My partner, Allen Grunes, will be the moderator for this ABA teleconference on July 16, 2014 beginning at noon. Mr. Grunes is a former Antitrust Division prosecutor and the panel will include Niall Lynch, Latham & Watkins, San Francisco, CA; Michael Tubach, O’Melveny & Myers, San Francisco, CA; and Wendy Waszmer, King & Spalding, New York, NY. The session will cover the DOJ’s recent real estate foreclosure and municipal tax lien auction bid rigging prosecutions. Several cases allege not only antitrust but also fraud and other criminal statute violations. These excellent panelists, including former prosecutors, will discuss some of the unique features of these cases, DOJ’s enforcement message, and what to expect next. To tune in, register at: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/marketing/20140716_at147016.authcheckdam.pdf.
Auction bid rigging cases garner much less attention than the headline grabbing and record-setting international cartel cases, but buyer collusion cases have a long history and an important role in establishing the legal principles that apply to all cartels—buyer or seller. Buyer cartels were unlawful even before the passage of the Sherman Act in 1890. At common law, agreements among bidders not to bid against each other were set aside as against public policy. [Read more…]