Antitrust & Global Competition

Our economy is premised upon competition, and state and federal antitrust laws are intended to insure that competition is protected and collusion is punished.   Anticompetitive conduct – cartels and monopolies – strike at the heart of competition and create hidden taxes on the goods and services used by consumers and business.   CPM has been at the forefront of antitrust enforcement, successfully leading the prosecution of antitrust cases in markets including consumer electronics, air transportation, cargo and logistics, energy and natural gas, financial markets, automobiles, and office equipment.  

RECENT CASES OF NOTE

Auto Parts Antitrust Litigation
USDC, Eastern District of Michigan
CPM is co-lead counsel on behalf of consumers against manufacturers of auto parts, including bearings, fuel senders, heater control panels, safety systems, instrument control clusters and wire harnesses, for a world-wide conspiracy to fix prices for those parts for use in cars and trucks.

In re: Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation
USDC, Southern District of New York   
CPM represents dozens of public entities in ongoing litigation alleging the manipulation of municipal investments for bond funds by a number of financial institutions, insurance companies and brokers colluded to bid-rig the multi-billion dollar derivatives market.  Bank of America sought amnesty for violations of US antitrust laws by admitting its involvement in the conspiracy.  Several executives from major financial institutions including JPMorgan, UBS and GE Capital have pled guilty to criminal charges for their involvement in the bid-rigging conspiracy.   By bringing individual actions, CPM is able to maximize gains on behalf of its public entity clients.  

Municipal Bond Insurance Litigation 
San Francisco County Superior Court   
CPM represents a number of public entities and non-profit organizations in California alleging that bond insurance companies and the credit rating agencies colluded to suppress their credit ratings forcing them to buy insurance when they issued bonds at a cost of millions of dollars. Defendants include Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch. Major bond insurance companies such as Ambac and MBIA also misrepresented the extent of their involvement in subprime mortgage securitizations, which drastically impacted the insurer's ability to maintain AAA rated insurance. These actions are coordinated in San Francisco County Superior Court before the Honorable Richard A. Kramer. 

In re: Plasma Derivative Protein Therapies Antitrust Litigation
USDC, Northern District of California
CPM is lead counsel for indirect purchasers in this antitrust class action alleging price-fixing in the market for the life-saving blood products albumin and immunoglobulin.

Webkinz Litigation, Nuts for Candy v. Ganz Inc., et al.
USDC, Northern District of California
CPM was lead counsel representing a proposed class of persons or entities in the United States who ordered Webkinz from Ganz Inc. on the condition that they also order products from Ganz's "core line" of products. The complaint alleged that Ganz conditioned the purchase of its popular Webkinz plush line toy with a minimum $1,000 purchase of non-Webkinz "core" line products in violation of federal antitrust laws. On September 17, 2012, Hon. Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California approved a class action settlement on behalf of a class of small business retailers against Ganz Inc. for alleged antitrust violations where customers were required to purchase unwanted products as a condition to purchasing Ganz's popular Webkinz Toy. (Settled, 2012).

In re Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Antitrust Litigation
USDC, Northern District of California
CPM is an Executive Committee Member and represents a class of direct purchaser plaintiffs against manufacturers of cathode ray terminals ("CRT") whose prices were artificially raised, maintained or stabilized at a supra-competitive level by defendants and their co-conspirators. Settlements amounting to $79.5 million have been reached with four of the defendants.

In re Digital Music Antitrust Litigation
USDC, Southern District of New York
CPM was appointed to the Steering Committee in this class action brought on behalf of all persons who paid inflated prices for music sold as digital files.

Freight Forwarders Antitrust Litigation
USDC, Eastern District of New York
CPM is co-lead counsel for the class in this case involving an international conspiracy to fix the prices of freight forwarding services by companies such as UPS, DHL, and their competitors.  Unlike many antitrust cases, CPM and its co-counsel initiated this case prior to the announcement of antitrust violations by the United States Department of Justice.  Through five-years of litigation involving an investigation that has spanned the globe, including interviews with witnesses and conspiracy participants in Singapore, Germany, Denmark, and other countries, settlements with one-third of the defendants on behalf of the class have secured a recovery in excess of $113 million.  

In re Optical Disk Drive (ODD) Antitrust Litigation
USDC, Northern District of California
CPM is a member of the executive committee in this multidistrict litigation alleging a conspiracy that manufacturers of optical disk drives ("ODD") fixed prices of ODD's sold directly to plaintiffs in the United States. Plaintiffs have reached a $26 million settlement with the HLDS defendants.

In re Transpacific Passenger Air Transportation Antitrust Litigation
USDC, Northern District of California
CPM is the court-appointed Co-Lead counsel for a proposed class of purchasers who paid fuel surcharges illegally charged by defendants on long-haul passenger flights for transpacific routes. Plaintiffs have settled with Japan Airlines for $10 million.

Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation
USDC, Eastern District of New York
CPM, along with co-counsel, is the court-appointed lead counsel for a proposed class of U.S. indirect purchasers of international air freight services. The case alleges that the providers of international air freight services conspired to fix the prices of such services, including fuel surcharges. The case names almost forty international air freight carriers as defendants. The claims of the United States indirect purchasers is brought under the antitrust laws and consumer protection laws of various U.S. states. The Court granted approval to a settlement with defendants Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Lufthansa Cargo AG, and Swiss International Air Lines, Ltd. (Settled, 2009).

In re Intel Corporation Microprocessor Antitrust Litigation
USDC, District Court of Delaware
CPM represents entities against Intel Corporation for antitrust violations relating to monopolization. CPM has been active in assisting lead counsel with discovery.

National Gas Anti-Trust Cases I, II, III, & IV
San Diego Superior Court
CPM represented eleven public entities and others for the reporting of false information by non-core natural gas retailers to published price indices to manipulate the natural gas market during the California energy crisis. CPM successfully prosecuted this case, concluding in approximately $124 Million in settlements.

Key Contacts

News