Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Jury Verdict Reached In Apple's Favor In Antitrust Class Action

    OAKLAND, Calif. - In the first day of deliberation after 10 days of oral arguments, a California federal jury on Dec. 16 found that firmware and software updates that Apple Inc. made to its iTunes and iPod products were "genuine product improvements" and, therefore, did not constitute efforts to monopolize the digital music market by precluding the play of music purchased from other digital retailers on Apple devices in violation of federal antitrust law (The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, No. 4:05-cv-00037, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Mass. Federal Judge Partially Dismisses Celexa/Lexapro Third-Party RICO Cases

    BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Dec. 12 partially dismissed Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act actions filed by two health insurers seeking to represent a class of third-party payers who allegedly paid for fraudulent prescriptions for the antidepressants Lexapro and Celexa but allowed other claims to continue against Forest Laboratories Inc. (In Re: Celexa and Lexapro Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 09-2067, Painters and Allied Trade District Council 82 Health Care Fund v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 13-13113, New Mexico UFCW Union's and Employer's Health and Welfare Trust Fund v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 14-10784, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172176).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Wells Fargo Seeks Stay Of $203M Restitution Award In Debit-Transaction Case

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 denied a petition for a panel rehearing and a petition for rehearing en banc in a case in which the court affirmed a district court's award of restitution and denial of prejudgment interest in a case alleging that Wells Fargo Bank NA violated the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by misleading consumers by posting debit transactions in highest-to-lowest order, but vacated the lower court's injunction and remanded for entry of an injunction consistent with its decision. On Dec. 15, Wells Fargo moved to stay the mandate pending its filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court and the court's final disposition of the case (Veronica Gutierrez, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, Nos. 13-16195, 13-16598, 9th Cir.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Denies Dismissal Of Class Complaint Against Bitcoin Miner Manufacturers

    PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Dec. 10 found that a putative class of consumers had met the minimum damages threshold under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) to permit their fraud and unfair trade claims against a bitcoin miner manufacturer to proceed, denying a motion to dismiss (Craig Lenell, et al. v. Advanced Mining Technology Inc., et al., No. 14-1924, E.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172052).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of TILA And Fraud Claims Against Banks

    PASADENA, Calif. - After finding that a claimant's claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), fraud and other claims lacked particularity or were time-barred, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 12 affirmed dismissal of the case (Olasumbo Titilola Ajetunmobi v. Clarion Mortgage Capital Inc., et al., No. 12-56523, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 23397).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Dismisses Case Alleging Improper Securitization Of Loan

    SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Dec. 12 dismissed a case alleging that the transfer of a deed of trust and promissory note securing a mortgage were improperly securitized, saying that the plaintiff's theories do not support any of her claims, including one brought under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) (Carolanne Sottile v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, et al., No. 13-5909, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172277).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Apple Seeks Judgment As A Matter Of Law In IPod, ITunes Antitrust Class Action

    OAKLAND, Calif. - At the close of the named plaintiffs' case in an antitrust class action trial related to its iPod and iTunes products, Apple Inc. on Dec. 10 filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL), arguing that allowing the unsupported claims to proceed to a jury runs counter to existing antitrust case law (The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, No. 4:05-cv-00037, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 2 Car Ride-Sharing Companies Sued For UCL Violations; 1 Enters Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO - In separate suits, the district attorneys for the City and County of San Francisco and the County of Los Angeles on Dec. 9 sued two prearranged car transportation services, also known as ride-sharing services, in state court for violating the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly misleading consumers over how they screen drivers and ensure the customer's safety. Defendant Lyft Inc. entered into a stipulated judgment and permanent injunction the same day under which it will pay $500,000 to settle its claims (The People of the State of California v. Uber Technologies Corp., et al., No. 14-543120, The People of the State of California v. Lyft Inc., No. 14-543113, Calif. Super. San Francisco Co.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Grants Defense Summary Judgment In Food-Labeling Case

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Dec. 8 granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant in a class action lawsuit asserting an unfair competition law (UCL) claim over the alleged mislabeling of "all natural" packaged fruit products, saying insufficient evidence existed showing that reasonable consumers would be misled by the labeling (Chad Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods, No. 12-1831, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169948).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge Denies Class Certification In UCL False Labeling Case

    SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Dec. 3 denied class certification in a case alleging that a juice maker violated the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by placing a false and misleading "No Sugar Added" statement on its 100 percent apple juice product and also denied the defendant's motion to reconsider a previous summary judgment ruling finding that the plaintiff established sufficient evidence to establish "actual damages" under the UCL (Mohammed Rahman v. Mott's LLP, No. 13-3482, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167744).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Unfair Competition Claim Dismissed In Suit Over Retirement Community Fees

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 25 granted the defendants' separate motions to dismiss a putative class action complaint that contained state unfair competition law (UCL) claims accusing the owners of a retirement community of mismanaging entrance and monthly fees (Burton Richter, et al. v. CC-Palo Alto Inc., et al., No. 14-750, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165078).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - MDL Judge Remands California DA's Suit Against GM To State Court

