Distribution, Competition, and Antitrust / IP Law

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]

San Jose Strikes Out in Baseball Antitrust Challenge

“Baseball? It’s just a game — as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. It’s a sport, business — and sometimes even religion.” Ernie Harwell, "The Game for All America," 1955. In City of San Jose v. … [Continue reading]

Can the State Seek Restitution After a Class Action Settlement?

In The People of the State of California v. IntelliGender, LLC, 771 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. Nov. 7, 2014) (Wardlaw, J.), the Ninth Circuit said the answer is “no.”  A federal court had approved a class action settlement involving false advertising and … [Continue reading]

Motorola’s FTAIA Quest Ends With a Whimper in the Seventh Circuit

On November 26, 2014, the Seventh Circuit (Posner, J.) issued its order upon rehearing of Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp. (Case No. 14-8003). Motorola still effectively lost the appeal, but the Court’s more circumspect reasoning means … [Continue reading]

Three Billy Goats Gruff

(You know . . .  the fairy tale about trolls.) This summer, PwC published its 2014 Patent Litigation Study.  The tagline of the study is "[a]s case volume leaps, damages continue general decline." Some of they key findings -- which are quite … [Continue reading]

Is the NCAA a Cartel?

The usually good Planet Money program has an excellent recent podcast setting forth the arguments for and against the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] being an unlawful cartel. … [Continue reading]

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