BAR/BRI faces another anti-trust lawsuit
A new antitrust class action lawsuit against West Publishing Corporation, dba BAR/BRI, and Kaplan, Inc. was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, Case No. CV 08-810 RSW(Ex). The lawsuit accuses the two companies of illegally dividing their highly lucrative LSAT and bar exam test preparation businesses. According to the complaint, executives of BAR/BRI and Kaplan secretly agreed to a per se illegal market division, which, in part, involved BAR/BRI annually paying to Kaplan substantial sums to keep it out of its bar review course market. The Complaint further alleges that BAR/BRI has engaged for decades in an overall scheme to monopolize the relevant market, by committing a litany of antitrust violations. According to the Complaint, BAR/BRI interfered with and prevented competitors’ entry or expansion in the relevant market by buying them out, threatening them, spreading false rumors about them, and even breaking into their offics to steal competitively significant records. The Complaint also states that BAR/BRI has engaged in the continuing practice of tearing down, otherwise removing, or preventing the posting of, the signs, placards and related promotional materials of local bar review course competitors at various law schools.