    NEW YORK - The federal judge overseeing the General Motors LLC ignition switch litigation ruled Nov. 24 that a suit brought by Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas on behalf of California owners of GM-manufactured vehicles belongs in the California state court where it was originally filed (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-02543-JMF, People of the State of California v. General Motors LLC, No. 1:14-cv-07787-JMF, S.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Declines To Dismiss Unfair Competition Claim In Mortgage Payment Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Nov. 20 declined to dismiss a suit accusing a financial institution of violating the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to accept timely mortgage payments, saying the plaintiff supported all his claims (Fernando Morales v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 14-3081, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162961).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - $400 Million Settlement Of Apple E-Book Antitrust Suit Receives Final Approval

    NEW YORK - On Nov. 21, a New York federal judge granted final approval to a $400 settlement between Apple Inc. and a group of consumer and state plaintiffs to settle claims that it conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books (e-books) (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:11-md-02293, S.D. N.Y. [State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-03394, S.D. N.Y.]).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Health Insurer: Endo Paid Impax $112M To Delay Selling Generic Opana ER

    BATON ROUGE, La. - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana on Nov. 17 filed a class action complaint in federal court, alleging that Endo Health Solutions Inc. paid a competitor at least $112 million to delay a generic drug until Endo could market a new, crush-resistant formula (Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Company, et al. v. Endo Health Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 14-721, M.D. La.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge Dismisses UCL Claim In Mortgage Foreclosure Suit

    FRESNO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 12 partially granted the defendant's motion to dismiss a case related to a mortgage foreclosure, dismissing a state unfair competition law (UCL) claim with leave to amend (Anthony Moreno, et al. v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, et al., No. 14-1024, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159349).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge Declines To Certify UCL Class In Labor Dispute

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 12 partially granted and partially denied plaintiffs' motion to certify eight putative classes in a wage and labor dispute. Among the classes denied was a state unfair competition law class, which was denied as being redundant to the class and subclasses certified (Charles Brewer, et al. v. General Nutrition Corp., No. 11-3587, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159380).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge: Unfair Competition, Publicity Rights Claims Against LinkedIn May Proceed

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - On Nov. 13, a California federal judge again ruled that putative class claims for unfair competition under state law and common-law publicity rights may proceed against LinkedIn Corp., rejecting the social network operator's defenses under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Paul Perkins, et al. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 13-cv-04303, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - UCL Claim Remains In Suit Over Alleged Blocking Of Text Messages To Smartphones

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 10 partially dismissed a putative class action case accusing Apple Inc. of unlawfully marketing its text-messaging service by not telling consumers that the service prevents former iPhone users from receiving certain text messages after they replaced their iPhones with non-Apple devices, leaving a claim brought under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) predicated on a tortious interference with business contract claim but dismissing a UCL claim predicated on a Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) claim (Adrienne Moore v. Apple Inc., No. 14-2269, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158900).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Bars State's Restitution Claims For Class That Already Settled

    PASADENA, Calif. - The State of California may proceed with claims against the maker of a gender prediction test under the state's unfair competition and false advertising laws but may not proceed with restitution claims that seek relief for those alleged violations on behalf of members of a class who already settled claims with the company, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 7 (The People of the State of California v. IntelliGender, LLC, No. 13-56806, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21312).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Magistrate Permits Antitrust Counterclaims Against Oracle In Solaris Lawsuit

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal magistrate on Nov. 7 found that three defendant software support firms adequately alleged their antitrust counterclaims against Oracle America Inc. in a dispute centering on the Solaris operating system, denying in part the software giant's motion to dismiss (Oracle America Inc. v. Terix Computer Company Inc., et al., No. 5:13-cv-03385, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158060).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses All Claims In Mortgage Foreclosure Case As Time-Barred

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 6 dismissed without leave to amend a mortgage foreclosure case that included a state unfair competition law (UCL) claim, saying that all the claims were time-barred and that had the plaintiffs undertaken a reasonable investigation, they would have had sufficient information to state their claims before the limitations period ran out (Gaylen Herfurth, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., et al., No. 14-1037, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157287).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Allows UCL Claim To Remain In Unlawful Taking Of Property Case

    LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California left standing several claims, including a state unfair competition law (UCL) claim in class action for wrongful seizure of property and personal belongings (Victoria Urenia, et al. v. Public Storage, et al., No. 13-1934, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158110).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Case Alleging Misrepresentation In Labeling Of Supplement

    SAN FRANCISCO - A federal magistrate judge in California on Nov. 6 dismissed with leave to amend a class action complaint alleging that the distributers of a supplement to boost human growth hormone violated the state's unfair competition law (UCL) claim, saying no private right of action existed for the plaintiff's substantiation claim (Julian Engel v. Novex Biotech LLC, et al., No. 14-3457, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157281).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Damages Class In Food Mislabeling Case Decertified; Injunction Class Remains

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 6 held that an injunction class will continue in an unfair competition law (UCL) case over the alleged mislabeling of "all natural" packaged fruit products but decertified a damages class (Chad Brazil v. Dole Packaged Foods LLC, No. 12-1831, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157575).