Wage Fixing in the Offshore Drilling Industry

Major firms in the international offshore drilling industry were accused in a class action antitrust case of fixing wages and other compensation for their offshore employees in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Major firms in the international offshore drilling industry were accused in a class action antitrust case of fixing wages and other compensation for their offshore employees in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The plaintiffs proposed to certify a broad class of tens of thousands of workers. In response, the defendants jointly retained two experts and Cornerstone Research to analyze class certification issues. Cornerstone Research staff analyzed voluminous data on wages and benefits over time, for different jobs and defendants. The results showed that the impact of the alleged conspiracy, if any, would need to be analyzed on an individual basis. The results also showed that many class members would not have sustained any damages even if plaintiffs’ allegations were true. The plaintiffs and all but one of the defendants reached a series of settlements prior to the hearing on class certification.