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International Comity Saves Vitamin C Defendants From $147 Million Judgment

Ian Simmons et al., O’Melveny & Myers Alerts and Publications, 2016

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With its decision this week in In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, the Second Circuit resolved a case of first impression and weighed in on the question of how far the Sherman Act extends abroad. The Second Circuit vacated a $147 million judgment against Chinese vitamin C manufacturers that admittedly conspired to fix prices and output in violation of the Sherman Act. Relying on the principle of international comity, the Second Circuit held that exercising jurisdiction over the defendants was improper—even though the price fixing harmed American importers and consumers—because the defendants’ actions were compelled by Chinese law.

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