The New Antitrust Agenda's Impact On Energy And Chemicals
By Darren Tucker, Jason Powers, and James Leader
The Biden administration is working to shake up American antitrust enforcement with new policies and new faces in key roles at the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.
In the past year, Lina Khan took over as chair of the FTC and Alvaro Bedoya was nominated as a commissioner. Plus, Jonathan Kanter is now the assistant attorney general at the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. All three are poised to implement a new, more aggressive antitrust agenda.
Private antitrust litigation activity in these sectors remained robust last year. This activity includes the September 2021 headline-grabbing $85 million damages verdict in Ingevity Corp. v. BASF Corp. where a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware ruled in favor of chemical manufacturer BASF, based on a monopolization claim.
New class action antitrust claims were filed around the country, including a claim accusing certain retailers and manufacturers of agricultural chemicals of attempting to raise prices by squeezing out new online distribution platforms.
While there are several class actions worth tracking in 2022, opinions and rulings issued in 2021 indicate that courts continue to enforce procedural requirements for class certification strictly and to block claims that attempt to use the antitrust laws to address alleged market manipulation by traders.
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This information is provided by Vinson & Elkins LLP for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal advice.