Antitrust Litigation LITIGATION/CONTROVERSY

WilmerHale “is our firm of choice for intricate and testing matters.”
Chambers USA quoting client statements about WilmerHale’s antitrust practice


WilmerHale has one of the premier antitrust litigation practices in the world. We are consistently recognized by Chambers and Global Competition Review as a leading antitrust firm both in the United States and Europe. To that strength we add one of the world’s leading litigation and arbitration practices—recognized for our ability in cartel cases, intellectual property litigation and US Supreme Court advocacy. Unlike many other firms, our antitrust litigators are not just general litigators who have handled an antitrust case or two at some point in their careers. Instead, we have more than 20 lawyers for whom antitrust litigation is their primary or sole practice, and more than 40 more for whom antitrust litigation is a substantial percentage of their overall practice.

Throughout the US, UK and Europe we have successfully represented clients in major antitrust litigation. We have compiled a remarkable record of resolving antitrust claims through summary disposition, at trial, and on appeal against both private and government plaintiffs in the United States. We also have substantial experience in litigating against the European Commission and national competition authorities before the European Courts and the national member state courts. Our European antitrust litigators help clients navigate through civil antitrust litigation in the courts of some of the most important jurisdictions in Europe, including the UK and Germany. We have been involved in some of the largest, most complicated and most prominent matters of this kind.

Experience

Currently, we are defending clients in several ground-breaking private antitrust suits in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. In addition, we often are engaged as coordinating counsel in global antitrust litigation matters, supervising litigation not only in the United States and Europe, but in Australia, Canada and elsewhere around the globe.

Representative matters include:

  • In re Rail Cartel Damages Litigation (Frankfurt District Court). Representing German railway company Deutsche Bahn AG in litigation before a German court against suppliers of rails concerning damages from the rail cartel. In 2012 and 2013, the German cartel authority had imposed significant fines on a number of steel producers for bid rigging and price fixing in the German rail market. On behalf of Deutsche Bahn AG, we filed a follow-on lawsuit for damages from the direct supply of rails to our client in late 2012. A few months later, we assisted our client in achieving two major settlements. Litigation against four defendants remains pending. This is one of the largest and most complex antitrust damages cases in German history and has received much attention in the press. Our team won the Global Competition Review global “Litigation of the Year 2014” award for its work on this matter.
  • FTC v. Intel Corporation (FTC). Defending Intel in the FTC's administrative complaint alleging violations of Section 5 of the FTC Act and antitrust violations relating to monopolization in computer microprocessor and other computer-related markets.
  • In re Automotive Parts Investigation (U.S.D.C. E.D. Mich.). Representing Japanese auto parts manufacturer DENSO and its US subsidiary in a criminal antitrust investigation and civil class action litigation. We secured a favorable settlement on behalf of DENSO with the Department of Justice in the largest antitrust investigation in US history.
  • FTC v. Cephalon; King Drug v. Cephalon; Vista Healthplan v. Cephalon; Apotex v. Cephalon (U.S.D.C. E.D. Pa.). Defending one of the world's fastest-growing biopharmaceutical companies in multiple lawsuits, including one brought by the FTC, challenging patent litigation settlements between Cephalon and four companies seeking FDA approval to market generic versions of Cephalon's leading pharmaceutical product, Provigil®.
  • In re Air Cargo Antitrust Litigation (U.S.D.C. E.D.N.Y.). Defending a major European air carrier in more than 100 consolidated private antitrust class action damage claims arising from the Justice Department's investigation into alleged price fixing among major air cargo carriers. We negotiated a favorable settlement and are assisting the companies in their ACPERA cooperation.
  • In re Margin Squeeze Damages Litigation (Cologne District Court/Düsseldorf Court of Appeals/German Supreme Court). Defending Deutsche Telekom AG against civil antitrust damages claims brought by eight competitors in separate follow-on lawsuits in Germany as a result of an alleged margin squeeze between wholesale and end-customer rates in the local loop from 1998 to 2003. The Cologne District Court dismissed two cases entirely; two other cases were partially dismissed; and in one case, the District Court indicated that it would fully dismiss the case. Subsequently, six of the claims have been settled. One of the two remaining claims was fully dismissed by the Düsseldorf Court of Appeals; the other claim was partially dismissed. Both remaining cases are currently pending before the German Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof).
  • Research in Motion Ltd., et al. v. Motorola, Inc. (U.S.D.C. N.D. Tex.). Asserting antitrust and breach of contract claims in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas arising out of a competitor's refusal to license patents declared essential to ETSI and IEEE on fair reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
  • In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation (U.S.D.C. E.D.N.Y.). Representing a major MasterCard issuer in defending against a massive, multidistrict antitrust class action filed on behalf of merchants against Visa, MasterCard and the major payment card issuers alleging that the interchange fees set by Visa and MasterCard for processing credit card transactions are unlawful.
  • Princo v. International Trade Commission (Fed. Cir.). Representing Philips in persuading the Federal Circuit en banc to overturn a two-to-one panel decision that held that an exclusive cross-licensing agreement between Philips and Sony constituted patent misuse, and in successfully opposing petition for certiorari.
  • In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Multidistrict Litigation (U.S.D.C. D.N.J.). Representing one of the leading US insurance carriers in defending against a massive antitrust and RICO class action filed against most of the country's leading insurance carriers and brokers in the wake of Eliot Spitzer's investigation of Marsh McLennan and other major insurance brokers. The district court three times granted our motions to dismiss all claims in the case. WilmerHale Partner Seth Waxman argued the appeal of the final decision dismissing the claims with prejudice before the Third Circuit on behalf of the 15-defendant joint defense group. The Third Circuit's decision is pending.

