OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on May 30 granted final approval to a $27 million settlement of purchasers' claims that a manufacturer of interactive video game software violated antitrust law by entering into exclusive trademark licenses with U.S. football associations (Geoffrey Pecover, et al. v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 08-cv-02820, N.D. Calif.).
BOSTON - A landslide caused by torrential rain was an excluded peril and not compensable, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 31 ruled against the claims of a company whose self-storage warehouse suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages (Stor/Gard, Inc. v. Strathmore Insurance Company, No. 12-1650, 1st Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 11015).
NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York overseeing the multidistrict litigation against Apple Inc. on claims that the company conspired with several publishers to fix prices of electronic books approved the dismissal of several state-law claims on May 29, just days before the June 3 trial date (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 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.).
SALT LAKE CITY - Saying that a cookie company asserting trademark infringement and unfair competition failed to show Utah jurisdiction over the New Jersey-based defendant, a federal judge on May 29 dismissed the claims (Caspers Ice Cream Inc. v. The Fatboy Cookie Company Inc., No. 1:12-CV-133, D. Utah, Central Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76058).
SHERMAN, Texas - Amway, the world's largest multilevel marketing (MLM) company, lost its bid for a new trial alleging unfair business practices and tortious interference in the marketing of "energy drinks" when a Texas federal magistrate judge on May 29 refused to set aside a jury's unanimous verdict for the defense (Amway Corp., et al. v. bHIP Global Inc., et al., No. 4:10-CV-549, E.D. Texas, Sherman Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75393).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Saying that Tennessee does not recognize a common-law cause of action against an insurer for bad faith, a federal judge there dismissed an insured's counterclaims for coverage of a leaky hotel roof on May 29 (Westfield Insurance Company v. RLP Partners LLC, et al., No. 3:13-cv-106, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75673).
NEW YORK - Visa, MasterCard and issuing banks who are defendants in the Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation on May 24 filed a declaratory action against the named class action plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation who have indicated that they will be opting out of the $7.25 billion settlement (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation [Visa U.S.A. Inc., et al. v. National Association of Convenience Stores, et al.], No. 1:05-md-01720, E.D. N.Y.).
NEW ORLEANS - Pool owners who purchased pool products may proceed with California unfair competition law (UCL) claims alleging that a manufacturer's anti-competitive conduct caused them to pay higher prices, a Louisiana federal judge held May 24 (In re: Pool Products Distribution Market Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2328, No. 2:12-md-02328, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74192).
NEW YORK - A U.S. commodities trading company on May 22 sued BP PLC, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Statoil ASA, alleging that the oil companies engaged in an unlawful conspiracy to fix North Sea Brent Crude oil market prices and the prices of Brent Crude oil futures contracts by intentionally reporting inaccurate information regarding crude Brent Crude oil prices to the leading global provider of pricing for Brent Crude oil markets (Prime International Trading, Ltd. v. BP PLC, et al., No. 7:13-cv-3473-KMK, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - Target Corp., Macy's Inc. and several other retailers on May 23 sued Visa and MasterCard, alleging that the defendants exercised their market power to preclude issuing banks from competing for merchant acceptance of credit and debit cards, thereby causing the merchants to pay excessive interchange fees (Target Corporation, et al. v. Visa Inc., et al., No. 13-3477, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - Texas and several other states and territories and classes of purchasers have reached an agreement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc. on allegations that several publishers and Apple Inc. conspired to fix prices of electronic books, according to a May 22 letter filed with the federal judge in New York overseeing the multidistrict litigation (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation $(All Actions$), No. 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.)
SAN FRANCISCO - While it is based on law of general applicability, a man cannot escape the fact that his California unfair competition law (UCL) action challenging monthly debit card fees seeks to impose specific disclosures, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held May 22 in finding the claims preempted (Tyrone L. Robinson v. Bank of America N.A., No. 11-57194, 9th Cir.).
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The federal judge in Tennessee overseeing multidistrict litigation involving claims that brand-name pharmaceutical company King Pharmaceuticals LLC and generic drug manufacturer Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. conspired to delay the entry of generic versions of Skelaxin into the market denied the defendants' motion to dismiss on May 20 (In re: Skelaxin $(Metaxalone$) Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:12-md-2343, E.D. Tenn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70968).
