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Antitrust

Natural gas flames

Four defendants have agreed to a settlement in a larger antitrust class action that alleges that natural gas companies conspired to manipulate the price of natural gas for commercial or industrial buyers in Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin between January 1, 2000 and October 31, 2002.

The companies that have agreed to this settlement are as follows:

German Automaker Brand Symbols

The pride of German industry are its automakers, which employ over 800,000 people and bring in roughly a fifth of its industrial revenue, with a worldwide reputation for precision and quality. But new class actions claim that the Volkswagen/Audi emissions scandal was just the tip of an iceberg that could rip away that fine reputation. This complaint alleges that for the past two decades, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW, and Daimler (Mercedes), along with Robert Bosch, a supplier, participated in a cartel which suppressed innovation and undercut engineering in favor of cost savings, while keeping prices high and pretending to be competitive, cutting-edge companies.

Five German Brands

This class action names BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Daimler as defendants, alleging that these famed car manufacturers colluded, over a period of twenty years, to keep innovation and competition down while keeping prices up. The complaint claims that the five car makers formed a Circle of Five to create a perception of innovation, competition, and superior engineering to keep prices high on German cars while colluding to reduce competition and stunt initiatives to innovate. The complaint alleges that German auto sales in the US therefore violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and some state antitrust laws, such as California’s Cartwright Act.

Eggs

This combined class action alleges that the many defendants illegally conspired to reduce the supply of eggs in the US domestic market, by means such as agreements to limit or dispose of hen flocks, a pretextual animal welfare program designed to reduce the egg supply, agreements to export eggs to remove them from the domestic market, and unlawful coercion to make sure others complied.

Davis Vision

This antitrust class action has been brought against Davis Vision and related parties, alleging that the company has used its market dominance as a provider of vision insurance benefits to enforce anticompetitive and other unlawful practices in the Pennsylvania eye care market.

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