With 30 years of civil litigation experience, Joe is one of the country’s top antitrust litigators and has prosecuted and successfully resolved numerous class actions and other complex cases. He formed the Joseph Saveri Law Firm in 2012. Since inception, he and his firm’s attorneys have generated over US$4 billion in settlements and successful resolutions for their clients. The firm has received numerous worldwide accolades for its achievements.
What inspired you to pursue a career as a competition lawyer?
I believe vigorous competition is one of the key components to an effective, just society. Competition in any given market keeps the sellers honest, forcing them to strive continually to improve their goods and services and to offer them on favourable terms. Customers benefit from this competition. Poorly run companies are run out of business, as they deserve to be. The better-run companies, and the most honest ones, too, tend to prosper. Society as a whole benefits. For a long time, private enforcement has been key to effective promotion of competition law. It is true today more than ever.
What are the main legal challenges that large tech companies such as Google and Amazon pose with regard to competition?
Google has created a vicious cycle. The company leveraged its initial market power from one market to the next, spawning new monopolies and foreclosing competition in the markets for smartphone operating systems, search engines and other essential apps. It further entrenched its market power by striking exclusive contracts with original equipment manufacturers and acquiring key competitors. Google did this to maintain monopoly over the search engine market. Google’s monopolisation of these markets has harmed end consumers by raising prices, lowering quality and reducing invention. In sum, and as our firm’s ongoing investigation has found, Google has used anticompetitive practices to create monopolies in a variety of mobile products to sustain its monopoly of the search engine market. Also, there are many indications of Google’s anticompetitive dangers. These include Google’s recent string of acquisitions, inflated tax rates and lack of fee transparency. These surface-level characteristics suggest that a deeper analysis of competitive dynamics in ad technology is necessary.
Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, with offerings that expand to grocery, on-demand video, cloud services and more. While the company provides many immediate benefits, its practices and underlying business model are concerning for the long-term well-being of consumers, complementary firms and competitors. Altogether, Amazon pre-empts both platform competition – competition between e-commerce platforms and brand competition – and competition between seller brands on Amazon and with seller sales channels like brand.com and nike. com. As the platform host, Amazon can and does monitor traction and trends across its thousands of product categories. If a vendor performs well enough, Amazon is then able to produce its own private label version of the good, providing the same utility to the consumer at slightly lower prices. Amazon then engages in steering consumers to the products that are most profitable for the company, whether that is to first-party, third-party or private label goods.
What challenges does covid-19 pose to your work, and how are you tackling them?
The pandemic caused us to stop an ongoing jury trial regarding the In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation cartel trial in federal court. Beyond delaying the final resolution of this case until 2021, the pandemic will require us to innovate with respect to the presentation of complex competition issues to a jury. And we will have to figure this out with a remote workforce that is unable to work in a central office.
How effective is the Federal Trade Commission in preventing anticompetitive behaviour?
The FTC is effective. In fact, it is more committed to vigorous antitrust enforcement then the Department of Justice (DOJ). I have substantial concern that the enforcement decisions of the DOJ have been influenced by the political agenda of the Attorney General and the Trump administration.
What differences are you noticing between the actions of state versus federal antitrust agencies?
The DOJ has been less interested in vigorous enforcement. State agencies continue to be vigorous enforcers, even with more limited resources.
In what ways does the Joseph Saveri Law Firm distinguish itself from competition in the market?
Our firm has demonstrated the rare ability to prosecute complex competition cases from the inception/investigation phase through to jury trial. Few firms can match our track record in this regard. As a result, we have also achieved record results for our clients. Our practice is diverse, featuring prosecution of ground-breaking suits in several areas. We are a leading law firm with respect to global price-fixing cartel cases. In addition, we have been trailblazers in the area of pharmaceutical cases, including in particular “reverse payment cases” where we have successfully taken cases to the Supreme Court. We have been pioneers with respect to anticompetitive agreements among buyers, including purchasers of labour, and are a recognised leader in the area of “no-poach/no-hire” agreements. Our firm does a significant number of single firm abuse-of-dominant position cases. Finally, we handle cases involving sports and sports leagues, including our litigation against the owners of the UFC mixed martial arts fights.
What is best piece of career advice you have received?
There are two building blocks for a successful legal career. First, is the ability to produce the highest-quality written legal advocacy. The second is one’s professional reputation for honesty and ethical behaviour. These qualities are durable and important. Also, have courage and fun. If you have both, good results will follow, and one can have a long and rewarding legal career.
Joseph Saveri is described by sources as “a distinguished antitrust practitioner on the plaintiff side”. He has over 30 years of experience with high-profile plaintiff antitrust cases.
Joseph Saveri founded the Joseph Saveri Law Firm in 2012. The firm specialises in antitrust law and complex civil and class action litigation in federal and state courts across the USA, and it seeks to expand into international venues in the future.
With over 30 years of civil litigation experience, Mr Saveri has handled all phases of litigation. His cases have involved numerous industries including banking and financial services; insurance; energy; pharmaceuticals; agricultural products; computer and software; travel and transportation; paper products; cosmetics; and consumer electronics. Representing entrepreneurs, individuals, consumers, small business owners, public officials and heads of corporations negatively affected by anticompetitive monopolistic business practices, Mr Saveri has established himself as one of the country’s top litigators in the antitrust field.
Mr Saveri served as both a court-appointed leader of complex cases and a valued member of teams operating under the leadership of others. As court-appointed lead counsel in many of these cases, he has taken a personal leadership role in organising litigation, setting strategy, establishing and directing teams of lawyers to ensure the efficient use of resources, and maximising the talents of the litigation team to achieve results for his clients.
Since its founding, the Joseph Saveri Law Firm has established a track record of success. To date, the firm's attorneys have obtained US$4 billion in successful resolutions for their clients. During this time, Mr Saveri has displayed the energy, vision, and commitment that leadership requires. The firm serves or has served as lead counsel in In re Capacitor Antitrust Litigation; In re Titanium Dioxide Antitrust Litigation; the California Cipro cases; Global Distribution Systems Antitrust Litigation; and In re High-Tech Employee “no poaching” litigation, among others.