2019 Antitrust Annual Report: Class Action Filings in Federal Court
36 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2020
Date Written: August 2020
Last year, we provided an empirical analysis of private antitrust class action lawsuits and their resolutions in federal court from 2013 through 2018 (the 2018 Private Antitrust Enforcement Report). This Report (the 2019 Private Antitrust Enforcement Report) expands on that analysis significantly. It extends the period under consideration to include the years 2009 through 2019 and addresses new issues. To be sure, in part it revisits the same topics, including the number of antitrust class action complaints that are filed each year, the amount of time they took on average to reach a settlement, the mean and median recoveries, the attorneys' fees and costs awarded, and the total settlement amounts in each year and overall. The 2019 Private Antitrust Enforcement Report also analyzes the law firms that represented plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust class action settlements, describes cumulative results, and tabulates cumulative totals for claims administrators involved in the settlement process. The report also addresses new issues, such as distinguishing private antitrust enforcement by particular industries, by type of claim—conspiracy claims (under Section 1 of the Sherman Act) as opposed to claims based on unilateral conduct (Section 2 of the Sherman Act)—and by type of plaintiff—whether claims were brought on behalf of direct or indirect purchasers. The plan is to continue providing similar information on an annual basis. We hope that these reports will prove of interest to the academy and the public and private sectors, and that the data they analyze will provide a firmer empirical basis than would otherwise be possible for private decisions and for public policy discussions and actions related to enforcement of the antitrust laws through private class actions.
Keywords: Antitrust, Class Actions, Private Enforcement, Empirical Analysis, Federal Court, Civil Procedure
JEL Classification: K21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation