District Court Unseals Antitrust Settlement

Posted by : Matthew Wild | On : June 3, 2008

On May 29, 2008, in Floral Accounting Systems, Inc. v. Florists Transworld Delivery, Inc., No. 06-1098, 2008 WL 2224416 (W.D. La. May 29, 2008), the district court unsealed an antitrust settlement holding that antitrust settlements were entitled to less protection than typical disputes between private parties because antitrust cases by the very nature implicate public interests. The parties had a dispute over the scope of their antitrust settlement agreement. The agreement contained a confidentiality provision which both parties sought to enforce and thus sought to have the agreement filed under seal. The district court declined the request with the exception of the amount of license fees to be paid — which it considered a trade secret. This case is consistent with the trend among federal courts to deny sealing documents filed in litigation. To increase the chance of obtaining an order sealing documents, the movant should try to show that the documents contain trade secrets.

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