Darrell Prescott


The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”) in New York has vacated and reversed a $147 million antitrust verdict against a Chinese vitamin C manufacturer and its holding company, ruling that the district court should have granted Defendants’ original motion to dismiss. The case represents the first time an agency of the Chinese government, MOFCOM, appeared as amicus in a U.S. court to inform the U.S. court of applicable Chinese law, an occasion which the Court of Appeals called historic.

Plaintiffs, U.S. vitamin C purchasers, brought a class action on behalf of all such purchasers alleging that Defendant Chinese manufacturers violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act with the “purpose and effect of fixing prices, controlling the support of vitamin C to be exported to the United States and worldwide ….” They asserted that Defendants and the China Chamber of Commerce of Medicines & Health Products Importers & Exporters (the “Chamber”) colluded in order to create a vitamin C shortage in the international market, and that Defendants and the Chamber entered into agreements to restrict exports of vitamin C by limiting production and increasing pricing. According to plaintiffs, this had the effect of creating the shortage and maintaining China’s status as a leading exporter.

Twenty six countries now authorize private civil damage actions for antitrust/competition law allegations. In several of these countries, claims may proceed as class or collective claims. Litigation strategy requires accounting for all claims, and coordinating them with regulatory investigations by government antitrust authorities. Consistency in approach, while dealing with the requirements of local laws, can be key to resolving antitrust matters for global companies. Our Global Guide to Competition Litigation (2016) helps to orient you…

UNITED STATES – 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court case that impacted the way courts determine class certification claims by indirect purchasers under state antitrust laws. Under Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts, 472 U.S. 797 (1985), the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause and Full Faith and Credit Clause require that state law cannot be automatically applied to each claim brought by a class comprised of multistate members. In most cases, this…