2018 Antitrust Annual Report: Class Action Filings in Federal Court

By Joshua P. Davis (University of San Francisco) & Rose Kohles (The Huntington National Bank)

Little empirical work has been done to analyze the filing and resolution of private antitrust class action lawsuits. This Report takes an important step toward rectifying that situation. It relies on data that is newly accessible in part through artificial intelligence. Some of the issues it addresses relate only to 2018 and others relate to the years 2013 through 2018. Topics include the number of antitrust class action complaints that are filed each year, the amount of time they took on average to reach a settlement, the mean and median recoveries, the attorney’s fees and costs awarded, and the total settlement amounts in each year and overall. The report also analyzes the law firms that represented plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust class action settlements, describing particular cases as well some cumulative results, and also tabulates cumulative totals for claims administrators involved in the settlement process. The plan is to continue providing similar information on an annual basis. The hope is that this data will prove of interest to the academy and the public and private sectors, and that the data will provide a firmer empirical basis than would otherwise be possible for private decisions and for public policy discussions and actions related to enforcement of the antitrust laws through private class actions.

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