In re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litigation

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A Minnesota federal jury found for our client in this multidistrict antitrust class action.

Retained by Weil, Gotshal & Manges, by Robins Kaplan, and by Baker Botts

After a nine-day trial, a Minnesota federal jury found for our client, defendant C&S Wholesale Grocers, in a multidistrict antitrust class action. The plaintiffs, a class of retail grocers in the Midwest, sought hundreds of millions of dollars in treble damages. Defense counsel retained Cornerstone Research and Professor Kenneth Elzinga of the University of Virginia.

“Ken Elzinga was phenomenal. He was our last witness in the case. It’s like he was teaching the jury Antitrust 101.”
Eric Hochstadt, Weil, Gotshal & Manges

The plaintiffs claimed that C&S, a wholesaler based in New England, had entered into a collusive agreement with Supervalu, a Midwest-based wholesaler, which gave C&S control over the New England market and Supervalu control of the Midwest market. This agreement, plaintiffs alleged, allowed Supervalu to overcharge grocery stores in the Midwest.

In his testimony Professor Elzinga presented his analysis of wholesale grocery prices in the Midwest. He explained the importance of economies of scale in the industry, the many viable choices grocers had for wholesale supply options, and the continuing high level of competition in grocery wholesaling. He also filed an expert report and rebutted the plaintiffs’ economic experts.

The trial’s outcome was featured in Law360The American Lawyer, and the Global Competition Review. Eric Hochstadt, an antitrust litigation partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, commented to GCR, “Ken Elzinga was phenomenal. He was our last witness in the case. It’s like he was teaching the jury Antitrust 101.”


For additional information on this case, contact Vandy Howell or Daniel Ramsey.


Case Expert

Kenneth G. Elzinga

Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics,
University of Virginia;
Senior Advisor, Cornerstone Research