Antitrust and Competition

In my view, one cannot effectively practice antitrust and competition law without plunging deeply into the practice’s history, policies, and nuances. That is easy for me to do, as I love it. I appreciate what competition has done for our well-being over many centuries and view my role as protecting and contributing to its continued vitality.

For that reason, my antitrust expertise arises not only from my actual case and counseling experience, but also from countless hours spent scarfing down law review articles, commentary, and government speeches and pronouncements so I can understand antitrust law inside and out. I enjoy that it is evolving, and that academic and economic developments quickly penetrate the law (more so than any other area, I think).

For the same reason, I publish and speak a lot on antitrust and competition issues, in a variety of forums. I like to write, and developing such articles improves my own thinking about cutting-edge issues.

My experience spans a variety of antitrust matters, including, for example, issues arising from intellectual property settlements and disputes, exclusionary conduct by dominant firms, agreements among competitors, resale-price-maintenance programs, antitrust claims against state and local government entities, merger and acquisition transactions, Noerr-Pennington, class actions, labor-exemptions, Robinson-Patman Act, government investigations, international, and others. I have also helped entities (including trade-associations) develop antitrust policies, and have advised standard-setting organizations on antitrust issues.

I am a Non-Governmental Advisor for the Unilateral Conduct Working Group of the International Competition Network, which is an international body devoted exclusively to competition law enforcement with members representing national and multi-national competition authorities. As part of that role, I was an author of the Exclusive Dealing chapter of the group’s Unilateral Conduct Workbook for competition authorities. I was also one of the three panelists—the only one in private practice—on a webinar debating the appropriate rule for loyalty discounts and rebates.

One of the cases for which I am most proud was our defense of Church & Dwight in a challenge to our client’s loyalty discounts and rebates by both the Federal Trade Commission and a plaintiff competitor (Church & Dwight v. Mayer Laboratories). We obtained summary judgment in the Northern District of California on cutting-edge economic and legal issues, and the FTC dropped its investigation with absolutely no action against our client.

Since starting Bona Law PC in March 2014, we have handled a substantial number of antitrust matters (including defense of major antitrust class actions) and are one of the few options outside of plaintiff class action firms and massive global law firms that can handle antitrust issues at the highest level.

Here are a few representative matters that I have handled over the years:

  • Represent online contact lens retailers in antitrust MDL class action in federal court. (In re Disposable Contact Lens Antitrust Litigation).
  • Defend Japanese capacitor manufacturer in antitrust MDL class action in federal court. (In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation).
  • Represent one of the nation’s largest online contact lens retailers as amicus curiae in the Federal Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit relating to challenge to Uniform Pricing Policies in Utah against contact lens retailers. (Johnson & Johnson et al. v. Reyes).
  • Submitted comment to FTC relating to rulemaking on behalf of contact lens retailer.
  • Filed an amicus brief relating to state-action immunity issues to the US Supreme Court in an antitrust challenge to a state licensing board (North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC).
  • Filed an amicus brief advocating a market-participant exception to state-action immunity to the US Supreme Court  in an antitrust challenge to a hospital merger involving a sub-state entity (FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc.).
  • Represent client in antitrust case challenging anticompetitive conduct by state licensing board. (Petrie v. Virginia Board of Medicine).
  • Antitrust counseling for attorney with antitrust case against municipality violating the antitrust laws as a market participant.
  • Represent client in case relating to alleged antitrust conspiracies in processed-egg-products markets. ( In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation).
  • Represent client in case alleging vertical and horizontal antitrust conspiracy by union and hospital to eliminate or weaken non-union hospital competitor (Prime Healthcare Services, Inc. v. Service Employees International Union, et al.)
  • Represent major producer of packaged ice in state court and federal multidistrict litigation involving allegations of market allocation and price-fixing (In re Packaged Ice Litigation)
  • Represent financial brokerage company in federal multidistrict litigation involving alleged conspiracy in municipal derivatives industry (In re Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation)
  • Represent company in multi-district class action antitrust and RICO lawsuit challenging the insurance and insurance brokerage industries in both district court and the Third Circuit (In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation)
  • Represent company in various state attorney general unfair competition and antitrust actions throughout the country involving the insurance brokerage industry
  • Represent company in class action antitrust and unfair competition suit involving the energy industry (In re Wholesale Electricity Antitrust Litigation)