The US Eastern District of New York Federal Court awards plaintiffs $162 million in first-ever civil price-fixing verdict against Chinese companies (Vitamin C Cartel)

On March 14, 2013, a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York returned a verdict in In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:06-md-1738 (E.D.N.Y.), finding that two Chinese companies had unlawfully fixed prices and controlled the supply of vitamin C exports from China to the United States. The jury rejected the companies’ defense that their actions were compelled by the Chinese government. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $54.1 million, which was trebled by the court to $162.3 million. The case represents the first time that a Chinese company has been found liable for violating United States antitrust laws. It is equally noteworthy for the Chinese government’s unprecedented appearance in the case in support of the companies’ claim of immunity under the foreign sovereign compulsion doctrine.

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Authors

  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Brussels)
  • Office of the New York State Attorney General (New York)
  • Shearman & Sterling (New York)
  • Winston & Strawn (Washington)
  • Shearman & Sterling (New York)
  • Shearman & Sterling (New York)
  • Shearman & Sterling (Shanghaï)
  • Shearman & Sterling (New York)

Quotation

Stephen Mavroghenis, Beau W. Buffier, Stephen Fishbein, Heather Lamberg Kafele, Jerome S. Fortinsky, Richard F. Schwed, Brian G. Burke, Adam S. Hakki, The US Eastern District of New York Federal Court awards plaintiffs $162 million in first-ever civil price-fixing verdict against Chinese companies (Vitamin C Cartel), 14 March 2013, e-Competitions Bulletin March 2013, Art. N° 77529

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