Shearman & Sterling LLP multinational law firm headquartered in New York City, United States.

balance scale

Apr 01, 2013

Vitamin C Purchasers Awarded $162 Million in First-Ever Civil Price-Fixing Verdict Against Chinese Companies

Subscribe

Jump to...

 

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. The verdict sends a strong signal to non-U.S. manufacturers that the application of foreign laws may not be enough to avoid antitrust liability in U.S. courts. Given China’s growing role in global commerce and the economic realities that Chinese companies face domestically, the jury’s verdict in this case is only the first word on whether U.S. courts will accept a Chinese company’s argument that “the government made me do it.”

View full memo, "Vitamin C Purchasers Awarded $162 Million in First-Ever Civil Price-Fixing Verdict Against Chinese Companies"

Authors and Contributors

Stephen Fishbein

Partner

Litigation

+1 212 848 4424

+1 212 848 4424

New York

Jerome S. Fortinsky

Partner

Litigation

+1 212 848 4900

+1 212 848 4900

New York

Adam Hakki

Partner

Litigation

+1 212 848 4924

+1 212 848 4924

New York

Richard F. Schwed

Partner

Litigation

+1 212 848 5445

+1 212 848 5445

New York

Brian G. Burke

Partner

Litigation

+1 212 848 7140

+1 212 848 7140

New York

Industries

Regional Experience