Price-fixing and horizontal agreements


Bates White has established an outstanding reputation as a leading firm for evaluating allegations of unlawful agreements among competitors. We have been retained in almost every significant international price-fixing matter over the past decade, and we have played a key role in hundreds of price-fixing settlements. We specialize in assessing claims of price-fixing, bid-rigging, supply restrictions, and market allocation, and in quantifying the economic effects of such conduct. Our professionals routinely provide expert testimony, litigation support, and settlement support to defendant and plaintiff clients.

  • In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation—Douglas Bernheim testified on behalf of plaintiffs in the matter at trial in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The case alleged price-fixing agreements among Chinese suppliers of vitamin C. Dr. Bernheim concluded that vitamin C prices were inflated during the cartel period primarily because of the activities of the cartel. Defendants were found liable for fixing prices with their competitors and fined treble damages of $162.3 million, the full damages requested by plaintiffs. The matter marked the first time that Chinese companies faced a trial on US antitrust claims. For more information, read the press release.
  • In re Chocolate Confectionary Antitrust Litigation—Provided expert testimony on behalf of defendant Nestlé USA. Analyzed economic evidence regarding Nestlé USA’s participation in an alleged conspiracy to fix prices of chocolate confections in the United States. Also addressed liability and damages analyses proffered by class and direct action economic experts. Judge Conner granted summary judgment in favor of the three named defendants—Hershey, Mars, and Nestlé USA—against the class of direct purchasers and direct purchasers that had filed individual lawsuits.
  • In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation—Providing expert testimony to a large coalition of direct action plaintiffs in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Performing economic analyses to assess liability and damages resulting from the alleged illegal conduct.
  • United States ex rel. Bunk v. Birkart Globistics and United States ex rel. Ammons v. Pasha Group—Provided expert report, deposition, and trial testimony on behalf of the United States. Testified before a jury that the Department of Defense was overcharged by $41.5 million as a result of the price-fixing conspiracy among German moving companies. The jury awarded damages in favor of the United States in the amount of $33.6 million.
  • In re EPDM Antitrust Litigation and In re PCP Antitrust Litigation—Provided extensive consulting services for defendants. Developed econometric and financial damages estimates for use in settlement discussions. Worked with in-house and outside counsel on settlement and litigation strategy with direct and indirect plaintiffs. Supported discussions with government agencies in the United States and Europe regarding plea agreements and fines. Supported ongoing discovery and cooperation requests from plaintiffs.
  • Chemicals—Provided economic analysis on behalf of tire manufacturers in the UK proceedings regarding private damages claims related to the EU synthetic rubber cartel case. Supported expert Dr. Hans Friederiszick of our European partner, and worked with attorneys on both sides of the Atlantic to quantify potential damages. The case was recently closed by settlement. The terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential.
  • Price-fixing in the freight forwarding industry—Bates White (in conjunction with E.CA Economics) supported a freight-forwarder involved in negotiations with the US Department of Justice, European Commission, and enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions over allegations of price-fixing in the freight forwarding industry. Conducted analysis of impact and provided data support.
  • Omnicare v. United Health—Provided expert testimony for United Health to assess damages in a lawsuit alleging that pre-merger coordination led to the joint exercise of monopsony power. Performed econometric analysis to simulate but-for pricing and estimate total damages for a range of but-for scenarios. Analysis concluded that pre-merger coordination did not have a significant impact. United Health was granted summary judgment on all claims. For more information, read the case study.
  • In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation—Provided extensive consulting services and expert testimony on behalf of a large group of direct action plaintiffs and a plaintiff class in one of the largest price-fixing cases in US history. Supported all phases of the case, including expert testimony at trial. Submitted expert reports on liability and damages and testified at trial concerning damages. Clients included Continental Grain Company, General Nutrition Companies, Inc., and Kraft Foods Inc.