26 Feb 2014 Cases

Chocolate Confectionary Antitrust Litigation

1 minute read


In February 2014 the Honorable Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania issued an opinion and order granting Defendants’ motions for summary judgment in a long-running antitrust dispute brought by individual purchasers of chocolate products and a certified class of direct purchasers of chocolate products. These cases had been brought against Nestle USA Inc., the Hershey Company, Mars, Inc. and Mars Snackfood USA. Among other things, Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants conspired to raise the prices of chocolate products in 2002, 2004 and 2007. Counsel for Hershey retained Compass Lexecon, and Compass Lexecon expert Professor Joseph Kalt to analyze the antitrust claims and to critique the testimony of Plaintiffs’ experts. Professor Kalt, with the assistance of a Compass Lexecon team headed by Steven Peterson and Eric Henson in our Boston office, demonstrated that no inference of conspiracy could be made given the economic evidence available. We worked with attorneys from Kirkland & Ellis LLP including Michael Becker, Jonathan Brightbill, and Craig Primis and from Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, William Cavanaugh, Jr. and Vivian Storm in their representation of the Hershey Company.

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