Long-time readers know that a litigation phenomenon on which I have frequently commented is the filing of securities class action lawsuits in the wake of antitrust enforcement actions. These follow-on civil actions represent something of a translation of an antitrust matter into a securities lawsuit. In the latest example of this phenomenon, a plaintiff shareholder has filed a securities suit against the concert company Live Nation following news reports of an imminent U.S. Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit against the company and its ticketing service Ticketmaster relating to allegations that the concert company pressures clients to use the ticketing service. The new lawsuit raises a number of interesting issues, as discussed below. A copy of the August 4, 2023 complaint can be found here.Continue Reading Antitrust Enforcement Leads to Follow-On Securities Suit Against Live Nation
In the following guest post, Brian Baney, Senior Vice President, Head of Management and Professional Liability Claims, Ascot Group, Peter Trochev, Senior Vice President, Financial Institutions, Ascot Group, Elan Kandel, Member, Bailey Cavalieri LLC and James Talbert, Associate, Bailey Cavalieri LLC, survey the current risk environment for private equity firms. I would like to thank the authors for allowing me to publish their article as a guest post on this site. I welcome guest post submissions from responsible authors on topics of interest to this blog’s readers Please contact me directly if you would like to submit a guest post. Here is the author’s article.Continue Reading Guest Post: The State of Private Equity in 2023: Is a Maelstrom on the Horizon?
As I noted in recent posts (for example, here), an anti-ESG backlash has been forming. The backlash has already taken a variety of forms, including anti-ESG legislation and anti-ESG litigation. Now, in what one media source called a “new front in a campaign against companies” related to ESG activities, a group of five Republican senators has sent letters to 51 large U.S. law firms warning the firms that the Senators plan to use their congressional oversight powers “to scrutinize the institutionalized antitrust violations being committed in the name of ESG.” The Senators’ letter campaign is described in a November 4, 2022 Reuters article (here). The Senators’ November 3, 2022 letters to the law firms can be found here.
Continue Reading Senators Warn Law Firms Concerning ESG-Related Advice
One trend I have noted on this site in recent years is the proclivity of plaintiffs’ lawyers to file securities class action lawsuits or shareholder derivative lawsuits in the wake of antitrust regulatory or enforcement actions. These kinds of lawsuits tend to cluster in specific industries as antitrust enforcement authorities concentrate on alleged anticompetitive behavior in those sectors. One industry that recently was the focus of both regulatory action and securities litigation is the poultry production industry.
As discussed here, beginning in 2016 companies in this industry that found themselves the subject of antitrust enforcement actions were hit with follow on securities litigation. In connection with one of those suits involving poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride the court recently granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss. Both the lawsuit and the court’s ruling are significant given the current Presidential administration’s ramped-up antitrust enforcement approach and the possibility for resulting follow-on D&O claims. The Court’s March 8, 2022 order in the Pilgrim’s Pride case can be found here.
Continue Reading Antitrust Enforcement Follow-On Securities Suit Against Pilgrim’s Pride Dismissed
Every year after Labor Day, I take a step back and survey the most important current trends and developments in the world of Directors’ and Officers’ liability and insurance. This year’s review is set out below. As the following discussion shows, this is a particularly eventful time in the world of D&O.
Continue Reading What to Watch Now in the World of D&O
From the outset, it has been clear that certain issues are going to be top-of-the-agenda items for the Biden Administration, including, for example, climate change, diversity and inclusion, and cybersecurity. In a July 9, 2021 Executive Order (here), the White House made it clear that competition is also going to be a priority as well. The President’s Executive Order sets out a broad range of initiatives that will impact a wide array of industries across the American economy. As discussed below, the new Executive Order has important implications for companies and their executives; among other things, the initiatives proposed in the order could lead to heightened D&O claims risk and exposure.
Continue Reading New Executive Order Means Increased Regulatory Action and Increased Follow-on D&O Claims Risk
As I have noted in prior posts (most recently here), in recent months, allegations of price fixing have given rise to follow-on securities class action lawsuit filings against generic drug companies alleged to have participated in the price-fixing. All of these kinds of cases are examples of a securities litigation trend in which securities suit filings following in the wake of underlying antitrust allegations. In the latest example of this type of lawsuit, a plaintiff shareholder has now filed a securities class action lawsuit against McKesson Corporation, asserting securities claims based on the company’s alleged involvement in a scheme to fix prices for generic drugs. As discussed below, this new lawsuit has a number of interesting features.
Continue Reading Securities Lawsuit Filing Follows Generic Drug Price Fixing Allegations
In a recent post, I noted that plaintiffs’ lawyers had recently launched a series of securities class action lawsuits against several poultry producers in the wake of news that companies in that industry were the target of antitrust enforcement action. Now news has emerged that antitrust regulators may be targeting companies in a different sector, the generic drug manufacturing industry. Within days of the news, plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed several securities class action lawsuits against several generic drug companies — the latest companies to be hit with follow-on securities suits following news of antitrust enforcement actions.
Continue Reading Generic Drug Companies Hit With Antitrust Enforcement Follow-On Securities Suits
One of the characteristic securities litigation patterns for many years has been that lawsuit filings tend to come in distinctive waves, in which specific sectors get hit with a series of securities suits or companies engaging in certain types of conduct or business practices attract securities litigation. The lawsuits arising out of the dot-com crash and the options backdating scandal are examples of these kinds of litigation patterns. Over the last several weeks, a different industry sector pattern has emerged. The poultry production industry, which recently has been the target of private antitrust litigation, has now been hit with a string of follow-on securities class action lawsuits as well. These lawsuits represent one of the more distinctive securities litigation filing patterns this year.
Continue Reading Poultry Producers Hit with Antitrust Suits, Follow-on Securities Litigation
As a result of heightened regulatory scrutiny and changing enforcement priorities around the world, “cartel enforcement is a hot topic in boardroom,” according to a March 29, 2014 Economist magazine article entitled “Just One More Fix” (here). According to the article, antitrust enforcement authorities are getting “better at detecting cartels and bolder in …