|Jump to full article: Reuters, 2003-01-13|
Author: James Vicini
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a $1.05 billion antitrust award against smokeless tobacco giant UST Inc., the largest damages award in the history of the nation's antitrust laws.
Without any comment, the justices rejected UST's (NYSE:UST) appeal of the award to privately held rival Conwood, which sued UST for using its position as the market leader to get the best retail placement for its products.
Conwood's lawsuit alleged that the antitrust violations occurred between 1990 and 1997. It accused UST of misleading retailers to secure prime display space and alleged that UST sales staff obscured competitors' brands or removed competitors' display racks. . .
A U.S. appeals court based in Cincinnati upheld the $1.05 billion award in May, ruling that the evidence sufficiently showed UST's actions had injured competition in the moist snuff market.
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