Submitted June 13, 2018 [*] San Francisco, California
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California D.C. No. 4:14-cr-00607-PJH-4 Phyllis
J. Hamilton, Chief District Judge, Presiding
Waggener, San Francisco, California, for Defendant-Appellant.
Helen Wimberly and James J. Fredricks, Attorneys; Marvin N.
Price Jr., Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General; Andrew
C. Finch, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General; Makan
Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General; Kelsey C. Linnett and
Alexis J. Loeb, Antitrust Division; United States Department
of Justice, Washington, D.C.; for Plaintiff-Appellee.
Before: Michael R. Murphy, [**] Richard A. Paez, and Sandra S.
Ikuta, Circuit Judges.
a conviction for conspiring to suppress and restrain
competition by rigging bids, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §
1, the panel held that bid rigging is per se illegal under
Section 1 of the Sherman Act, and that the district court
therefore did not err by refusing to permit the defendant to
introduce evidence of the alleged ameliorative effects of his
MURPHY, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Thomas Joyce was charged by indictment with conspiring to
suppress and restrain competition by rigging bids, in
violation of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. Joyce
brought a pretrial motion, arguing the matter should be
adjudicated under a rule of reason analysis rather than the
per se analysis advocated by the government. The district
court ruled against Joyce, concluding the bid-rigging scheme
alleged in the indictment was illegal per se under Section 1
of the Sherman Act. Joyce proceeded to trial and was
convicted. He challenges his conviction, arguing the district
court erred by refusing to apply the rule of reason analysis
to the bid-rigging charge.
appeal, we are presented with the question of whether bid
rigging is a per se violation of Section 1 of the Sherman
Act. We conclude it is. Accordingly, exercising jurisdiction
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, this court affirms.
indictment in this matter alleged that Joyce participated in
a bid-rigging scheme involving foreclosed real property in
Contra Costa County, California. Specifically, the indictment
charged that Joyce and his coconspirators agreed to suppress
competition by refraining from bidding against each other at
public auctions. The means and methods alleged included:
agreeing not to compete to purchase selected properties at
public auctions; designating which conspirators would win
selected properties at public auctions; refraining from
bidding for selected properties at public auctions;
purchasing selected properties at public auctions at
artificially suppressed prices; negotiating, making, and