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Practice Areas

Antitrust

Berman DeValerio has a national reputation for our work prosecuting antitrust class actions involving price-fixing, market allocation agreements, patent misuse, monopolization and group boycotts among other types of anticompetitive conduct. Representing clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies and public pension funds to individual consumers, the experienced senior attorneys in our Antitrust Practice Group have engineered substantial settlements and changed business practices of defendant companies, recovering more than $1 billion for class members.

Berman DeValerio has played a major role in the prosecution of numerous landmark antitrust cases. For example, the firm was lead counsel in the Toys"R"Us litigation, which developed the antitrust laws with respect to "hub and spoke" conspiracies and resulted in a $62 million settlement. Berman DeValerio brought the first action centered on so-called "reverse payments" between a brand name drug maker and a generic drug maker, resulting in an $80 million settlement from the drug makers, which had been accused of keeping a generic version of their blood pressure medication off the market.

The firm has also been at the forefront of some of the largest antitrust cases. For example, the firm negotiated a $295 million settlement in what is believed to be the first successful prosecution of diamond giant DeBeers under U.S. antitrust laws. We also secured more than $92 million in settlements in an antitrust action involving the makers of contact lenses.

The firm's victories for victims of antitrust violations have come at the trial court level and also through landmark appeals court victories, which have contributed to shaping private enforcement of antitrust law. For example, in the Cardizem CD case, Berman DeValerio was co-lead counsel representing health insurer Aetna in an antitrust class action, and obtained a pioneering ruling in the federal court of appeals regarding the "reverse payment" by a generic drug manufacturer to the brand name drug manufacturer. In a first of its kind ruling, the appellate court held that the brand name drug manufacturer's payment of $40 million per year to the generic company for the generic to delay bringing its competing drug to market was a per se unlawful market allocation agreement. Today that victory still shapes the ongoing antitrust battle over competition in the pharmaceutical market.

In the Firm's case against diamond giant De Beers, the Third Circuit, sitting en banc, vacated an earlier panel decision and upheld the certification of a nationwide settlement class, removing the last obstacle to final approval of a historic $295 million settlement. The Third Circuit's important decision provides a roadmap for obtaining settlement class certification in complex, nationwide class actions involving laws of numerous states.

In 2016, the firm won reversal of a grant of summary judgment for defendant automakers in a group boycott-conspiracy case involving the export of new motor vehicles from Canada to the U.S. The California Court of Appeal found that plaintiffs had presented evidence of "patently anticompetitive conduct" with evidence gathered in the pre-trial phase, which was powerful enough to go to a jury. The ruling is a rare example of an appellate court analyzing and reversing a trial court's evidentiary rulings to find evidence of a conspiracy.

Today the firm currently holds leadership positions in significant antitrust class actions around the country, including as co-lead counsel in In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation and is actively representing major public pension funds in prosecuting price-fixing in the financial derivatives and commodities markets in the Euribor, Yen LIBOR and Foreign Currency Exchange actions.

While the majority of antitrust cases are settled, our attorneys have experience taking antitrust class actions to trial. Because we represent only plaintiffs in antitrust matters, we do not have the conflicts of interest of other national law firms that represent both plaintiffs and defendants. Our experience also allows us to counsel medium and larger-sized corporations considering whether to participate as a class member or opt-out and pursue an individual strategy.

For a complete list of our antitrust cases, use the pull-down menu on the right. Select the "Antitrust" practice area in the second field, then click "Search."