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Antitrust

H&R Block Logo

Agreements in which employers or franchises agree not to hire each other’s workers are known as no-poach agreements. They are common, but they are also not legal, because they violate antitrust laws by restraining competition for workers. Lately, fast-food franchises have been targeted by class actions for their no-poach agreements. This class action bring suit against tax preparers H&R Block, Inc. and H&R Block Tax Services, LLC.

Zytiga Box and Bottle

Patents are a tricky topic. They take years to acquire; they expire eventually; and even after they are acquired, they can be declared invalid. The last two points are the concern of this class action against Janssen Biotech, Inc., two other Janssen companies, and partner BTG International Limited. The complaint argues that when the patent on their very lucrative drug Zytiga expired, the companies kept generic competitors at bay with an invalid patent, thus requiring consumers and insurers to pay more for the drug than they would have if generics had been allowed on the market.

Beef Cattle in Field

This antitrust class action brings suit against a number of beef packers for colluding to depress the prices of fed cattle. Because the packers earn their money from the “meat margin”—the spread between the price of fed cattle and the price at which the meat is sold—the companies allegedly decided to earn more by depressing the price of the cattle. The defendants in this case include Tyson, JBS, Swift, Cargill, Marfrig, and National.

Viega Copper Press Fittings

Viega, LLC makes fittings. The complaint for this class action brings suit against it under federal and state antitrust laws, alleging that the company has engaged in anticompetitive behavior in the market for copper press fittings and carbon steel press fittings.

Farmed Atlantic Salmon Steak on Ice

Early on, the complaint for this class action says, “In February 2019, the European Commission announced that its antitrust enforcement agents had executed dawn raids on corporate offices and facilities” of companies that produce farmed Atlantic salmon, out of suspicions they may have violated antitrust laws. This class action seems to have grown out of that European action, bringing suit on behalf of American parties who were injured by the anticompetitive behavior.

Cattle Feeding on Grain

Most antitrust cases are about attempts to raise prices or keep them high. This one is about depressing prices and keeping them low. The complaint alleges that meat packing companies colluded to collapse the price of fed cattle in the market for meat “through coordinated procurement practices and slaughter restraint.”

Box and Bottle for Zytiga

This class action presents a familiar story: a group of pharmaceutical companies—Janssen Biotech, Inc., Janssen Oncology, Inc., Janssen Research & Development, LLC, and BTG International Limited—unfairly prevented generics of a profitable drug  (Zytiga) from entering the market, thus costing consumers and health insurers more than they should have paid. However, at issue here are not payoffs and illicit agreements but patents and their validity.

Five-Euro Notes

The complaint for this class action brings suit against Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS, now NatWest Markets), and other financial companies for an alleged anticompetitive scheme to fix the price of Euro-denominated bonds issued by European central banks and sold in the US. 

Box of Humira

This is another antitrust class action against AbbVie and other companies, filed just ten days after the first, for anticompetitive behavior in relation to AbbVie’s drug Humira. The complaint alleges that AbbVie tried to maintain its monopoly on the drug by making illegal arrangements with companies that might have brought out biosimilars, thereby keeping the price of the drug artificially high.

House with For Sale Sign in Front

How did realtors manage to band together to take anticompetitive actions? The complaint for this class action alleges that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) banded together with four national real estate broker franchises—HomeServices of America, Inc., Keller Williams Realty, Inc., Realogy Holdings Corp., and Re/Max Holdings, Inc.—to set rules for buyer broker commissions. It claims that the arrangement violates antitrust laws.

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