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American Bar Association

  Antitrust Litigation

Case Notes

DC Circuit

» DC Circuit Upholds FCC’s Prohibition Against Exclusive Cable Contracts
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided Cablevision Systems Corporation v. Federal Communication Commission, wherethe court upheld the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) decision to extend a statutory prohibition against exclusive contracts between cable operators and cable-affiliated programming networks.

Second Circuit

» Manufacturers Score a Victory Regarding Pay-for-Delay Settlements
The Second Circuit decided In re: Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride Antitrust Litigation, giving brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturers another victory in their battle against direct purchases of brand-name medications, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the United States regarding the legality of pay-for-delay settlements.

» Second Circuit Reverses District Court's Dismissal of Antitrust Challenge
On January 13, 2010, the Second Circuit decided Starr v. Sony BMG Music Entertainment. In Starr, the court reversed the district court’s dismissal of an antitrust challenge, andestablished an important precedent that plaintiffs can use to survive a Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly motion to dismiss in cases brought under section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Third Circuit

» Third Circuit Affirms Aspartame Holding
The Third Circuit affirming the order of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granting summary judgment in a class action brought by direct purchasers of an artificial sweetener.

» Third Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Broker-Centered Conspiracy Claims
The Third Circuit decided In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, partially reversing the district court’s dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims.

» Motorsport Decision Provides Possible Guidance on American Needle
The Third Circuit decided Race Tires America Inc. v. Hoosier Racing Tire Corp.

» Otter Tail Antitrust Exception Must Be Supported by Sufficient Facts
The Third Circuit decided Byers v. Intuit, Inc., et al. The decision reinforced the conduct-based antitrust immunity doctrine and held that the Otter Tail exception to the doctrine must be supported by sufficient facts to overcome the Twombly barrier to complaints brought under section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Fifth Circuit

» Fifth Circuit Concludes MDU Not a Plausible Geographic Market
The Fifth Circuit decided Wampler v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.

Seventh Circuit

» Seventh Circuit Applies State-Action Doctrine to Municipal Disposal Contracts
The Seventh Circuit affirmed the Northern District of Illinois’s holding that the state-action doctrine shielded municipalities’ exclusive trash-disposal contracts from federal antitrust scrutiny.

Eighth Circuit

» Eighth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Catheter Case

The Eighth Circuit upheld the dismissal of an antitrust class action involving the exercise of monopoly power to prevent and eliminate competition in the urological catheter industry.

Ninth Circuit

» Ninth Circuit Rejects Bundling Claim, Dismisses TV-Programming Action

The cout affirmed the dismissal of a proposed class action that sought to force television programmers and distributors to sell channels individually rather than in packages.

» Ninth Circuit Rules Tourism Commission Shielded from Antitrust Liability
The Ninth Circuit decided Shames v. California Travel and Tourism Commission, affirming the district court’s holding that the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) was shielded from antitrust liability under the “state action immunity” doctrine.

Tenth Circuit

» Tenth Circuit Affirms Application of Noerr-Pennington to Dismiss Antitrust Claims

The Tenth Circuit affirmed a New Mexico district court’s application of the Noerr-Pennington doctrine to dismiss antitrust claims against a group of insurers alleged to have violated that state’s antitrust act.

Eleventh Circuit

» Eleventh Circuit Holds County's Ordinance Not Subject to Sherman Act
The Eleventh Circuit decided Danner Construction Co. v. Hillsborough County Florida, holding that Hillsborough County’s ordinance regulating the area’s waste disposalis not subject the Sherman Act because the county is immune from antitrust liability as a state actor.

» Competitor Hospital Has Standing to Bring Lawsuit for Tying Practices
The Eleventh Circuit decided Palmyra Park Hospital v. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, holding that Palmyra Park Hospital has antitrust standing to bring a lawsuit against Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital for Phoebe Putney’s alleged anticompetitive tying practices.

Federal Circuit

» Federal Circuit Affirms Noerr-Pennington Defense to Sham Series Claim

In a split decision, the panel held that there was no evidence that Canady had infringed on ERBE’s patent or violated a related trademark.

Other Courts

» MDFla Finds Exception to Illinois Brick, Refuses Class Action Dismissal

The court refused to dismiss a class action alleging that Astellas violated antitrust laws by tying the purchase of a drug to the acquisition of a license to perform a patented process.

» ECJ Confirms Parent Company Is Responsible for Subsidiaries' Actions

100 percent ownership in a subsidiary gives rise to a presumption that the parent company directs the subsidiary and will be held responsible for the subsidiary’s actions.

» California Court Grants in Part Apple’s Motion for Summary Judgment

The Northern District of California granted in part defendant Apple’s motion for summary judgment in a dispute over Apple’s former policy of encoding digital music files sold through iTunes with proprietary software that made it impossible to use a competitor’s technology to play songs on an iPod.

» California Court Applies Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act

The Northern District of California held that the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act denied the court subject-matter jurisdiction over foreign claims arising out of flights originating from Asia in a multidistrict litigation that accused more than two dozen airlines of conspiring to fix prices on transpacific air travel.

» Ohio Court Denies Motion to Dismiss in Google AdWords Case

The Southern District of Ohio held that the sham exception to Noerr-Pennington applied to a trademark infringement and unfair competition suit and denied The Scooter Store’s motion to dismiss defendant SpinLife’s antitrust counterclaims.