The Joseph Saveri Law Firm, LLP is Interim Lead Counsel for direct purchaser plaintiffs in e-cigarette antitrust lawsuits against Altria Group, Inc., (Altria) and Juul Labs, Inc., (Juul) on behalf of individuals and businesses who purchased JUUL e-cigarette devices directly from JLI between October 5, 2018 and the present.

The e-cigarette antitrust claims stem from an allegedly anticompetitive agreement (agreement) between Altria and JLI, whereby Altria agreed to acquire an ownership interest in JLI in exchange for over $12 billion in cash. Altria also allegedly agreed not to compete with JLI and to provide JLI valuable retail shelf space in the e-cigarette market. Through this agreement, JLI was able to maintain its dominance in the e-cigarette market and earn monopoly profits. Altria then shared these profits through its ownership stake in JLI.

Altria is one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, with popular brands like Marlboro and approximately 25.1 billion dollars in revenue in 2019. But fears over the health effects of nicotine, social stigma, and laws banning smoking in public places cut into Altria’s success in the traditional U.S. cigarette market. Due to declining sales, Altria attempted to enter the e-cigarette market in 2013 through its subsidiary Nu Mark LLC, and products such as the MarkTen and MarkTen Elite.

In 2015, JLI entered the e-cigarette market and quickly captured over 70% market share by 2018, stunning Altria and other competitors. JLI accomplished this by developing a chemical breakthrough that increased the speed of nicotine delivery, and offering a stylish device and innovative tobacco flavors.

JLI’s swift rise posed a grave competitive threat to Altria in the e-cigarette and traditional cigarette markets. To eliminate that threat, Altria began a two-prong strategy of attempting to acquire JLI, while continuing to compete against it. Its initial efforts to acquire JLI were unsuccessful. But in the fall of 2018, JLI agreed to negotiate with Altria, under the condition that Altria withdraw its products and stop competing with JLI in the market for e-cigarettes. At first, Altria refused. In October 2018, however, Altria agreed and began to withdraw its e-cigarette products from the market. Two months later, Altria announced its intention to cease competing in the market. Approximately two weeks after this announcement, Altria disclosed that it had entered into the agreement with JLI.

Please contact the firm if:

  • You have purchased JUUL e-cigarette devices directly from JLI between October 5, 2018, and the present and are interested in becoming a class representative.
  • You have knowledge of the alleged anticompetitive agreement that Altria would stop competing with JLI in the e-cigarette market.
  • You would like to learn more about this e-cigarette antitrust litigation or our other antitrust cases and investigations.

Any information you provide will be kept strictly confidential as provided by law unless and until you agree to publicly disclose the information.

If you wish to inform us of any unfair business practice, antitrust or competition issue, or comment on one of our cases, please use the form below. There is no cost or obligation for our review of your case. We agree to protect your name and all confidential information you submit against disclosure, publication, or unauthorized use to the full extent under the law. Please note that completion of this form does not contractually obligate our firm to represent you. We can only represent you if both you and our firm agree, in writing, that we will serve as your attorney. Please read our disclaimer.



The first suit that the firm filed, Martinez v. Altria Group, Inc. and Juul Labs, Inc., is in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. Plaintiff and the class seek damages recovery for violations of  Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, and Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18. Additional suits have subsequently been filed, seeking similar damages recovery in the same district.

On May 7, 2020, the Court consolidated all cases under Reece v. Altria Group, Inc., 3:20-cv-02345-WHO, in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. On November 13, 2020, direct purchaser plaintiffs filed a consolidated class action complaint in In re: Juul Labs, Inc. Antitrust Litigation, which relates to all direct purchaser actions/suits. On September 21, 2021, per Court order, direct purchaser plaintiffs filed an amended class action complaint. On February 14, 2022, direct purchaser plaintiffs filed a second amended consolidated class action complaint.


AUGUST 19, 2021

The Court ruled that plaintiffs will have to find new direct purchasers after the consumers who bought from the companies directly were forced into arbitration. Judge Orrick gave counsel 30 days to substitute the three direct purchaser plaintiffs and upheld almost all of the consolidated class complaints from direct buyers, indirect purchaser plaintiffs who bought vaping products through retailers, and the indirect reseller plaintiff retailers who went through distributors.

OCTOBER 20, 2020

On August 24, 2020, Judge William H. Orrick of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California appointed the firm as Interim Lead Counsel for the direct purchaser plaintiffs. Among many factors, the Court favorably took into consideration our firm leadership team’s diversity, which reflects the proposed class we represent. On October 22, Judge Orrick issued a pretrial order to officially confirm the appointment. READ LESS –