Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2008

Abstract

The goal of this Report is to take a first step toward providing an empirical basis for assessing whether private enforcement of the antitrust laws is serving its intended purposes and is in the public interest. To do this the Report assembles, aggregates, and analyzes information about forty of the largest recent successful private antitrust cases. This information includes, inter alia, the amount of money each action recovered, what proportion of the money was recovered from foreign entities, whether the private litigation was preceded by government action, the attorneys' fees awarded to plaintiffs' counsel, on whose behalf money was recovered (direct purchasers, indirect purchasers, or a competitor), and the kind of claim the plaintiffs asserted (rule of reason, per se, or a combination of the two). The article also compares the amounts collected from all antitrust violations together, and also from cases that also resulted in criminal penalties, to the total of all criminal antitrust fines imposed during the same period by the U.S. Department of Justice. This information is then used to help formulate policy conclusions about the desirability and efficacy of private enforcement of the antitrust laws.

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