Justia Antitrust & Trade Regulation Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Bankruptcy
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After a creditor in a closed Chapter 7 bankruptcy case tried for a third time to bring a price-fixing claim against BMS, the district court granted BMS's motion to dismiss. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that the creditor did not participate in the market for bankruptcy software services in any way that would make it a proper plaintiff to bring an antitrust claim against a firm that provides those services to bankruptcy trustees. Therefore, the creditor's injury was entirely derivative of the estate's injury and merely derivative injuries sustained by creditors of an injured company did not constitute antitrust injury sufficient to confer antitrust standing. View "McGarry & McGarry, LLC v. Bankruptcy Management Solutions, Inc." on Justia Law

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BMS provides administrative services to bankruptcy trustees. It uses Rabobank as the depositary for banking services that BMS provides through its software. Crane, the trustee in the Integrated bankruptcy, hired BMS; the contract required Crane to hire Rabobank for banking services in the proceeding. In a separate contract, Crane authorized Rabobank to withdraw its monthly fee. The plaintiff, a law firm, was a creditor of Integrated and filed a bankruptcy claim, ultimately receiving a distribution of $12,472.55. It would have received $12,666.90, but for its part of Rabobank’s fee, and more had Rabobank paid interest on the estate’s deposits. Plaintiff sued under the Bank Holding Company Act, 12 U.S.C. 1972(1)(E), which states that a bank shall not "extend credit, lease or sell property of any kind, or furnish any service, or fix or vary the consideration for any of the foregoing, on the condition … that the customer shall not obtain some other credit, property, or service from a competitor of such bank … other than a condition … to assure the soundness of the credit.” The Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal. Had Rabobank conditioned its provision of services on the trustee never hiring any other bank in any bankruptcy proceeding, it would constitute exclusive dealing. No one forced Crane to deal with BMS and Rabobank and there was no argument that the fee was exorbitant, or would have been lower with a different bank. View "McGarry & McGarry, LLC v. Rabobank, N.A." on Justia Law

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United appealed the district court's order denying United's motion to dismiss an antitrust complaint brought against it by DHL. At issue was whether DHL had sufficient notice of the availability of the claim against a Chapter 11 debtor to satisfy due process requirements and render the claim discharged. The court concluded that the district court applied an incorrect standard in accepting as true DHL's allegation that it was not aware of, or with due diligence could not have become aware of, sufficient facts to plead an antitrust claim that would survive a motion to dismiss in the context of a bankruptcy proceeding. Therefore, the court remanded for further development of the facts concerning (a) what DHL knew or reasonably should have known in time to present an antitrust claim in the bankruptcy proceeding, or to file a late proof of claim or move to amend the reorganization plan and (b) what United knew or reasonably should have known concerning DHL's claim. View "DPWN Holdings (USA), Inc. v. United Airlines, Inc." on Justia Law