Mr. Wildfang has experience in antitrust litigation and counseling for over 30 years. He has represented parties in many private civil antitrust actions in industries ranging from insurance to agricultural commodities and has counselled clients on a wide variety of antitrust and trade regulation issues from mergers and joint ventures to marketing and sales programs.
From 1993 to 1996, Mr. Wildfang served as Special Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. In that position he was responsible for advising the Assistant Attorney General on the Justice Department's complex civil antitrust litigation, as well as managing certain high-profile cases. Among other matters, Mr. Wildfang directed the Justice Department's efforts in the civil action against Nasdaq securities firms for price-fixing (United States v. Alex Brown & Sons, et al., S.D.N.Y. No. 96 Civ. 5313), the government's action challenging international anticompetitive intellectual property licenses (United States v. Pilkington PLC, et al., D.Ariz. No. 94-345), as well as being involved in the government's investigation of anticompetitive practices by Visa and Master Card in the credit card industry.
According to Chambers, Mr. Wildfang “leverages his tremendous experience to provide real strategic value-add to the lawyers running the litigation day to day,” and brings to his practice “the highest level of professionalism and legal skills.”
In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1720 (E.D.N.Y.): Serving as court-appointed co-lead counsel, Robins Kaplan reached a $5.6 billion antitrust class action settlement on behalf of a class of more than 10 million U.S. merchants who accepted Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards for the purchase of goods and services. Plaintiffs alleged that Visa and Mastercard, as well as major card-issuing banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Capital One, violated antitrust laws and charged merchants who accept credit and debit cards supra-competitive fees on card transactions. The settlement, which was granted final approval in December of 2019 and affirmed on appeal in March of 2023, represents the largest settlement of a private antitrust action in the 130-year history of the Sherman Act.
In re: LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation, 11-md-02262 (S.D.N.Y.): Robins Kaplan represents an investment management company that holds financial instruments with provisions to receive interest payments at rates indexed to British Bankers’ Association London Interbank Offered Rate (“BBA LIBOR”) benchmark rates set by defendant banks. Plaintiffs allege that defendants, who are panel bank members that report Intercontinental Exchange (“ICE”) LIBOR rates daily for the benchmark’s calculation, conspired to suppress those rates between August 2007 through at least 2011. The case is ongoing before the trial court.
Kirk Dahl, et al. v. Bain Capital Partners, LLC et al., No. 07-cv-12388 (D. Mass.): Co-lead counsel representing public shareholders of target companies taken private in large leveraged buyouts in a class action suit against the largest private equity firms who allegedly conspired to suppress the acquisition prices for the target companies.
In re: Visa/MasterCard Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1575. Represented Best Buy, Inc. and Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster, Olive Garden) in antitrust challenge to anticompetitive conduct of Visa and MasterCard credit card networks.
Represented large agribusiness clients who were opt-out plaintiffs in In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1285 (D.D.C.). The Vitamins litigation arose out of a decade-long price-fixing cartel of the major international vitamin manufacturers, and involved vigorously contested disputes regarding jurisdiction, foreign discovery, conspiracy, damages and expert issues. Clients included Land O' Lakes, Inc., Hormel Foods Corporation, CHS Co-Operatives, Gold'n Plump Poultry, and other large vitamin purchasers. The cases settled after discovery was complete, but before trial, for in excess of $250,000,000.
In re Methionine Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1311, (N.D. Cal.), represented many of the same large agribusiness clients as in In re: Vitamins Antitrust Litigation. Involved a challenge to international price-fixing cartel. Settled for $35,000,000.
From 1995 until 1998, Mr. Wildfang was the lead counsel for 22 plaintiffs in the case of Concord Boat Co., et al. v. Brunswick Corp. (See reported decisions at 21 F. Supp.2d 923, 34 F. Supp.2d 1125 (E.D. Ark. 1998)). The case involved cutting edge antitrust claims of restraint of trade, monopolization and unlawful mergers. After a 10 week trial, on June 19, 1998 the jury returned a verdict in favor of plaintiffs on all counts, and awarded damages of $133,000,000, plus attorneys fees. The jury's verdict was reversed on appeal, 207 F.3d 1039 (8th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 979 (2000) on grounds later rejected in a Third Circuit case pursuing a similar legal theory (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP).
In re Workers' Compensation Ins. Antitrust Litig., (D.Minn. 4-85-1166), 574 F. Supp. 525 (D.Minn. 1983); 867 F.2d 1552 (8th Cir.); cert. denied, 492 U.S. 920 (1989); 130 F.R.D. 99 (D.Minn. 1990); 771 F. Supp. 284 (D.Minn. 1991) (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP), a precedent-setting case involving both the McCarran-Ferguson Act exemption for insurance companies, as well as the State Action Doctrine.
Midwestern Mach. Co., et al. v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., (D.Minn. 97-1438), 990 F. Supp.2d 1128 (D.Minn. 1998); rev'd, 167 F.3d 439 (8th Cir. 1999) (Prior to joining Robins Kaplan LLP).
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