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MLex Market Insight: US Federal Judge Poses Questions on Antitrust Injury, Market Definition in First Cryptocurrency Antitrust Suit

September 30, 2020

O’Melveny Antitrust Practice co-chair Ian Simmons appeared before a federal judge for client Bitmain’s individual defendants Amaury Sechet and Shammah Chancellor versus United American Corp. in the first cryptocurrency antitrust suit in the United States, this article reported.

A federal judge questioned counsel about antitrust injury and definition of the relevant market over an alleged conspiracy to manipulate the cryptocurrency market for Bitcoin Cash, Market Insight noted.

There is “absolutely no indicia of conduct” alleged by UAC that could map on to the per se rule of bid rigging as the defendants are not buyers, and there is no buying or selling or any sort, Simmons argued. Additionally, Simmons questioned whether the case should even go forward given that  UAC had failed to explain its reference to market power, particularly as it relates to price.