Publications & News

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November 13, 2014

Standard-Essential Patents and US Antitrust Law: Light at the End of the Tunnel?

A chapter co-authored by Leon Greenfield, Hartmut Schneider and Perry Lange, published in the International Bar Association's Communications and Competition Law: Key Issues in the Telecoms, Media and Technology Sectors.

November 4, 2014

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Release 2015 “Best Law Firms” List, Names WilmerHale International Arbitration “Law Firm of the Year”

The 2015 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" list includes WilmerHale being named a first-tier law firm in 24 national and 62 metro-area rankings. In addition, the firm boasts more than 20 second- and third-tier rankings in several national and metro-area rankings.

October 24, 2014

Regal Entertainment Beats Antitrust Lawsuit Over Exclusivity Pacts With Big Studios

An article published on October 24, 2014, in Hollywood Reporter on the "clearance" case ruling in favor of WilmerHale client Regal Entertainment Group.

July 30, 2014

Global Competition Review USA Litigator of the Week: Heather Tewksbury

An article by Global Competition Review featuring WilmerHale Partner Heather Tewksbury, who was named as its USA Litigator of the Week.

June 17, 2014

US Supreme Court Issues Unanimous Ruling in Favor of WilmerHale Client POM Wonderful

On June 12, 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of WilmerHale client POM Wonderful LLC (POM) in an important case involving the intersection of the Lanham Act’s prohibition on false advertising and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act's (FDCA) regulation of food and beverage labeling.

June 10, 2014

European Court of Justice Provides Guidance Regarding Potential Liability of Cartel Members in EU Member States for Sales by Non-Cartel Participants

Last week, the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), held that Member State laws may not categorically prohibit consumers from recovering from cartel members damages attributable to purchases from non-cartel participants that—acting independently—were able to charge inflated prices as a result of market-wide price effects from cartel behavior.

May 29, 2014

The Smartphone Royalty Stack: Surveying Royalty Demands for the Components within Modern Smartphones

This report, co-authored by WilmerHale intellectual property litigators Joe Mueller and Tim Syrett and Intel Vice President and Associate General Counsel Ann Armstrong, utilizes publicly available information to detail US patent royalty costs across smartphone components from wireless technologies to operating systems to user interfaces to outer-product design.

May 29, 2014

New Research Compiles Public Data Regarding Patent Royalties on Smartphones

The smartphone industry has seen a high volume of patent litigation over the past few years, which has highlighted the interplay among patent law, competition law and the marketplace itself.

May 20, 2014

Ophthotech Corporation Enters into Ex-US Licensing and Commercialization Agreement for Fovista® with Novartis

On May 19, 2014, WilmerHale client Ophthotech Corporation announced that the company had entered into an ex-US licensing and commercialization agreement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals focused on the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

April 25, 2014

WilmerHale Attorneys Recognized in Annual Washington DC Super Lawyers Listing

The annual edition of the Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine, published by The Washington Post Magazine, released its 2014 listing which includes 37 WilmerHale attorneys.