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Antitrust

Both the federal and Connecticut antitrust acts prohibit monopolizing or attempting to monopolize markets. They also prohibit such conduct as agreements or conspiracies among competitors to fix prices, limit production, divide territories, allocate customers or markets, or refusing to deal with other companies. They prohibit companies with a substantial share of a market from entering into tying arrangements, exclusive dealing arrangements and agreements controlling the resale prices of companies to which it sells its products. Both provide that a successful plaintiff may recover three times its actual damages and its attorney's fees. Conduct that violates the antitrust laws may also violate the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act ("CUTPA"), which provides for the recovery of punitive damages and attorneys' fees as well as actual damages and injunctive relief. In fact, in some cases, anti-competitive conduct that does not violate the antitrust laws may still violate CUTPA.

The attorneys at Hurwitz, Sagarin, Slossberg & Knuff, LLC have significant experience in both bringing and defending antitrust claims under the federal and state acts.

HSSK Member David Belt teaches antitrust law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Quinnipiac University School of Law, and has extensive experience in both bringing and defending antitrust actions. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, of which he has served as Chair, is the co-author of Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices, Business Torts and Antitrust, published by West as Volume Twelve of the Connecticut Practice Series and is the author of "The Connecticut Anti-Trust Act: A Guide to Interpretation," published in Volume 54 of the Connecticut Bar Journal. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America in the area of Litigation-Antitrust.

The antitrust cases in which attorneys of HSSK have been involved include:

  • Consulting counsel to plaintiff in connection with breach of contract action involving defense based on alleged price discrimination. See Wes-Garde Components Group, Inc. v. Carling Technologies, Inc., 49 Conn. L. Rptr. 671, 2010 WL 1497553 (Conn. Super. Ct. Mar. 10, 2010).
  • Represented energy conservation companies in action by competitor alleging that it had violated the antitrust laws by conspiring with a public utility to exclude the competitor from access to the utility's small business preservation program. See North American Energy Systems, LLC v. New England Energy Management, Inc., 269 F.Supp.3d 12 (D.Conn. 2002).
  • Represented co-defendant in antitrust action alleging a horizontal conspiracy among scrap paper suppliers to bribe purchasing agent for paperboard manufacturer. See Federal Paper Board Company v. Amata, 693 F.Supp. 1376 (D. Conn. 1988).
  • Represented national candy manufacturer in action by State of Connecticut alleging unlawful resale price maintenance in violation of Connecticut Antitrust Act; resolved by consent decree without any admission of wrongdoing. See State v. Russell Stover Candies, Inc., 1989-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) ¶ 68,768, 1985 WL 69195 (Conn. Super. Ct. May 28, 1985).
  • Trial counsel for plaintiff real estate developer in multimillion-dollar claim alleging monopolization of regional shopping center market by use of sham zoning appeals and block development of a regional shopping center. See Landmark Holdings Company v. Bermant, 664 F.3d 891 (2d Cir. 1981) (appeal by prior counsel).
  • Co-counsel in defense of criminal antitrust case charging conspiracy to regulate bids for road tar contracts with municipalities. See United States v. Koppers Company, Inc., 652 F.3d 290 (2d Cir. 1981).
  • Co-counsel for plaintiff in major antitrust litigation involving claim that defendant had monopolized plain paper office copier market; jury verdict of $37.3 million before treble after 14-month jury trial before case was dismissed by court on legal grounds. See SCM Corp. v. Xerox Corp., 463 F.Supp. 983 (D. Conn. 1978), 645 F.2d 1195 (2d Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1016 (1982); SCM Corp. v. Xerox Corp.,77 F.R.D. 10 (D. Conn. 1977); SCM Corp. v. Xerox Corp., 70 F.R.D. 508 (D. Conn. 1976).
  • Connecticut counsel for plaintiff in federal antitrust class action brought by purchasers of high-quality paper alleging that defendant sellers of paper conspired to fix prices in violation of federal antitrust laws. See In re Publication Paper Antitrust Litigation, 2005 WL 2175139, 2005-2 Trade Cases ¶75,005 (D.Conn. Sept. 7, 2005).
  • Connecticut counsel for interventional radiologist in antitrust action against hospital for terminating his practice privilege.
  • Represented owners of Connecticut Jai Alai in federal court action alleging antitrust violations in gaming industry. Connecticut Jai Alai v. Autotote Corp., et al., 3:01CV00401 (JBA).
  • Represented national shirt manufacturer alleged to have terminated a retailer to enforce an unlawful resale price maintenance agreement.

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