Distribution, Competition, and Antitrust / IP Law

Is Antitrust Relevant for Startups, Emerging, and Non-Dominant Firms?

The answer is (surprise!) “yes.” There are a number of ways in which antitrust law is relevant to emerging and non-dominant companies. Those firms may: Need to deal with the dominant firms in their markets, including by (i) responding to … [Continue reading]

Wholesale Grocery Products Case Raises Questions About How and When to Apply Per Se Rule and Rule of Reason

The Supreme Court today denied review in In re: Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litigation, an action that came up from the District of Minnesota and the Eighth Circuit. Substantively, the case is a useful reminder about the potential dangers of … [Continue reading]

Do State Bar Associations Have Antitrust Risk?

It was only a matter of time after the Supreme Court's decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, 135 S. Ct. 1101 (2015) (*), that a state bar association would face an antitrust suit.  But the suit … [Continue reading]

Can Trademark Abuse Constitute Monopolization?

As far as antitrust law is concerned, trademarks are the unwanted stepchildren of intellectual property. The conventional wisdom is that trademarks – whose exclusionary effect is very attenuated, if it exists at all – do not confer market power, so … [Continue reading]

Pay-for-delay and the Rule of Reason

Last week, I co-authored an article in the Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal on the California Supreme Court's recent decision in the Cipro Cases.  There, the Court held that so-called "reverse payment" patent settlements are evaluated under a … [Continue reading]

Can Computers Conspire to Fix Prices?

Strange as it sounds, maybe we're getting closer to the day we have to seriously consider liability for computer conspiracies. On April 6, David Topkins, a former executive of an e-commerce seller of posters, prints and framed art agreed to plead … [Continue reading]

SCOTUS Holds Natural Gas Act Does Not Preempt State Law Antitrust Claims

In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., Case No. 13-271 (Apr. 21, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Natural Gas Act did not preempt retail customers’ state law antitrust claims against interstate gas pipeline operators for price … [Continue reading]

Why It’s Hard to Tell Good Monopolies From Bad

Marketplace.org has the story.  A nice little summary of the new Google case and the principle that while "[h]aving a big market share by itself is OK," "the problem is when companies abuse that market share by taking anticompetitive actions that … [Continue reading]

Sixth Circuit Applies Cost Screen to Tying by Differential Pricing

In Collins Inkjet Corp. v. Eastman Kodak Co., No. 14-3306 (6th Cir. March 16, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that differential pricing – charging more for one product when the customer does not also purchase a second … [Continue reading]

Return of Robinson-Patman Act and Resale Price Maintenance Litigation?

A quick note on a few recent developments suggesting that RP and RPM litigation is not yet dead. First, on February 2, 2015, a court refused to dismiss claims against Clorox arising from its refusal to sell a small regional grocery chain the same … [Continue reading]

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