Antitrust Litigation

Our antitrust practice—described by Global Competition Review as "perhaps the best antitrust and competition practice for high-tech matters in the world"—has a litigation success rate unmatched by its peers. The team is routinely selected to handle the most important antitrust litigation and investigation matters because we consistently win cases involving claims under the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, and Robinson-Patman Act. We have successfully represented clients in defense of antitrust claims seeking large treble damages awards that threaten the viability of our clients' businesses. As one client commented in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA, "Their litigation skills are exemplary. They demonstrated unparalleled advocacy, preparation, and confidence in the courtroom."

In addition to a successful track record in class action and treble damages cases, our attorneys have a wealth of experience in antitrust cases that raise novel and complex intellectual property issues. Our expertise, in combination with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's unparalleled intellectual property litigation and patent law experience, has led to numerous client victories. We have represented clients in cases where we defended business practices that raised cutting-edge antitrust concerns, including claims challenging IP licensing practices, standard-setting activities, and patent pools.

Our team has achieved success in numerous recent antitrust litigation matters, obtaining victories for such clients as Google, Clear Channel, Transitions Optical, Live Nation, and Netflix. In fact, WSGR was honored with the 2012 "Behavioral Matter of the Year – Americas" award from Global Competition Review for our defense of Netflix in In re Online DVD Rental Antitrust Litigation, in which the Northern District of California dismissed all claims brought against Netflix by a class of subscribers that had accused the company of conspiring with Wal-Mart Stores to corner the online DVD rental and sales market. Additionally, WSGR is widely regarded as the leading firm in the United States for single-firm conduct issues, as illustrated by the firm's successful defense against the FTC's search investigation of Google, Global Competition Review's 2013 "Matter of the Year."

Our antitrust team has continued to thrive in high-profile cases of late. In 2015 and 2016, our team secured significant court victories for clients Netflix and Live Nation. In In re Online DVD Rental Antitrust Litigation, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the aforementioned decision by the Northern District of California. Additionally, in It's My Party, Inc. et al. v. Live Nation, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted summary judgment in Live Nation's favor, dismissing monopolization and restraint of trade claims brought by a rival concert promoter and venue operator in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., region. In February, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the aforementioned decision.

The firm's antitrust team has been involved in several major litigations, including:

  • Represented Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. and North China Pharmaceutical Group in a successful Second Circuit appeal in a landmark case that touched on a number of important issues, including foreign sovereign compulsion, the act of state doctrine, and international comity
  • Representing Transitions Optical in litigation brought by a competitor alleging anticompetitive exclusive dealing and refusals to deal; prevailed on class certification against two putative classes
  • Representing Mylan Pharmaceuticals in "pay-for-delay" litigation regarding the drug Actos brought by two putative classes; prevailed on motion to dismiss against indirect purchaser plaintiffs
  • Representing Amphastar Pharmaceutical, Inc. in an antitrust case alleging that the defendants conspired to foreclose generic competition by deceiving a standard-setting organization
  • Representing Mylan Pharmaceuticals in antitrust cases alleging that the defendants' product-hopping and REMS abuse strategies delayed or prevented generic competition
  • Representing Universal Surveillance Systems in litigation alleging that its competitor monopolized electronic article surveillance systems sold to food and drug retailers
  • Represented Live Nation in antitrust litigation brought by a rival concert promoter and venue operator alleging monopolization and restraint of trade claims; prevailed on summary judgment and affirmed by the Fourth Circuit
  • Represented Netflix in connection with multiple class action lawsuits alleging that it engaged in market allocation with Wal-Mart; prevailed on summary judgment and affirmed by the Ninth Circuit
  • Represented Live Nation successfully in 22 regional class actions alleging concert monopolization; prevailed on summary judgment and affirmed by the Fourth Circuit
  • Represented Vector Capital in securing the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that it conspired with another private equity firm to fix the acquisition price of WatchGuard Technologies
  • Represented ISSI in connection with multiple class action lawsuits alleging price fixing in the SRAM market
  • Represented SanDisk in connection with various attempted monopolization cases alleging that it tried to monopolize certain parts of the flash memory market
  • Represented Clear Channel in a class action lawsuit alleging monopolization of the "rock concert ticket market." We defeated class certification for failure to allege a proper geographic market. The Second Circuit affirmed in an important opinion.
  • Represented Coca-Cola in an action by a competitor alleging that certain customer marketing agreements limited shelf space and advertising of competing brands in violation of Texas antitrust laws. The Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Coca-Cola, reversing a $16 million antitrust judgment in favor of five RC bottlers.
  • Represented Coca-Cola in a Second Circuit victory over PepsiCo in a case alleging that Coca-Cola had entered into illegal exclusive dealing arrangements with foodservice distributors
  • Represented VISX in a Section 1 and Section 2 case brought by NIDEK alleging that VISX allocated markets, entered into anticompetitive exclusive dealing arrangements, and formed illegal patent pools