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Easterbrook, Circuit Judge. Fivemanufacturers of thermal facsimile paper–a product now obsolete–are accused inthis class action of conspiring to reduceoutput and raise price in this businessfrom 1990 to 1992. The paper business hasa long history of cartelization; criminalprosecutions and civil antitrust actionsare depressingly common. In 1995 theDepartment of Justice brought a criminalprosecution against the major producersof thermal fax paper. Nippon PaperIndustries (known until recently as JujoPaper) was among the defendants. SeeUnited States v. Nippon Paper IndustriesCo., 109 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 1997). Althoughit was acquitted, see 62 F. Supp. 2d 173(D. Mass. 1999), this does not foreclosecivil litigation, which employs a lowerburden of persuasion. Nippon Paperprevailed in this action, too, andwithout a trial, because the districtjudge concluded that the direct-purchaserrule of Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois,431 U.S. 720 (1977), and Kansas v.Utilicorp United Inc., 497 U.S. 199(1990), precludes recovery. 2000 U.S.Dist. Lexis 4535 (E.D. Wis. Mar. 30,2000). After the remaining defendantssettled, the plaintiffs appealed thedismissal of their claim against NipponPaper.

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