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Antitrust

Panasonic Inductor

The US Department of Justice obtained guilty pleas in a recent antitrust case relating to makers of capacitors. Now comes a similar price-fixing case relating to makers of inductors, another type of electronic component, alleging violations of the Sherman Act. The complaint alleges that the defendants, who control 75% of the global market, colluded to raise inductor prices and keep them high.

Colorful Pile of Silicone Wristbands

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating promotional wristbands—or the companies that make them. This class action grew out of that investigation, according to its complaint, which claims that from at least June 2014 to at least June 2016, the defendants used text messages, online messaging platforms, and in-person meetings to conspire to fix prices for wristbands and other customized merchandise.

Gleevec Bottle and Tablets

Can a company be sued for not bringing out a drug soon enough? The complaint for this class action alleges that the reason the drug was not promptly put on the market was an illegal anti-competitive agreement between two drug manufacturers. According to the complaint, Novartis and Sun entered into an anti-competitive agreement saying that Sun would not to bring its generic to market until February 1, 2016; and in exchange, Novartis agreed not to compete against Sun’s generic with an authorized generic. The complaint claims that this agreement violates antitrust laws.

International Paper Containerboard Liner

Some defendants have agreed to settle a class action alleging that they violated antitrust laws by conspiring to fix or raise the price of containerboard products, such as by limiting supply. The category of “containerboard products” includes linerboard, corrugated medium, rollstock, corrugated sheets, and corrugated products, such as displays and boxes.

Menactra Packaging

Sanofi has agreed to settle a class action alleging that it engaged in antitrust behavior, preventing competition and forcing customers to pay higher prices than necessary for its Menactra vaccine.

Hitachi CRT Monitor

Hitachi, LG Electronics, Philips, and Samsung have decided to settle an antitrust action brought by the State of Illinois for a total of about $36 million. The complaint alleged that the companies conspired to fix or maintain prices of cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which meant that consumers who bought TVs and monitors containing CRTs were overcharged.

Pile of Silicone Wristbands

The complaint for this class action alleges that antitrust price-fixing in the business of selling and customizing the silicone wristbands for our favorite charities, the lanyards from which we hang our IDs and keys, and the pin buttons touting slogans or political candidates. Acording to the complaint, the market for these custom promotional products in US is a $22.9 billion industry. Four of the defendants in this case (two companies and two individuals) have already pleaded guilty in a Department of Justice antitrust case, and this case asks for restitution for the people who have paid higher prices because of the defendants’ behavior.

Endo International Logo

Endo International plc develops pharmaceutical products and generic drugs, so its acquisition of Par Pharmaceutical Holdings, Inc., a maker of generic drugs, must have seemed like a profitable move. But the complaint claims Endo concealed information then and over the next many months: that Par had colluded to fix generic drug prices, that the “double-digit growth” the company expected was to come in part from Par’s illegal price-fixing, and that new CEO Campanelli’s “impressive track record” was due in part to that illegal activity. The complaint alleges that the company’s revenues were therefore unsustainable and its public statements false and misleading.

Hand Holding Remicade Bottle

In 2010, Congress enacted a Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act to enable biosimilar drugs to receive approval, to spur price competition for drugs. However, the complaint for this class action alleges that when other companies developed competitors for Remicade, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) unfairly blocked their access to the market, with exclusivity contracts and other provisions with insurers, requiring consumers to pay significantly higher prices than they would otherwise have.

Foreign Exchange Rate Board

This settlement resolves allegations against some, but not all, of the defendants in this class action, with a total settlement fund of over $2 billion. The complaint alleges that a number of banks and other entities conspired to fix foreign exchange prices, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and to manipulate the foreign exchange market, in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act.

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