John W Treece has been a partner since joining Sidley Austin LLP in 1988. His practice focuses on antitrust and patent law, the intersection between them, and general commercial litigation. He is a graduate of Harvard University (BA, magna cum laude, 1975) and Columbia University School of Law (JD, 1978). He is a global coordinator of the firm's antitrust and competition practice and the head of the litigation - commercial, competition, and securities group in the Chicago office.
Mr Treece has almost 30 years' experience in class action price-fixing litigation, beginning with In re Cement and Concrete Antitrust Litigation, in which he represented the only defendant to win summary judgment, based on pricing studies that disproved 'basing point pricing' allegations. Later, he coordinated the successful defense of G D Searle & Co in In re Brand Name Prescription Drugs Antitrust Litigation, a series of cases including a price-fixing class action in which plaintiffs sought $1.1 billion in damages from Searle alone. Although all but four defendants settled, Searle proceeded to trial and after 10 weeks, the court directed a verdict for the defense. He has handled similar price-fixing cases in the paper, magnetic iron oxide, steel, and telecommunications industries.
Mr Treece has also handled several noteworthy monopolisation cases. In 2006, he won a 6-week jury trial for Johnson & Johnson, in a case brought by a smaller competitor alleging monopolisation through price bundling and monopoly leveraging. That result, believed to be the only defense jury verdict in a price bundling case, set the stage for the successful resolution of similar cases brought by two other competitors, including the settlement of a $5.2 billion claim for $11 million, as well as a putative customer class action. He has also represented J&J in a monopolisation/tying case involving stents.
He has also defended monopolisation cases in which pharmaceutical clients are accused of maintaining purported monopolies through 'sham' patent litigation or regulatory filings that allegedly delayed the entry of generic drugs. He has handled a patent antitrust case for Microsoft and currently represents the country's largest shopping mall owner in cases alleging exclusive dealing, tying, and monopoly leveraging. He has also handled several other tying cases, as well as Robinson-Patman price discrimination cases.
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