Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Damages Trial In E-Books Conspiracy Action Against Apple Won't Be Stayed

    NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York overseeing class and states' parens patriae actions that allege that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books on April 24 denied Apple's motion to stay a joint damages trial pending Apple's submission and appellate review of a petition for interlocutory appeal of the class certification order (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-MD-2293, S.D. N.Y. [State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.]; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57473).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - FTC Supports Motorola's Petition For Rehearing Of 7th Circuit FTAIA Ruling

    CHICAGO - The United States moved for leave to file an amicus brief on April 24 in support of Motorola Mobility Inc.'s petition for rehearing en banc of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Motorola's claims that suppliers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels engaged in a global price-fixing conspiracy based on overseas purchases by Motorola's foreign affiliates do not fall under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act's (FTAIA) domestic injury exception and were properly dismissed (Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., et al., No. 14-8003, 7th Cir.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 3rd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Avandia California Consumer Refund Class Action

    PHILADELPHIA - A federal appeals court panel on April 25 affirmed dismissal of a California Avandia consumer refund case, agreeing with the multidistrict litigation court that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim on which relief can be granted (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 13-3463, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7770).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge: U.S. Airways, American Airlines Merger 'In Public Interest'

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia presiding over the antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against U.S. Airways Group Inc. opposing its proposed merger with American Airlines Inc. on April 25 ruled that the merger was "in the public interest" (United States of America v. U.S. Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-1236, D. D.C.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - High Court Will Not Consider Novell's Monopolization Suit Against Microsoft

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 28 declined to review a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Novell Inc. failed to present evidence sufficient for a jury to find that Microsoft Corp. unlawfully used its dominant position in the personal computing operating-systems market to monopolize the word-processing and spreadsheet applications markets when it withdrew access to its namespace extensions (Novell, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, No. 13-1042, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Notice Of Appeal Filed In Antitrust Case Challenging Rival's Discounting Program

    TRENTON, N.J. - A pharmaceutical manufacturer that alleged that its competitor violated federal and state antitrust laws by using market-share discounting practices and exclusionary contracts with hospitals filed a notice of appeal on April 23 to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal of the trial court's order granting summary judgment against it (Eisai Inc. v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC, et al., No. 08-4168, D. N.J.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Apple, Google Settle High- Tech Employees' Anti- Poaching Conspiracy Claims

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. on April 24 told a federal judge in California that they have reached an agreement to settle an antitrust suit brought by their employees accusing the high-tech companies of conspiring to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Class Suit Over Homeopathic Eardrops Sent Back To State Court

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 22 sent a class suit alleging that millions of dollars of homeopathic eardrops were sold based on false advertising and marketing back to state court, finding that the defendants failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Sharon Manier, et al. v. Medtech Products, Inc., et al., No. 14-209, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55963).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - UCL Fraudulent Inducement Claims Barred, California Federal Judge Rules

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A homebuilder's claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL) that he was fraudulently induced into signing a promissory note so the lenders could later foreclose on his property fails based on res judicata because the dispute over the promissory note was already decided by a Texas state court, a federal judge held April 21 (Kenneth W. Guice v. James L. Emerson, et al., No. 13-2250, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55870).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Conversion Of Rental Units To Tourist Lodging Illegal, City Attorney Says

    SAN FRANCISCO - The owners of three homes in San Francisco illegally converted the properties from residential apartments into commercial tourist lodging after evicting longtime residents, including two who are disabled, from their apartments, the city attorney alleges in two lawsuits filed in state court on April 23 under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the city Planning Code (City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Darren Lee, et al., No. 538857; City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Tamara Yurovsky, et al., No. 538854, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Consumer Sues Computer Companies Over Claims About Hardware Capabilities

    SAN FRANCISCO - Three computer hardware manufacturers violated California consumer protection laws, including the unfair competition law (UCL), by misrepresenting the performance capabilities of their motherboards to mislead consumers into buying their products, a consumer alleges in a class action complaint filed April 21 in federal court (Joshua Smith v. Pegatron USA, Inc., et al., No. 14-1822, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Consumers Say Ford Misled Them Into Buying Pickups With Bad Engines

    LOS ANGELES - Twenty California residents sued Ford Motor Co. on April 22 in federal court, alleging that the Ford pickup trucks they purchased had defective engines and that Ford knew of the defect and not only failed to notify consumers but then also failed to authorize proper repairs or replacement of the engines under the vehicles' warranties, in violation of the state's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes (Juan Zavala, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 14-3068, C.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Reverse-Payment Settlement Is Not Entitled To Antitrust Immunity, Judge Rules

    ATLANTA - The reverse-payment settlement of patent litigation between the holder of a drug patent and potential generic manufacturers of the drug is not entitled to Noerr-Pennington immunity from antitrust liability, a federal judge in Georgia ruled April 21 (In re: Androgel Antitrust Litigation [No. II], MDL No. 2084 [All Cases], No. 1:09-md-2084, N.D. Ga.; Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., et al., No. 1:09-cv-955, N.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54808).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 6th Circuit Affirms FTC Divestiture Order Involving Hospital Systems In Ohio

    CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22 upheld a Federal Trade Commission order requiring ProMedica Health System to divest St. Luke's Hospital to an FTC-approved buyer within 180 days, concluding that the FTC properly found that the acquisition was likely to substantially lessen competition and increase prices for general acute-care inpatient hospital services and inpatient obstetric services sold to commercial health plans in the Toledo, Ohio, area (ProMedica Health System, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 12-3583, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7500).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge: Consumers Failed To Show Knowledge, Concealment

    SAN DIEGO - Consumer class action claims under the California unfair competition law (UCL) that a manufacturer fraudulently concealed that its hair dryers were defective fail because the consumers did not sufficiently allege that the manufacturer had exclusive knowledge of material facts not known to the consumers or that the manufacturer actively concealed a material fact from the consumers, a federal judge held April 17 (Cynthia L. Czuchaj v. Conair Corporation, No. 13-cv-1901, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54415).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses Man's Negligence Claims Over Loan Modification Dispute

    SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on April 17 dismissed with prejudice a man's claims for negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress against his loan servicer, after finding that the defendant owed no duty of care to the plaintiff (Rey C. Gopar v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-2292-W, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54420).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - UCL, CLRA Claims Over Car Sale Fail Due To Lack Of Specifics, Federal Judge Says

    SAN DIEGO - Two car buyers' claims that a dealership violated the California unfair competition law (UCL) and Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) fail because the purchasers did not allege how they were harmed or state how each instance of alleged wrongdoing violated the statutes, a federal judge held April 17 in dismissing the buyers' lawsuit but granting them leave to amend (Petra Villalobos, et al. v. CarMax Auto Superstore California, LLC, No. 12-cv-2626, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54375).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Appeals Court Remands Dispute Over Contract For Car Purchase

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California appeals court on April 17 remanded to a trial court a class action complaint alleging that a car dealership's sales practices violate the state unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws so the lower court can determine whether three provisions in the arbitration clause of the dealership's sale agreement that both courts found to be unconscionable should be severed from the contract (Suzanne Gillespie v. Svale Del Grande, Inc., et al., No. H039428, Calif. App., 6th Dist.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - N.J. Federal Judge Tosses Class Complaint Attacking Quality Of Omega Supplements

    NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on April 17 dismissed a New Jersey man's pro se class complaint alleging that Nordic Naturals Inc.'s omega supplements failed to live up the company's advertised quality (Harold M. Hoffman, et al. v. Nordic Naturals, Inc., No. 12-5870, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53125).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Circuit Affirms That Antitrust Claims Fail

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - An antitrust and patent infringement defendant was properly awarded summary judgment by an Illinois federal judge, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 18 (DSM Desotech Inc. v. 3D Systems Corporation and 3D Systems Inc., No. 13-1298, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Multimedia-Content Producers' Antitrust Claims Fail, 9th Circuit Rules

    SAN FRANCISCO - Producers and owners of multimedia content cannot demonstrate antitrust injury in their lawsuit against wireless carriers because they are not participants in the same market, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 17 in an unpublished opinion (Bruce Max Davis, et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services Inc., et al., No. 12-55985, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7243).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - States Have Standing To Seek Damages Against Apple In E-Books Conspiracy Action

    NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 15 denied Apple's motion to dismiss an action by the attorneys general of several states that alleges that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, rejecting Apple's arguments that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the states' damages action against Apple because the states do not have constitutional standing (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-MD-2293, S.D. N.Y. $(State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.$); 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52127).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Federal Judge Grants Partial Summary Judgment In NCAA Likeness Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on April 11 granted a motion to amend the class definition and partially granted a summary judgment motion both filed by current and former student-athletes who have accused the National Collegiate Athletic Association of misappropriating their names, images and likenesses in violation of their statutory and common-law rights of publicity and of violating federal antitrust law by conspiring with Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) and Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) to restrain competition in the market for the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses in game footage (In Re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-1967, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50693).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - N.Y. Federal Judge: Fraud Claims Against Publishing Company Can Proceed

    NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 11 dismissed a parent corporation from a putative class action alleging that a company that sells publishing and marketing services to people who want to self-publish books has defrauded customers; however, the judge allowed claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws to proceed (Kelvin James, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. and Author Solutions, No. 13-2801, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50769).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Amended Labeling Claims Meet UCL Pleading Standards, California Federal Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO - A consumer's revised allegations that he relied on a juicemaker's false and misleading "No Sugar Added" statement when deciding what 100 percent apple juice product to buy and that he will buy less of the product in the future due to the misrepresentation are sufficient for his claims to proceed under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes, a federal judge held April 8 (Mohammed Rahman v. Mott's LLP, No. 13-3482, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49169).