SAN FRANCISCO - Collecting debts on valid but voidable contracts is not unlawful, unfair or fraudulent under the California unfair competition law (UCL), a federal judge held May 20 (Timothy Dufour, et al. v. Be LLC, et al., No. 09-3770, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71329).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), which controls the accreditation process in the United States for accredited dosimetry calibration laboratories (ADCLs), did not violate federal antitrust law by refusing to reaccredit a laboratory after the laboratory was purchased by a company that manufactured dosimetry equipment, a federal judge in Tennessee ruled May 20 (K & S Associates, Inc. v. American Association of Physicists in Medicine, No. 3:09-1108, M.D. Tenn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71000).
SAN FRANCISCO - A man who was never denied coverage by his disability insurer lacks standing to sue under the California unfair competition law (UCL) for the company's failure to fully compensate some policy holders, a state appeals court held May 21 (Rick L. Schwartz v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co., et al., No. A134706, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on May 17 ruled that a cargo offloader may continue with its claim that a union conspired with the Port of San Diego to bar the offloader from bidding on the America's Cup Race, but the judge dismissed without leave to amend the offloader's claims regarding the union's picketing at the port and contacts with the offloader's customers (Terminalift LLC v. International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 29, No. 11-CV-1999, S.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70545).
SAN FRANCISCO - A consumer who purchases a product based on false price information and claims that he would not have made the purchase otherwise alleges an economic injury under the California unfair competition law (UCL), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held May 21 (Antonio Hinojos, et al. v. Kohl's Corp., et al., No. 11-55793, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - Over-the-counter (OTC), bondholder and exchange-based plaintiffs in the London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR) antitrust litigation on May 17 moved for leave to amend their amended complaints to add allegations of antitrust injury related to their claims that 16 banks manipulated the LIBOR interest rate benchmark (In re: LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, No. 11 MD 2262, S.D. N.Y.).
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - A $158.6 million class action settlement with Dairy Farmers of America Inc. and the other remaining defendants on claims that the defendants engaged in anti-competitive actions related to raw Grade A milk processed in the Southeast received final approval by a federal judge in Tennessee on May 17 (In re: Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 2:08-MD-1000, E.D. Tenn. $(Sweetwater Valley Farm, Inc., et al. v. Dean Foods, et al., No. 2:07-CV-208, E.D. Tenn.$); 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70163; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70167).
ALBANY, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on May 15 granted the Federal Trade Commission's motion to temporarily enjoin Phoebe Putney Health System Inc. from taking any further steps to consolidate Georgia hospitals and from making any price changes to existing contracts following the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that the state-action doctrine does not immunize the merger from antitrust scrutiny (Federal Trade Commission, et al. v. Phoebe Putney Health System Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-58, M.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68658).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge has granted remand of tobacco excise tax evasion and unfair business practice claims to state court, saying in an opinion filed May 15 that the state's complaint raised no federal question (People of the State of California, et al v. Darren Paul Rose, No. 2:13-cv-00675, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69382).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on May 15 granted JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.'s (Chase) motion to dismiss a slander of title claim from a borrowers' suit but allowed wrongful foreclosure and California unfair competition law (UCL) claims to survive, finding that the actions alleged in the surviving claims "would certainly deceive the public" if the allegations are true (Son T. Nguyen, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., No.12-4183, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69362).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The federal judge in Kansas who is overseeing the multidistrict class action against polyether polyol products (PPPs) manufacturers accused of price fixing on May 15 entered judgment for $1.2 billion in favor of a class of direct purchasers against Dow Chemical Co., the sole remaining defendant, and denied Dow's motions to decertify the class and for judgment as a matter of law or for a new trial (In re: Urethane Antitrust Litigation $(Polyether Polyol Cases$), MDL No. 1616, Civil No. 2:04-md-01616-JWL, D. Kan.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69784).
NEW YORK - Chinese vitamin C manufacturers on May 13 opposed the imposition of a permanent injunction in a case in which a jury previously determined that the manufacturers violated the Sherman Act by participating in a cartel to fix prices and limit supply for exports of vitamin C to the United States (In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation $(Animal Science Products, Inc., et al. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al.$), No. 06-md-1738, No. 05-cv-0453, E.D. N.Y.).