On July 10, 2007, in the case of Diamond Chemical Company, Inc. v. Akzo Nobel Chemicals B.V. et al., a U.S. federal judge in Washington, D.C. awarded over $5.1 million to The George Washington University Law School to endow a Center for Competition Law.
The $5.1 million plus cy pres award resulted from a successful antitrust lawsuit brought on behalf of a plaintiff class harmed by an international anticompetitive conspiracy to fix prices for the sale of sodium monochloroacetate and monochloroacetic acid in the United States and elsewhere. The cy pres legal doctrine allows unclaimed settlement funds to be distributed to the “next best” use, i.e., for the indirect benefit of the class and the non-claiming class members.
The GW Center for Competition Law will focus on the novel and special challenges to traditional private antitrust enforcement due to the globalization of markets. As U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly stated, “anticompetitive cartels have become increasingly international as a result of economic globalization and reductions in barriers to trade, and that, as a result, enforcement of U.S. antitrust and competition laws by U.S. consumers alone may not sufficiently deter international cartels.”
Specifically, the Center’s mission would include sponsoring and conducting research into competition law and its private enforcement; organizing conferences; and serving as a resource for those seeking to promote and coordinate private enforcement in competition law in the United States and abroad.