Antitrust Litigation Seventh Circuit Update: Fall 2013

The last twelve months or so have been busy for antitrust rulings in the Seventh Circuit, not the least of which involved attorneys from Freeborn & Peters LLP representing the defendants in a very significant matter, In Re Sulfuric Acid Antitrust Litigation.

Sometimes the likely impact of a ruling can be unclear, so the Antitrust Litigation Team has prepared a short set of summaries for seven cases that were recently decided within this jurisdiction. They are attached for your review in the attached PDF.

The case summaries are as follows:

  • KM Enterprises, Inc. v. Global Traffic Technologies, Inc., -- F.3d --, 2013 WL 3958385 (7th Cir. Aug. 2, 2013), a matter of first impression in the Seventh Circuit, in which the court affirmed the dismissal of an antitrust case for improper venue, rejecting a broad interpretation of federal venue and jurisdiction rules that would essentially subject antitrust defendants to suit in any district in the country. This peculiar situation arises when plaintiffs attempt to “mix and match” the general federal venue rules with the alternative service and venue provisions provided by Congress in the Clayton Act for antitrust cases.
  • In Re Sulfuric Acid Antitrust Litigation, 703 F.3d 1004 (7th Cir. 2012), in which the court affirmed that the standard mode of antitrust analysis, the rule of reason, applies where a defendant proffers plausible pro-competitive justifications for the challenged conduct.
  • Booth v. Crowley, 687 F.3d 314 (7th Cir. 2012), which clarified that company shareholders may not enforce the prohibition against interlocking directorates in Section 8 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 19 by way of securities law derivative actions, unless they can meet the requirements of both statutory schemes.
  • Minn-Chem v. Agrium, 683 F.3d 845 (7th Cir. 2012), which delineated the extent to which the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act of 1982 (“FTAIA”), 15 U.S.C.A. Section 6(a), insulates collusive overseas conduct that affects commerce in the United States from antitrust scrutiny under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
  • Agnew v. National Collegiate Athletic Assn., 683 F.3d 328 (7th Cir. 2012), which sets out a cogent description of the methods of analysis used in antitrust cases, at least in the Seventh Circuit, and it also establishes the requirements for pleading a commercial market.
  • Apple, Inc. v. Motorola Mobility, Inc., 886 F. Supp. 2d 1061 (W.D. Wis. 2012), which granted summary judgment for Motorola Mobility on Apple’s antitrust counterclaims to the extent that they were based on antitrust or unfair competition theories pursuant to the Noerr-Pennington doctrine. Apple’s claims based on breach of contract and estoppel were allowed to proceed.
  • Championsworld, LLC v. United States Soccer Federation, Inc., 890 F. Supp. 2d 912 (N.D. Ill. 2012) in which Championsworld had alleged that, without authority to do so, the Federation required it to pay substantial sanctioning fees and post large performance bonds to organize and promote international soccer matches in the United States in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

At Freeborn, we are always looking ahead and seeking to find better ways to serve our clients. This litigation update is an important way in which we take a proactive approach to ensure our clients are more informed, prepared, and able to achieve greater success – not just now, but also in the future. I welcome your comments on how we can make this resource even more valuable to you.

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