Stearns Weaver Miller has one of the most formidable antitrust, competition and consumer protection practices in the country, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in some of the largest high-profile cases in the United States. Our attorneys are highly experienced in litigating complex antitrust class and individual actions before federal and state courts around the country involving price fixing, bid rigging, market and customer allocation, monopolization, monopsonization, unfair competition, deceptive and unfair trade practices, and price discrimination. We bring a wealth of experience to antitrust, competition and consumer protection cases, not only because we represent litigants on both sides of the “v,” but also because many of our lawyers have substantial experience in the industries in which our clients operate.
One of our partners has been selected, multiple times, as the “Antitrust Lawyer of the Year—Miami Litigation” by the prestigious publication Best Lawyers in America. In addition, some of our attorneys are former state or federal enforcers and prosecutors, including a former Florida Chief Deputy Attorney General (and Deputy Attorney General for Enforcement), a former Florida Senior Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division and a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. This breadth of experience gives our team valuable insight into how state and federal enforcement officials at these agencies think and act, allowing for creative and efficient resolution of government investigations and enforcement actions. Additionally, one of our partners is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Antitrust and Trade Regulation.
On the plaintiffs’ side, the firm has obtained record recoveries in antitrust cases involving price fixing, bid rigging and market allocation conspiracies, including what was at the time the fourth largest antitrust recovery ever ($151,500,000) on behalf of an indirect purchaser class. On the defense side, we have achieved substantial success representing public companies in pharmaceutical, technology and other industries in defense of antitrust class and individual actions. Our group has particular experience working on matters involving government investigations of antitrust violations in various industries. For example, some of the anticompetitive activities in the pharmaceutical industry that were exposed in cases we initiated were later detailed in an extensive study by the Federal Trade Commission, and were cited in the Congressional Record as support for the revisions to the Hatch-Waxman Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act enacted by the House and Senate and signed into law by then President Bush.
Our consumer protection attorneys are highly skilled in providing counseling to help clients mitigate legal risk and in representing clients in state and federal government investigations. We routinely defend clients in consumer litigation, including “bet the company” class actions. We have provided counseling to national clients to ensure compliance with state and federal laws governing telephone marketing, in-home sales, fair credit reporting, and with state and federal unfair and deceptive acts and practices laws, among others. We work with clients to understand how they market to customers, identify applicable state and federal laws, and provide guidance and training to correct or improve practices that pose undue risk before enforcers come calling and lawsuits are filed. We also work closely with clients to ensure their consumer contracts protect the clients from unfair or unfounded lawsuits. In actions filed across the country, we have successfully defended clients against individual and class action lawsuits asserting claims under a variety of consumer protection statutes. We have also successfully enforced arbitration clauses with class action waivers and defeated motions for class certification, eliminating the risk of large claims for class damages.
- Antitrust Litigation & Investigations
- Antitrust Compliance & Counseling
- State Attorney General Enforcement Matters
- Merger Clearance
- Consumer Protection Litigation and Counseling
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
- Obtained a $151,000,000 dollar recovery as co-lead counsel on behalf of indirect purchasers in antitrust litigation against the leading U.S. and Canadian manufacturers of polyurethane foam involving a cross-border price fixing and market allocation conspiracy. The amount represents the fourth largest antitrust recovery ever on behalf of indirect purchaser plaintiffs.
- Obtained a $33,000,000 million recovery as lead counsel on behalf of indirect purchasers in antitrust litigation arising out of a nationwide price-fixing, bid-rigging and market allocation scheme among the country’s dominant manufacturers of liquid aluminum sulfate. The $33 million recovery represented an amount in excess of 100% of the treble damages being sought in the case — a result which is believed to be unprecedented in antitrust class action litigation. In commenting on the recovery, United States District Judge Madeleine Cox Arleo of the District of New Jersey complimented the firm’s “high degree of diligence, perseverance and skillful advocacy,” and remarked in open court that the firm’s efforts “could not have yielded a better result” for the indirect purchaser plaintiffs.
- Obtained a $55,000,000 recovery against Toyota and General Motors on behalf of a class of domestic automobile purchasers in antitrust litigation involving the imposition of wrongful export restraints.
- Obtained $36,000,000 recovery in antitrust litigation arising out of Organon’s efforts to block generic competition for the drug mirtazapine (sold by Organon under the brand name Remeron®).
- Represented nationwide classes of direct or indirect purchasers in price-fixing and other antitrust litigation involving such products:
- $300,000,000 recovery from Glaxo Smith Kline on behalf of direct purchasers of buspirone under the brand name Buspar.
- $175,000,000 recovery from Glaxo Smith Kline on behalf of direct purchasers of nabumetone under the brand name Relafen.
- $75,000,000 recovery from Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co. on behalf of direct purchasers of cisplatin under the brand name
- $65,000,000 recovery from Bristol-Myers Squibb on behalf of direct purchasers of Taxol, one of the largest selling anti-cancer drugs in the world, arising out of Bristol’s prior efforts to block generic competition for the drug.
- $50,000,000 recovery from FMC Corporation on behalf of direct purchasers of microcrystalline under the brand name Avicel.
