Antitrust & Competition
WTO lawyers have successfully represented clients in federal antitrust and competition matters across a range of industries, including in such highly regulated fields as aviation, healthcare, and telecommunications. Our attorneys have had extensive success obtaining early dismissal of antitrust claims, as well as disposing of bid rigging, monopolization, conspiracy, price fixing, exclusive dealing, and other competition-related disputes, including trade secrets and noncompete actions.
While WTO aggressively seeks early resolution of antitrust and competition claims through dispositive motions, we also approach every case as if it might go to trial. Thus we are fully prepared to represent our clients in court and vigorously challenge or pursue any complaint. WTO attorneys also have significant experience guiding our clients through government investigations and prosecutions, and we are well versed in how and when to take a strong stand against a governmental agency to protect our clients’ business practices.
In addition to representing clients in litigation, trials, and investigations, WTO attorneys provide solution-oriented advice on antitrust issues that commonly arise in joint ventures, trade associations, and other business organizations. We counsel clients on their pricing policies and collaborative efforts with competitors to help avoid unwanted scrutiny down the road.
- Successfully represented one of the nation's largest grocery and foodservice distributors as a direct action plaintiff in antitrust litigation concerning broiler chickens.
- Successfully negotiated a class settlement—for 2.5% of the claimed damages—for a major utility provider and its subsidiary in a 15-year-old putative antitrust class action in Colorado federal court.
- Fitness Together Franchise, L.L.C. v. EM Fitness, L.L.C. (D. Colo. Oct. 16, 2020 ) - Won a preliminary injunction for one of the nation's largest health and wellness franchisors against three competing fitness and nutrition studios that had stolen our client's trade secrets, infringed on its trademarks, and breached non-compete obligations.
- Representing a nonprofit film society as a plaintiff in a circuit-dealing monopoly case against the nation's largest exhibitor of specialty films.
- Provide legal counseling services to an international industrial gas company regarding pricing strategies in compliance with COVID-19-related state price-gouging laws.
- Serving as lead counsel for natural gas company in antitrust class action alleging wholesale price manipulation and seeking damages in excess of $2 billion.
- Representing a nation-leading cable operator in a high-stakes and high-profile antitrust dispute brought by a regional content provider.
- Successfully defended a leading technology distributor against claims of civil conspiracy and trade secret misappropriation brought by former competitors, who sought tens of millions of dollars in damages. Following full discovery and a Daubert hearing, plaintiffs dismissed all claims on the eve of trial without any settlement or payment from WTO's client.
- Beltran v. Noonan et al. (D. Colo. 2019) - Successfully represented multiple defendants in a $2.1 billion federal antitrust and labor class action challenging the au pair exchange program administered by the Department of State. After four years of litigation, and just two months before trial, WTO helped to negotiate settlement for the defense group, resulting in defendants paying only 3% of the demand.
- Won WTO's motion to dismiss a federal antitrust action for a New Mexico healthcare trade association accused of conspiring to exclude healthcare providers from market.
- Won motions to dismiss all antitrust claims against our client, a leading technology distributor, in multiple related antitrust conspiracy lawsuits brought by former distributors.
- General Steel v. Armstrong Steel (D. Colo. 2016) - Won a jury verdict for Armstrong Steel against claims of false advertising and defamation in a two-week trial in federal court in Colorado. A competitor of Armstrong sought millions of dollars.
- Represented Denver International Airport in high-profile claims involving alleged bid rigging and unfair competition relating to a $50 million terminal concessions contract.
- Won a directed verdict in a trade secrets trial for an oil and gas company. The plaintiff claimed theft of its technical geological data that allegedly had allowed the defendant to improperly acquire several hundred thousand acres of oil and gas leases in northeastern Nevada. The plaintiff's expert opined that the misappropriation of the trade secrets had caused more than $1 billion dollars in damages.
- EPMM Colorado v. Green Cross Colorado (Denver Cnty. Dist. Ct. 2015) - Won reversal of a TRO that had been issued ex parte at the close of business on a Friday, effectively shutting down operations for a major manufacturing and distribution client, and subsequently won rejection of the injunction against WTO's client.
- Successfully represented a healthcare trade association in an $80 million federal antitrust lawsuit alleging conspiracy among the trade association, health systems, and health insurance companies.
- L.G. Motorsports v. NGMCO & Michelin (5th Cir. 2015) - Won Fifth Circuit affirmance of a trial court's summary judgment for Michelin in a case alleging that Michelin and General Motors conspired to prevent the plaintiff from obtaining Michelin racing tires for use in the American Le Mans racing series. The original complaint included antitrust claims, which were dismissed, and unfair competition claims that survived until discovery, when no evidence supporting such claims was produced and the trial court granted summary judgment.
- Represented a leading telecommunications company as a third-party respondent in discovery relating to a lawsuit involving claims that an executive violated the terms of a noncompete agreement and misappropriated proprietary information from his prior employer. The case eventually settled, absolving WTO's client of its role in the litigation.
- JetAway Aviation v. Board of County Commissioners of the County of Montrose, Colorado (D. Colo.; 10th Cir.) - Won summary judgment from trial court and successfully defended that order before the Tenth Circuit in a federal antitrust lawsuit alleging conspiracy to monopolize fixed-base operations at an airport.
- Juwi Solar v. Maynard (Colo. Boulder Cnty. Dist. Ct. 2013) - Successfully represented employers in noncompete and trade secret litigation, including obtaining injunctive relief against a former employee of a solar power plant developer for violation of noncompete and nondisclosure agreements.
- Obtained a preliminary injunction following a full-day evidentiary hearing in a Colorado district court for a large Ohio-based commercial painting company in a case involving trade secrets and a noncompete agreement.
- TOG & Wild Harvest v. U.S.P.S. (D. Colo. 2012) - Successfully defended a government contractor in a federal antitrust class action and obtained early dismissal of tying and monopolization claims asserted by franchisee plaintiffs.
- Stearns v. Jetway - Won Fifth Circuit affirmation of the lower court's granting of summary judgment in a case alleging unfair monopolization against FMC Corporation and involving the company's aircraft boarding bridges.
- Rieder v. Hallmark - Settled trademark/antitrust litigation regarding nationwide market for distribution of greeting cards.
- Defended a health system against antitrust claims and state law claims in multiple lawsuits brought by physicians relating to failed joint ventures.
- Counseled healthcare providers regarding antitrust implications of joint venture transactions, the development of integrated networks, ACOs, managed care contracting, and price and cost surveys among competitors.
- Obtained a defense verdict for ARCO/Thunder Basin Coal Company in an antitrust case involving real estate development incident to a client's coal mining operations in Campbell County, Wyoming.
- Obtained a temporary restraining order to stop the former employee of a healthcare third party administrator (TPA) and his new employer from contacting the TPA's customers. WTO also obtained a declaratory judgment that the TPA's noncompete agreement was enforceable under Colorado law.