings, and render on-site advice during the meetings themselves.

  • We worked as antitrust compliance counsel for a large hydroelectric company in Pennsylvania. In that capacity, we monitored meetings involving competitors and drafted the company's antitrust compliance policy. We also advised the company on its interactions with potential customers.