- $30,000,000 recovery from AKZO Nobel, Elf Atochem and others on behalf of direct purchasers of organic peroxides.
- $20,000,000 recovery on behalf of direct purchasers of monochloracetic acetate.
- Represented large healthcare company in obtaining antitrust clearance from Florida Attorney General on three separate hospital acquisitions.
- Representing the purchasing cooperatives for Subway, Popeye’s Chicken, and Quirch Foods in antitrust litigation involving a multi-billion dollar conspiracy by the country’s major chicken producers to fix prices, rig bids and allocate markets for Broiler Chickens. The case is currently in the discovery phase, and is set for trial in 2023.
- Represented the world’s largest generic drug company in one of the first “reverse payment” antitrust cases arising out of related patent litigation under the Hatch-Waxman Act.
- Represented Ivax Corporation and its subsidiary Zenith Goldline Pharmaceuticals in one of the first “pay for delay” generic pharmaceutical suppression cases, obtaining a very favorable six-figure nuisance value settlement, where the other co-defendants, Abbott Laboratories and Geneva Pharmaceuticals, ultimately payed in excess of $90 million and $30 million, respectively, to resolve the same claims.
- Represented IBM and its subsidiary, TWC Product and Technology - owner of The Weather Channel Mobile App, as Florida counsel with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in consumer class action alleging violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) and various business torts; case dismissed with prejudice.
- Represented Fortune 500 companies in putative FDUTPA class actions, including cases involving flushable wipes, sunscreen, fuel surcharges, and movie rentals.
- Represented Florikan, a manufacturer and distributor of nursery pots and other nursery supplies, in antitrust action against larger manufacturer and distributor of nursery supplies. Following extensive discovery and motions for summary judgment, the suit was resolved favorably, by agreement.
- Represented charitable gaming organization in Department of Justice price fixing, anticompetitive pricing, and antitrust investigation resulting in non-prosecution.
- Obtained the closing of a formal Department of Justice antitrust investigation for the largest satellite television company in Puerto Rico without any charges being brought.
- Representing the vacation ownership company Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited, Inc. in proposed class action filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida asserting claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and seeking damages of over $420 million. The district court denied class certification.
- Representing Google and YouTube in connection with antitrust, FDUTPA and copyright litigation involving an alleged tying arrangement relating to allegedly unauthorized postings of copyrighted motion pictures owned by a famous Mexican movie producer on YouTube.
- Representing IMI Mobile (a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems) in defense of an antitrust class action alleging price fixing in the prison collect calling market.
- Represented the State of Florida in the investigation of and the multidistrict litigation against the three major infant formula manufacturers for price fixing, resulting in a $13 million Florida-only settlement.
- Represented the State of Florida in the investigation of and the multidistrict litigation against the major disposable contact lens manufacturers for price fixing, resulting in a $84 million global settlement.
- Represented the State of Florida in the investigation of and the multidistrict litigation against the major makers of commercial tissue for price fixing, resulting in a nearly $3 million Florida-only settlement.
- Represented the State of Florida in negotiating several settlements resolving multistate litigation alleging “pay-for-delay” antitrust violations by major pharmaceutical companies, including one on behalf of the states and the Federal Trade Commission totaling over $100 million.
- Co-represented the State of Florida in the investigation and litigation against the major milk processors in Florida for rigging bids on school milk, resulting in a then record $34 million state bid-rigging recovery.
- Led the multi-million-dollar settlement negotiations on behalf of the State of Florida with a large residential home developer to resolve complaints regarding alleged construction defects in certain developments.
- Worked on behalf of the State of Florida to help obtain a creative case resolution with a major Florida mortgage servicer to resolve certain servicing and other related concerns.
- Successfully negotiated on behalf of the State of Florida a settlement with a major global investment firm to resolve potential claims regarding the collapse of Florida’s Local Government Investment Pool.
- Advised businesses involved in the following mergers or acquisitions: Live Nation/Ticketmaster, Yahoo HotJobs/Monster.com, DirecTV/Liberty Entertainment, and Energy Transfer Equity/Southern Union Company, enabling them to obtain antitrust clearance by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
In the Media:
TLH Briefcase: Jan. 6, 2022
Tallahassee Democrat|January 2022
In the Media:
Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 12.9.21
Florida Politics|December 2021
Former Florida Chief Deputy Attorney General Patricia “Trish” Conners Joins Stearns Weaver Miller
Cannabis Dispensaries Take Another Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit
Stearns Weaver Miller News Update|October 2021|Glenn Burhans, Jr., Douglas L. Kilby, Jay B. Shapiro
Old Price Gouging Laws, New Applications
American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section, Spring Meeting Webinar |March 2021| Patricia A. Conners
Antitrust and CP Ethics Meet Hollywood Squares
American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section, Spring Meeting |April 2020| Patricia A. Conners
Enforcement Issues and Opportunities for Antitrust Practitioners
Practicing Law Institute, Developments in Antitrust Law & Regulation 2020 |April 2020| Patricia A. Conners
Antitrust Counseling and Competitor Collaboration and Price Gouging During COVID-19
American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section, Consumer Protection Conference |April 2020| Patricia A. Conners