Antitrust Update Blog

Antitrust Update Blog is a source of insights, information and analysis on criminal and civil antitrust and competition-related issues. Patterson Belknapā€™s antitrust lawyers represent clients in antitrust litigation and counseling matters, including those related to pricing, marketing, distribution, franchising, and joint ventures and other strategic alliances.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Alabama Federal Court Will Analyze Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Claims Under Per Se Standard; Defers Decision on “Single Entity” Defense A court’s decision regarding the proper standard of review in a Sherman Act Section 1 case—whether to analyze the defendant’s conduct as a per se antitrust violation or under the “rule of reason”—is highly significant.  The rule of reason requires a plaintiff to show that the anticompetitive effects of the conduct are not outweighed by its procompetitive benefits—often, a factually intensive analysis.  But under the per se standard a plaintiff (and the court) may dispense with this balancing test; it... More
  • Soul’d Out Festival Challenges Coachella’s Demand for Noncompete Clause Despite Sold Out Shows On April 9, 2018, the producer of  the Soul’d Out music festival in Portland, Oregon, sued the owners and producers of the Coachella music festival in California for what it alleges are anticompetitive contract terms that prevent performers from playing in its much smaller festival.  As alleged in the compliant, to perform at the massive Coachella festival, performers must agree not to perform at any “Festival or Themed Event” in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington or Arizona between December 15, 2017... More
  • AAG Delrahim on the Intersection of Antitrust and Intellectual Property Law: Strong Patent Rights Spur – Not Suppress – Competition On March 16, 2018, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Makan Delrahim gave a speech at the University of Pennsylvania Law School titled “The ‘New Madison’ Approach to Antitrust and Intellectual Property Law.”  The speech provided insight concerning his views on the role of antitrust law in the field of intellectual property, and the Antitrust Division’s priorities under his leadership.  AAG Delrahim explained four basic premises that govern how he believes antitrust enforcement should impact intellectual property law; in short,... More
  • Third Circuit Affirms Uber Win in Attempted Monopolization Suit On March 27, 2018, the Third Circuit affirmed dismissal of an antitrust suit against Uber Technologies, Inc. (“Uber”) by the Philadelphia Taxi Association and its members, individual taxicab companies (together, “Plaintiffs”).  In essence, the Third Circuit held that, based on Plaintiffs’ allegations, federal antitrust laws do not reach Uber’s alleged violation of state and local taxicab regulations and that its entrance into the Philadelphia taxicab market created more competition, not less. Plaintiffs filed suit in March 2016 and amended their... More
  • Cert Petition Asks How Far Does the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine Extend? On February 28, 2018, the Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc. (PRTC) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari after its antitrust claims against San Juan Cable LLC (OneLink) were dismissed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals at the summary judgment phase.  In its petition, PRTC asks the Supreme Court to delineate a clearer boundary between the right to petition the government (whether through lobbying, litigation, or participation in administrative proceedings) and the antitrust laws’ imposition of liability on... More
  • How an Amicus Brief Can Win an Appeal Economists are endemic to antitrust litigation.  Their expertise is often necessary to explain why the conduct or merger at issue will have no impact (or a huge impact!) on competition in a market.  Typically the opinions of economists are presented through the expert witnesses each party calls.  Sometimes, though, economists who are not officially retained to opine on the issues will weigh in through the filing of an amicus brief, and sometimes such briefs can have a demonstrable impact. In... More
  • 2017 Statute of Limitations Roundup: Courts Disagree About Applicability of “Continuing Violation” Doctrine in Antitrust Actions 2017 saw three notable decisions concerning the applicability of the “continuing violation” doctrine in antitrust cases.  We discuss below three cases that have taken different approaches in their treatment of this doctrine—and have reached different conclusions regarding its applicability. 1.         In re Pre-Filled Propane Tank Antitrust Litigation, 860 F.3d 1059 (8th Cir. 2017) We’ve already written about this hotly contested case, in which an en banc panel of the Eighth Circuit issued a split (5-4) decision finding that a continuing... More
  • Duke and UNC: No-Poach Case Update Last month, we reported on a partial settlement in an antitrust case alleging that entities within the Duke and the University of North Carolina systems agreed not to hire each other’s medical personnel unless the lateral hire involved a promotion.  The Court has now granted in part the plaintiff’s motion to certify a class. The Court certified a class of all individuals who were faculty members with an academic appointment at the Duke or UNC Schools of Medicine from January... More
  • Third Circuit Says “Umbrella Damages” Bar Does Not Preclude Antitrust Standing Where Product Is Partly Comprised of Materials Not Subject to the Alleged Conspiracy In a case of first impression, the Third Circuit recently held in In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 16-3795, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2698 (3d Cir. Jan. 22, 2018), that a direct purchaser of a product, comprised partly (but not all) of price-fixed materials, has antitrust standing to pursue a claim against the product’s seller where the seller is a participant in the alleged price-fixing conspiracy, even if the product also includes some material supplied by a third-party... More
  • DOJ Antitrust Division Mulls Changes to Indirect Purchaser Rules This blog has discussed some of the dynamics created by the Supreme Court’s Hanover Shoe and Illinois Brick decisions and state “repealer” laws that attempt to undo their effect.  As it turns out, repealer states aren’t the only ones skeptical of these twin cases that in general prevent indirect purchasers from asserting antitrust damages claims and defendants from relying on a “pass-on” defense. Recently, Andrew C. Finch of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division confirmed (during a panel discussion at the Heritage... More