Abrams discussed the recently announced settlement with Dairy Farmers of America and several related entities in In re Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litigation. He described BakerHostetler’s representation of thousands of Southeast farmers claiming market allocation, price fixing, and monopolization by Southeast milk marketers and processors in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. The recent settlement, reached on the eve of trial, will recover $158.6 million and requires the settling defendants to implement more than a dozen meaningful changes to how they conduct business in the Southeast. This settlement brings the total recovery to more than $300 million. Previous settlements were reached with Dean Foods for $140 million as well as Southern Marketing Agency and James Baird for $5 million plus several changes in milk marketing conduct. Those hard-fought settlements by BakerHostetler earned Abrams American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” award.
Abrams also discussed the growth of BakerHostetler’s antitrust practice, which has doubled in size nationally since 2010 and now has more than 20 full-time antitrust lawyers in Washington, D.C. alone. In addition, Abrams commented on trends in antitrust enforcement by the Obama administration.