Notable Representations, Key Contacts
Our attorneys are highly skilled at litigating antitrust counterclaims and misuse defenses in patent cases and other civil litigation, as well as formulating favorable settlements of intellectual property litigation.
Our lawyers are experienced project managers who conduct large-scale, complex litigation — and win.
- the depth and resources to proactively manage the substantial risks, time, and costs associated with litigation
- the experience to efficiently conduct discovery
- a platform for state-of-the-art case management that supports all aspects of the matter
Price-Fixing, Cartels & Related Investigations
We conduct large-scale, complex litigation — and win
Weil won two significant victories on behalf of CBS Interactive Inc. (CBSI) in 2015 in a landmark right of publicity case in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiff alleged that CBSI had used student-athletes’ names, images, and likenesses, without their consent, in connection with its provision of services related to NCAA member institutions’ sale of photographs of student-athletes through the schools’ official athletic websites. The plaintiff had requested certification of a nationwide class of potentially more than a million current and former student-athletes and was seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in minimum statutory damages under California’s right of publicity statute. First, on July 30, 2015, after significant fact and expert-related class discovery, and class certification briefing and argument, the court denied the plaintiff’s motion for class certification. Notably, the court rejected the plaintiff’s attempt to apply California law to a nationwide class in this case, concluding that there were material differences in states’ right of publicity laws, and that other states’ interests in applying their own right of publicity laws outweighed California’s interest. The case then continued as a single-plaintiff action, and CBSI moved for summary judgment; on August 14, 2015, the court granted CBSI’s motion in its entirety, ruling that plaintiff expressly consented to the challenged use of his likeness, and therefore, could not satisfy an essential element of a right of publicity claim.
Weil secured a complete defense jury verdict for C&S Wholesale Grocers following nine days of trial in April 2018 in an antitrust class action in Minnesota federal court. The jury’s verdict erased several hundred million dollars sought in treble damages, plus attorneys’ fees, and brought nine years of litigation to a close. Plaintiffs alleged that New England-based C&S and Supervalu, another leading wholesaler based in the Midwest, entered into a conspiracy to allocate the New England and Midwest territories between themselves for a period of five years, resulting in inflated grocery prices. The other defendant settled before trial. Weil partners David Lender and Eric Hochstadt, who led the trial team, were recognized as The American Lawyer’s “Litigators of the Week,” in which the publication characterized the rare, high-stakes case as “An Antitrust Unicorn – With $800M on the Line.” The team also won Global Competition Review’s “Litigators of the Week” accolades for its role in securing this win.
Weil represents the Elite Rodeo Association (ERA), a newly-founded professional rodeo association, and several of its owners who are the best athletes, as plaintiffs in an antitrust class action lawsuit in Texas federal court challenging, as unfair, retaliatory, and illegal, bylaws passed by the dominant sanctioning body in the sport, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). Among other anti-competitive restrictions, the new PRCA bylaws prevent ERA rodeo athletes from participating in PRCA-sanctioned events. Additionally, the bylaws prohibit rodeo committees and other contracting parties like facilities and vendors from participating in non-PRCA rodeo events, including ERA events, within 72 hours before or after any PRCA-sanctioned event. Nationwide, PRCA-sanctioned events take place several times per month, year-round, often with multiple events occurring simultaneously, meaning the 72-hour window before and after any PRCA-sanctioned event effectively prevents numerous entities involved in and necessary to the sport of rodeo from participating in an ERA event.
Plaintiffs allege violations of sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act for an illegal group boycott and unlawful monopolization, and seek a court order preventing the enforcement of the current PRCA bylaws; the implementation of new anti-competitive bylaws prohibiting any professional rodeo athletes and third parties from participating in both ERA and PRCA events; and retaliation against ERA athletes.
Secured an exceptional victory for Hilton Worldwide in one of the most significant antitrust lawsuits alleged in the hospitality industry. In this federal multidistrict antitrust class action consolidating more than thirty lawsuits filed across the country, Plaintiffs sought billions of dollars in damages and attorneys’ fees, alleging a 10-year price-fixing conspiracy by the major hotel chains and online travel agents to eliminate online price competition. Weil secured first a stay of all discovery and then a complete dismissal for Hilton under Rule 12, and as a result of our arguments, Hilton was dropped as a defendant entirely when Plaintiffs attempted to replead.
Weil achieved two separate victories as lead counsel on behalf of Providence Equity Partners and THL. Plaintiff-shareholders asserted broad ranging, industry-wide antitrust conspiracy claims against the companies, and other private equity firms, in connection with 17 multi-billion dollar private equity "club" leveraged buyouts of public companies in auction and proprietary sales processes from 2003–2007. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief on behalf of shareholders in every publicly traded company in the U.S. and treble damages for shareholders who sold their shares to defendants in specific multi-billion dollar club deals. The district court granted both clients individual summary judgment motions and ruled that the evidence failed to show that either firm had any connection to any alleged conspiracy. The defendants remaining in the case later settled for almost $600 million.
Weil has served as lead counsel to Simon & Schuster, Inc. (S&S) in a series of investigations and private litigations regarding an alleged conspiracy in violation of federal antitrust laws concerning electronic books (e-books) pricing. Plaintiffs include the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Attorneys General of 49 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories, e-book retailers, a putative nationwide class of e-book consumers, and a number of individual plaintiffs.
Most recently, on July 17, 2017, in two separate opinions, the Second Circuit issued per curiam decisions affirming the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York’s decisions granting summary judgment for Simon & Schuster, Inc. and four other e-book publishers, against Abbey House Media, Inc., and Lavoho, L.L.C. Abbey House (d/b/a BooksOnBoard) and Lavoho (the successor in interest to Diesel Ebooks) were two independent e-book retailers that alleged that their businesses failed as a result of a conspiracy between the five e-book publishers and a retailer to fix the prices of e-books. The Second Circuit held that it “agree[s] with the district court’s determination that the record permits no genuine dispute as to any material fact underlying the conclusion that, as a matter of law, [Abbey House and Lavoho] suffered no antitrust injury caused by” the alleged conspiracy. The Second Circuit also adopted the district court’s “thorough and well-reasoned written decision” in each case. Weil prepared the winning summary judgment papers for the defense group.
Weil Named Antitrust Firm of the Year
Benchmark Litigation U.S. Awards 2017
Weil has a “highly proficient U.S. antitrust group that combines a well-established transactional antitrust practice in Washington DC with a burgeoning litigation and cartel team in New York.”
Weil Named Antitrust Firm of the Year
Legal Media Group’s Life Sciences Awards 2016
Weil’s Antitrust Practice Ranked Among the “Global Elite”
GCR 100 2016
Co-Head of the Antitrust/Competition practice Steven Newborn and Antitrust partners Steven Bernstein and Jeffrey Perry named “Trailblazers” by The National Law Journal
Weil’s NY Antitrust Litigation Practice Ranked as “Elite”
GCR 100 2014
Weil's Antitrust practice “has all the know-how and horsepower, but they also have a pragmatic and reasoned approach.”
The reasons we've had such a long relationship with them are simple – they've seen us through a lot of very important fights, and continuously got us good results.”
Weil's performance is very impressive, especially in terms of their professionalism, timeliness, communication and teamwork.”