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Antitrust

Williams Kastner’s Antitrust Practice Group has represented clients in litigation and provided advice under both state and federal laws (including Federal Trade Commission, State Attorney General and other regulatory authorities) in many matters, including steel, real estate development, health care, office equipment, construction, insurance, and other industries.  Jerry Edmonds, Chair of firm’s Antitrust Practice served on the Washington State Bar Association Robinson Patman subcommittee which ultimately recommended to eliminate price discrimination from Washington State law.

Our Antitrust attorneys meet with executives of various companies as well as members of trade associations and have provided training on antitrust issues.  Our attorneys are frequently asked to present a Williams Kastner developed program entitled “Antitrust Do’s and Don’ts.”

Examples of our experience in complex antitrust and other litigation matters involving large numbers of parties and extensive complex discovery include:

  • Williams Kastner currently represents a large and very well known company in connection with significant antitrust matters that are not publicly known.  The matter is such that even identification of the industry would be inappropriate.
  • Representation of certain fish processing companies in connection with an antitrust claim arising out of the North Pacific bottom fish fishery.  This claim involved primarily assertions of privilege to jointly petition government.  This case was ultimately resolved by federal governmental action and was not filed in court.
  • Representation of certain physicians in connection with antitrust investigations in the State of Washington.  These were investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Representation of Great Northwest Federal Savings & Loan Association in leading Noerr-Pennington case in the State of Washington entitled Ross v. Bremer, United States District Court Western District of Washington.  This case involved a shopping center developer who sued downtown business owners for opposition to the shopping center development through legislative and legal action.  The case involved the so-called “sham exception” to the Noerr-Pennington doctrine.
  • Representation of the McCaw Cable TV interests in a claim that certain parties had exceeded the scope of the privilege for joint petitions to government in connection with cable TV franchises issued by local governments.
  • Representation of certain health insurers in connection with a claim by chiropractors that these health insurers monopolized and otherwise restrained trade in chiropractic services.  This claim was defeated on summary judgment in federal court in Tacoma.  Appeals by our opponents were unsuccessful.
  • Representation of a defendant in litigation initiated by Microsoft in which one of the primary defenses was an antitrust defense that Microsoft had improperly used its market power in operating systems software to restrain the competitive freedom of its distributors.
  • Representation of Cooper Tire Company in a price discrimination claim by a tire distributor.  This action took place in the state courts in Washington.
  • Representation of the paper company plaintiff which claimed that the publication of announced prices for linerboard and other paper in a publication called the “Yellow Sheet” constituted price fixing by the publisher of the Yellow Sheet in conjunction with certain major integrated producers in the paper business.  We achieved a settlement whereby the “Yellow Sheet” changed its publication practices.
  • We handled a claim by non-union contractors against unions for monopolization of state licensed apprenticeship program.  This federal court case lasted almost 10 years and was resolved favorably to the plaintiffs whom we represented.  We obtained a per curiam reversal in the United States Supreme Court.  The primary issue in Association of Building Contractors v. Forrestwas the so-called “state action” privilege.
  • distributor/servicer of money counting machinery alleged monopolization and price discrimination and territorial allocation against the largest manufacturer of such equipment.  Williams Kastner represented the plaintiff and tried the case to a jury in federal court in Seattle.  There was a hung jury and subsequent settlement, in Gordon vs. Brandt Inc.
  • Representation of the dentist plaintiff in an antitrust case against a dental insurer.  This case was filed in King County Superior Court.  The case was settled.
  • Representation of auto repair shops in a counterclaim against an insurer involving alleged “tying relationship.” This case settled.
  • Representation of Colgate-Palmolive in the Western Mint case, Labbee, et al. vs. Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., et al., in which price-fixing, monopolization, and territorial allocation were alleged against the largest purchasers of peppermint and spearmint oil in Washington and Oregon.  This case was a class action.
  • Representation of regional flat glass company in antitrust class action involving price fixing allegations.
  • Representation of Northwest Steel Rolling Mills, Inc. in certain antitrust actions during the late 70’s and early 80’s claiming bid rigging and other antitrust violations in the steel reinforcing bar industry.
  • Representation of Loomis Armored Car and Loomis Courier in certain antitrust claims relating to the courier and armored car business during the 70’s.
  • Representation of certain health insurers in antitrust claims against them by optometrists claiming that the health insurers via coverage arrangements were monopolizing or otherwise restraining trade in optometric services.  This action filed in Seattle federal court was settled.
  • Representation of a fishing processing company and it affiliates and subsidiaries in the Bristol Bay salmon antitrust case (Alakayak et al. vs. All Alaska Seafoods et al. ) in which price-fixing and monopolization and other anti-competitive activity was alleged against the fish purchasers and processors and some of their Japanese and/or other foreign owners.