On December 19, 2008, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed antitrust conspiracy claims against Unilever U.S., Inc., Unilever N.V. and Unilever PLC (“Unilever”) and other alleged conspirators on the ground that the allegations of the U.S. impact of German cartel activity to which the Unilever German subsidiary (and others) pleaded guilty were insufficient under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA).
The lawsuit alleged that Unilever and various of its competitors violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act through price fixing arrangements on “oral, personal and home care products”. The suit also alleged violations of state antitrust, unfair competition and consumer protection statutes. The Court dismissed for want of subject matter jurisdiction, refused to take pendent jurisdiction of the state antitrust and unfair competition claims and rejected diversity jurisdiction on the ground that the $5 million damage threshold had not been pleaded.
The lawyers representing Unilever in this matter include partner Ronald S. Rolfe and associate K. Timothy Kline.