SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge on Nov. 18 granted preliminarily approval of a settlement involving unfair competition law (UCL) claims over Cytosport Inc.'s characterization of Muscle Milk products as "healthy" (Claire Delacruz, et al. v. Cytosport Inc., No. 11-3532, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. on Nov. 15 moved to dismiss an action by the attorneys general of several states which alleges that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, arguing that the district court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the states' damages action against Apple because the states have not suffered any injury-in-fact and, therefore, do not have constitutional standing (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-MD-2293, S.D. N.Y. $(State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.$)).
SAN DIEGO - A judge in California on Nov. 15 granted final approval to a $74 million cash settlement between Bayer Corp. and Bayer AG (collectively, Bayer) and California purchasers of the antibiotic Cipro and third-party payers who reimbursed for California purchases of Cipro on claims that Bayer paid drug companies nearly $400 million to drop challenges to Bayer's Cipro patent and to refrain from selling generic versions of the drug (Cipro Cases I and II $(All Actions$), Judicial Council Coordination Proceeding Nos. 4154 and 4220, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Nov. 14 certified a damages class of end-payers that purchased or provided reimbursements for Nexium on the end-payers' antitrust and consumer protection claims contending that the manufacturer of the heartburn medication and generic drug manufacturers entered into reverse-payment agreements to keep generic versions of the medication out of the market, but the judge denied the end-payers' motion for certification of an injunctive class (In re Nexium $(Esomeprazole$) Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-md-02409, D. Mass.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162276, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162496).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted final approval of a revised $4 million settlement in a class lawsuit accusing Kellogg Co. of making false advertising claims about its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal despite earlier concerns that the amount for class members had been reduced while attorney fees and expenses remained unchanged (Harry Dennis, et al. v. Kellogg Co., No. 09-1786, S.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163118).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov.18 denied a petition for review filed by a class member who objected to the settlement of a class suit accusing Sirius XM Radio Inc. of antitrust violations in connection with the 2008 merger of the only two providers of satellite radio, and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. commented that a judge's requirement that class counsel reflect the class as to race and gender may warrant "future review" (Nicholas Martin v. Carl Blessing, et al., No. 13-169, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADEPHIA - A federal judge in Philadelphia on Nov. 12 denied Comcast Corp.'s motion to strike consumers' motion to recertify a class following the U.S. Supreme Court's reversing the court's motion to certify the class, but the judge permitted Comcast to file a substantive response to the motion to recertify (Stanford Glaberson, et al. v. Comcast Corporation, et al., No. 03-6604, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160890).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on Nov. 13 declined to either review or depublish an opinion finding that litigation privilege does not bar a state California unfair competition law (UCL) action seeking enforcement of debt collection laws, according to its docket (The People v. Persolve LLC, et al., No. S213424, Calif. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Nov. 12 proposed a final judgment with US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. under which the DOJ would drop its merger antitrust lawsuit against the airlines if they divest slots and gates at key constrained airports across the country to low-cost carrier airlines (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
LOS ANGELES - Priceline.com Inc.'s disclosure of the potential for "resort fees" above and beyond its charges and a consumer's ability to otherwise avoid them free the company from California unfair competition law (UCL) claims, a state appeals panel affirmed Nov. 7 (Michael Freeman v. Priceline.com Inc., et al., No. B24653, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2).
SAN FRANCISCO - Parties on Nov. 7 briefed the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on whether a $25 payment made on an allegedly unlawful attempt to collect on a $9,000 automobile debt satisfies the California unfair competition law (UCL) injury standard (Roderick Wright, et al. v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., No. 12-55319, 9th Cir.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals court in a Nov. 4 unpublished opinion affirmed the dismissal of chiropractors' challenge to a health insurer's policy provision limiting reimbursement of diagnostic imaging services but ordered the case transferred to the state insurance department for review of a claim alleging violation of a state law requiring group health policies to cover services performed by chiropractors if the services are also reimbursed when provided by other health providers (The Association of New Jersey Chiropractors Inc., et al. v. Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. A-6022-11T4, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2677).
SAN DIEGO - Injunctive relief and restitution constitute separate remedies under the California unfair competition law (UCL), and lack of standing to pursue one does not bar the other, a California federal judge held Nov. 1 (Gino Maraventano and Neesha Kurji v. Nordstrom Inc., a Washington corporation, and DOES 1-100 inclusive, Gina Balasanyan and Nune Nalbandian, et al. v. Nordstrom Inc., et al. Nos. 10-2671, 11-2609, S.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157194).
SAN FRANCISCO - A procedure for determining the portion of settlement proceeds to be awarded to certain class members in a consumer antitrust action against Microsoft Corp. does not violate the terms of the underlying $1.1 billion settlement agreement, a California appellate court affirmed Oct. 31 in an unpublished opinion (Charles J. Longo, et al. v. Microsoft Corporation, No. A136531, Calif. App., 1st Dist.; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7931).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The class suing US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Nov. 4 moved for permission to intervene in the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit against the airlines by filing an amicus curiae brief (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Alleged misrepresentations about the steps a lender would take to help a customer appear to provide adequate basis for a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim, and the resulting home foreclosure appears to constitute an injury, a divided appeals court held Oct. 31 (Richard Lueras v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, et al., No. G046799, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 886).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 1 denied Novell Inc.'s petition for rehearing en banc of a panel ruling that Novell 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. 12-4143, 10th Cir.).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 30 reinstated a class complaint accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of falsely claiming that its battery recycling fee was required by California law (June Woolverton Johnson, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 12-55233, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22119).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Former and current student athletes may continue with their claim that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violated 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, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 25 in denying the NCAA's motion to dismiss (In Re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation, No. 09-1967, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153730).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Six chambers of commerce on Oct. 29 moved in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for permission to file amicus curiae briefs in the antitrust lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. related to the proposed merger of the two airlines. The chambers of commerce contend that their respective communities will benefit from the proposed merger (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO - California's rule prohibiting arbitration of public injunctive relief claims runs afoul of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Oct. 28 in reversing a ruling denying arbitration of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims (Kevin Ferguson, et al. v. Corinthian Colleges Inc., et al., No. 11-56965, 9th Cir.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Whirlpool Corp.'s alleged misrepresentation of its refrigerators' compliance with Energy Star program requirements supports unfair and fraudulent claims under the California unfair competition law (UCL), a federal judge held Oct. 25 (Kyle Dei Rossi and Mark Linthicum, et al. v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 12-125, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153682).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 24 granted a supplemental motion for class certification in an antitrust suit accusing 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.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153752).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 25 granted in part and denied in part Umpqua Bank's motion for judgment on the pleadings in a putative class action alleging that the bank illegally reordered customers' debit card transactions in order to maximize profits, finding that some of the plaintiff's claims are preempted by the National Bank Act (NBA) (Amber Hawthorne, et al. v. Umpqua Bank, No. 11-6700, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153697).
SAN FRANCISCO - Inconsistencies in allegations of website exposure between complaints do not warrant dismissal of a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim challenging the advertising of Splenda, a federal judge held Oct. 21 (Barbara Bronson, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Inc. and McNeil Nutritionals Inc., No. 12-4184, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151842).