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Antitrust and Trade Regulation

Our experience in antitrust matters includes:

  • We represented a major financial services company in a putative class action filed by indirect purchasers of credit card services. In a major decision that put limits on indirect-purchaser standing under state law, North Carolina's Business Court dismissed this case on the pleadings.
  • We defended a major airline in a Sherman Act class action brought by travel agents. The travel agents alleged that airlines conspired to reduce the commissions they paid travel agents. A federal district court granted summary judgment against these claims.
  • We defended an Asian pharmaceutical company in a putative class action that raised unusual claims under North Carolina's antitrust statutes. The North Carolina Court of Appeals ordered the dismissal of the claims against our client.
  • We helped two major textile companies in North Carolina pursue price-fixing and customer allocation claims against suppliers of raw materials. With our help, the companies recovered millions of dollars from the suppliers.
  • We recently represented an individual accused of making agreements with competitors regarding the prices his company paid for a major input (alleged "buy side" price fixing). After a grand jury investigation, the government brought no charges against our client.

Our expertise in trade regulation extends beyond the usual claims under federal antitrust law. In this era of forum shopping, it is increasingly common for plaintiffs to sue in state court, under state law alone. North Carolina has a wide-open "unfair trade practices" statute that is a critical factor in antitrust cases, as well as most other business litigation, here. Our experience with these issues under North Carolina law is second to none. As one mark of this experience, our partner Matt Sawchak is the editor of the North Carolina chapter in the American Bar Association's 50-state treatise on state antitrust law.