Strategic Considerations For Multidistrict Litigation

Much modern antitrust litigation takes place in the class action setting.
Beginning in the late 1960s, class actions became the favored approach for
bringing claims alleging price-fixing and other per se illegal horizontal
conduct where each individual purchaser-plaintiff experienced a relatively
small loss. The ability to aggregate claims into an often-formidable
damages demand, coupled with widespread judicial acceptance of
horizontal price-fixing cases as suitable for class treatment, has made the
price-fixing class action a staple of today’s antitrust litigation landscape.
More recently, class actions have been used with some frequency to bring
other types of antitrust claims, such as monopolization and exclusive
Many antitrust class actions are initiated by purchasers of products or
services shortly after a report that the Department of Justice has
commenced a criminal grand jury investigation or raided the defendant
suppliers. In some instances, purchasers from a supplier commence class
actions after the supplier’s competitor secures a favorable verdict finding
that the defendant engaged in unlawful monopolization or improper
vertical arrangements. Whatever the trigger, nearly all modern antitrust
class actions share a common feature: they begin as a series of similar or
even identical actions brought by separate plaintiffs in federal district
courts around the country, and eventually become consolidated by the
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation for pretrial purposes.
This chapter considers a variety of discovery issues that arise out of
this procedural posture, including strategic considerations in the
consolidation process; the coordination of pretrial efforts following
transfer; and discovery issues arising from direct and indirect purchaser
A. The Process of Consolidation
The separate litigation of actions raising common issues of fact or law
has long been recognized as undesirable because it causes unnecessary
duplication of effort and drains the resources of the parties and the judicial

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT