Antitrust and Trade Regulation

No South Carolina firm can match the breadth and depth of Wyche’s antitrust experience. Our attorneys are uniquely attuned to developments in this area of the law, and we have participated in many of the most significant antitrust matters tried in this state.

Wyche provides both compliance counseling and representation in litigation, and our practice has included both civil and criminal antitrust matters. We have given compliance advice on antitrust and distribution matters in a wide variety of industries, including paving, television broadcasting, newspapers, textiles, chemicals, groceries, soft drink bottling, power tools, apparel, home furnishings, hospitals, physician services, construction, recycling, and waste disposal.

Representative criminal antitrust matters we have handled include:

  • In a national investigation of the paving industry, in which many companies and individuals were convicted, we obtained the first not-guilty jury verdict of the investigation for our client.
  • In an investigation of the soft drink bottling industry, we obtained a not-guilty verdict for our client. Numerous other defendants pled guilty.
  • We have represented companies and individuals who have been the subject of grand jury investigations, involving the paving, soft drink bottling, textile, moving, and sporting goods industries.

Wyche also has extensive experience in litigating civil antitrust matters, on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants. Below is a sampling of some of the civil matters we have handled:

  • We obtained summary judgment for a client accused of violating sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act as a result of alleged restrictions on the distributor’s right to handle competitive products, in addition to alleged breach of contract, unfair trade practices, fraud and other allegations involving the distribution of networking equipment. Summary judgment was upheld on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Network Computing Services Corp v. Cisco Systems, Inc. et al CA 3:01–0281–17 (Order 02/09/2004), 223 F.R.D. 392 (D.S.C 2004); 152 Fed Appx. 317, 2005 WL 2857965 (C.A.4(S.C.)).
  • Working with lead counsel Boies, Schiller & Flexner, we represented a manufacturer of hospital beds in a class action alleging that manufacturer’s bundled discounts violated the antitrust laws. The case settled.
  • We represented a provider of medical records in class actions against it in state and federal court based on alleged antitrust violations arising out of the copying of medical records. We obtained summary judgment on the merits for our client in both cases.
  • Our client was an international company accused of violating the Robinson Patman price discrimination law in the course of selling film. After preliminary discovery, we assisted our client in settling this matter.
  • We obtained summary judgment for a newspaper publisher accused by another publisher of monopolizing the newspaper business in a portion of South Carolina. Summary judgment was upheld on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Mims v Edgefield County Communication, Inc. 795 F. 2d 82 (1986) (unreported).
  • We represented a leading paving company accused by two major airlines and a major airport of fixing prices on paving work at one of the nation’s largest airports.
  • We represented a publicly traded textile apparel company in litigation filed by a former salesman challenging the calculation of their sales commissions.
  • We were granted summary judgment for a manufacturer of measurement devices accused of predatory pricing. Clark v. Flow Measurement, Inc., 948 F. Supp 519 (D.S.C. 1996).
  • We represented a concrete pipe manufacturer that was accused of predatory pricing. We assisted our client in persuading the plaintiff to abandon its claims.
  • On behalf of a major hospital, we persuaded the Federal Trade Commission to investigate a proposed merger by three competing hospitals. This proposed merger was ultimately abandoned after the FTC began its investigation and voters opposed the merger in an advisory referendum. We obtained a jury verdict in favor of a grocery chain accused of monopolization and attempted monopolization by a competitor complaining that the defendant allegedly controlled essential facilities.
  • We brought a class action on behalf of railroad boxcar lessors against major railroads for conspiracy regarding boxcar leasing practices. After discovery, our clients obtained a substantial monetary settlement.
  • In two separate cases, we served as plaintiff’s co-counsel in class actions brought against producers of, respectively, polyester staple and carbon black. Both cases settled for substantial sums.