Our Antitrust Work
Antitrust law is our principal area of expertise. The leaders of our antitrust practice are William Markham and Jarod Bona, who both received their law degrees from Harvard Law School and their formative training as antitrust attorneys in leading global firms. We litigate antitrust claims and conduct antitrust appeals under the laws of the United States and California for both plaintiffs and defendants in civil and criminal antitrust proceedings. We also provide strategic and ongoing antitrust counseling to world-leading businesses, their challengers, other substantial companies, small businesses, and other market participants.
We principally represent and advise competitors, commercial customers, and suppliers in matters that concern federal and California antitrust law, and we have extensive experience litigating competitor lawsuits that arise under federal antitrust law. On occasion, we also represent wronged consumers in significant matters. More generally, we have extensive experience litigating and giving advice about matters that concern the following provisions of federal and California antitrust law:
- Section 1 of the Sherman Act (unlawful restraints of trade) and California’s Cartwright Act (trade restraints that affect California commerce), including the application of these laws to covenants not to compete, non-solicitation agreements, and other kinds of restrictive contractual covenants.
- Section 2 of the Sherman Act
(the monopolization offenses).
- Section 3 of the Clayton Act
(exclusive-dealing and tying arrangements).
- Section 7 of the Clayton Act
(anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions).
- The Robinson-Patman Act (price discrimination) and California’s Unfair Practices Act (price discrimination that affects California commerce).
- The intersection of antitrust law and intellectual property law, including cross-licensing agreements, patent settlements, and reverse-payment settlements in patent litigation.
For a listing of the specific kinds of antitrust matters that we have handled, click here. For a listing of the different industries in which we have advised and represented clients on antitrust matters, click here. For a partial list of some of our notable successes, click here. We perform our antitrust work at the highest level of proficiency, have received public recognition, are widely regarded as experts on antitrust matters, and have obtained superb outcomes for our clients, helping them to avoid antitrust liability and obtain appropriate redress for anticompetitive abuses.
Our Recent Antitrust Cases
In recent years, Mr. Markham has served as lead attorney for the following companies in significant antitrust cases: (1) a substantial maritime shipper in Southern California that has been denied access to Santa Catalina Island (Curtin Maritime, lead appellate attorney); (2) a national provider of travel nurses (Aya Healthcare, Inc. and Aya Healthcare Services, Inc., lead attorney); (3) a consortium of private-equity lenders (lead attorney); (4) a publicly-held retailer of hardware supplies that operated ninety stores (Orchard Supply Hardware LLC, lead attorney); (5) the largest privately-owned manufacturer of precast concrete products in North America (Jensen Precast, Inc., lead attorney); (6) a national polypropylene manufacturer (lead attorney in criminal investigation); (7) a distributor of medical devices (SMRT LLC, lead attorney); and (8) the world’s leading manufacturer of pulse oximetry products (Masimo Corporation, serving as antitrust adviser to its patent attorneys in bet-the-company patent and antitrust litigations).
In recent years, Mr. Markham has also provided antitrust counseling to various global corporations and other major companies, including the following: the world’s largest manufacturer of LED products (Nichia Corporation; strategic counseling in various matters as well as master contract negotiations with its largest customer); a global automobile manufacturer (Isuzu Motors, Ltd.; counseling about multinational acquisitions and divestitures); a leading manufacturer of pulse oximetry products in the United States (Masimo Corporation, antitrust adviser in strategic matters); and various other companies.
On behalf of wronged consumers, Mr. Markham also pioneered the pending challenge to certain business practices employed by the world’s largest retailer of replaceable contact lenses (1-800 Contacts, Inc.), discerning that by its bidding agreements with smaller rivals it had not only rigged bidding for online ads, but also allocated Internet sales leads and advertising opportunities with its direct rivals. This challenge is being litigated at present on behalf of consumers in a series of consolidated class-actions in which Mr. Markham is collaborating with several of the nation’s leading antitrust firms.
Our Extensive Trial
Our Ability to Accept Large Cases
Several times we have been opposed by teams of highly capable attorneys fielded by leading global law firms. In any such matter, or whenever the need arises, we can quickly assemble our own team of first-rate professionals who have worked with us successfully on prior occasion, and we can also procure essential litigation services from reliable outside service-providers, so that we are never outmatched or overwhelmed even by the largest or most pro-active global firm. We think that our work in these matters has reflected favorably on us, and we have obtained successful results for our clients in exceedingly difficult, sprawling, and complex antitrust controversies. All the while, we are able to maintain our reasonable billing arrangements because of the manner in which our practice is structured and our lean fixed costs.
Our Public Appearances in
Mr. Markham has appeared on repeated occasion in various national and regional media to discuss newsworthy antitrust matters. Most recently, he was invited to appear twice on Bloomberg TV. On one show, he analyzed a major antitrust trial that was tried to a jury, speaking after Mr. Tim Higgins. On the next show, which appears in the below video, he discussed why the defendant won the case, again speaking after Mr. Higgins.
Our Articles on Antitrust Law
Mr. Markham has given lectures on antitrust law for other attorneys (MCLE classes) and written extensively about antitrust law. Mr. Markham also provides occasional commentary in his blog about antitrust issues that make the news. Below you will find links to three articles on antitrust law written by Mr. Markham that have become reference sources for other attorneys and the general public:
A Misplaced, Recurring Critique. Some critics of antitrust law treat it as mere governmental overreach and an unwelcome infringement upon the ordinary operations of our free markets. Their refrain, it seems, is that each company should be left to do as it pleases in...
Senator Klobuchar’s Bill Really Might Become Law. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has proposed a landmark antitrust bill, entitled the “Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act,” which after negotiation and modification might well receive bipartisan...
The Qualcomm Case Isn’t Even a Close Call: Qualcomm Blatantly Misused Its Standard-Essential Patents in Violation of Antitrust Law (By William Markham, © 2020)
The Extraordinary Qualcomm Case. The defining antitrust issues of our time are at stake in the landmark case of Fed Trade Comm'n v. Qualcomm Inc., (N.D. Cal. 2017, Case No. 17-CV-00220-LH) ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm specifically concerns standard-essential patents and...
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- 402 West Broadway, Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92101.
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