Articles Posted in U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiffs brought suit against numerous foreign airlines alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in violation of state antitrust, consumer protection, and unfair competition laws. The district court dismissed those claims as expressly preempted by federal law. The Federal Aviation Act, 49 U.S.C. 41713(b)(1), preempted state-law claims "related to a price, route, or service of an air carrier." The court concluded that "air carrier" in that provision applied to foreign air carriers and therefore, affirmed the judgment. View "In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a retail consumer of electricity in New York City, sued KeySpan, a producer of electricity in New York, alleging that it colluded with one of its rivals to increase installed capacity prices. Plaintiff also alleged that Morgan Stanley, a financial firm, facilitated KeySpan's anticompetitive conduct. Plaintiff subsequently appealed from the district court's dismissal of his federal and state antitrust claims against KeySpan and Morgan Stanley. The court agreed with the district court that plaintiff lacked standing to pursue his federal claims because he was an indirect purchaser and that his claims were otherwise barred by the filed rate doctrine. View "Simon v. Keyspan Corporation" on Justia Law

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In an antitrust class action alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in violation of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, the district court entered summary judgment in favor of defendants, manufacturers and sellers of “publication paper,” a type of paper used in preparing printed material of various types. Plaintiffs, direct purchasers of defendants’ paper products, claimed that defendants’ price hikes mirrored each other in amount and occurred in close succession and were instituted pursuant to an agreement, rather than independently. Plaintiffs also claimed that, in the same time frame, two defendants coordinated the closure of paper mills in order to reduce the supply of publication paper. The Second Circuit vacated in part. A jury could reasonably find that defendants entered into an agreement to raise the price of publication paper, and that, as implemented, this agreement damaged plaintiffs. View "In re: Publ'n Paper Antitrust Litig." on Justia Law

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In these parallel cases, separate petitions were filed requesting the district court to set a "reasonable" rate after ASCAP and BMI were unable to agree on licensing fees with DMX, a provider of background/foreground music. In both cases, the district court adopted DMX's proposals. The court held the Second Amended Final Judgment (AFJ2) permitted blanket licenses subject to carve-outs to account for direct licensing and the court rejected ASCAP's claim that a blanket license with an adjustable carve-out conflicted with the AJF2. The court concluded that the district court in both cases found that ASCAP and BMI did not sustain their burdens of proving that their proposals were reasonable; no legal error contributed to these findings and the findings supported by the record were not clearly erroneous; and in both instances, the district court had the authority to set a reasonable rate for DMX's licenses. Accordingly, the court held that the district court did not err in setting DMX's licensing rates with ASCAP and BMI and that the rates set by the district court were reasonable. View "Broadcast Music, Inc. v. DMX Inc.; American Society of Computers, Authors and Publishers v. THP Capstar Acquisition Corp." on Justia Law

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This action involved the single-copy magazine industry, i.e., the business of selling magazines for purchase by consumers at retail outlets. Anderson appealed (1) from a judgment of the district court dismissing their complaint alleging that defendants, who were suppliers and business competitors, conspired to drive Anderson out of business in violation of section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, and New York law, and (2) from an order denying Anderson's motion for reconsideration and for leave to file a proposed amended complaint. The court concluded that even if the original complaint did not meet the Twombly/Igbal standard, Anderson's proposed amended complaint, which contained additional factual allegations, met that standard and should have been allowed. Accordingly, the court vacated the judgment of dismissal and remanded for further proceedings. View "Anderson News, L.L.C. v. American Media, Inc." on Justia Law

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The City of New York sued defendants under federal and New York State antitrust laws, seeking to prevent the companies from merging. The city appealed from a judgment of the district court granting summary judgment to defendants and dismissing the city's complaint without leave to amend. The court agreed with the district court that the alleged relevant market definition, as the "low-cost municipal health benefits market[,]" was legally deficient and concluded that the district court's denial of leave to amend was not an abuse of discretion. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgement of the district court. View "City of New York v. Group Health Inc., et al." on Justia Law

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This case arose when plaintiff alleged that Citigroup, along with various rating agencies, airlines, and municipalities, conspired to block the use of her finance structure to issue Airline Special Facility bonds. Plaintiff subsequently appealed from a judgment of the district court dismissing her complaint and from the district court's order denying her postjudgment motion for reargument and reconsideration of the dismissal and for leave to replead. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the district court erred by, inter alia, dismissing the complaint without granting leave to replead, denying the postjudgment motion, and exercising supplemental jurisdiction to deny the remaining state law claims. The court held that the district court, in denying the postjudgment motions, applied a standard that overemphasized considerations of finality at the expense of the liberal amendment policy embodied in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Accordingly, the court vacated the order denying the postjudgment motion and so much of the judgment as retained supplemental jurisdiction and dismissed plaintiff's state law claims. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Williams v. CitiGroup, Inc." on Justia Law

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TradeComet brought this action against Google for alleged violations of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, 2, arising out of TradeComet's use of Google's "AdWords" search engine advertising platform. Google filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(3) for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and improper venue because TradeComet had accepted the terms and conditions associated with participation in its AdWords program, which included a forum selection clause requiring TradeComet to file suit in state or federal court in Santa Clara County, California, not in New York. At issue was whether a district court called upon to enforce a forum selection clause was required to enforce it pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1404(a) whenever the clause permitted suit in an alternative forum. The court held that a defendant could also seek enforcement of a forum selection clause in these circumstances through a Rule 12(b) motion to dismiss. Therefore, in an accompanying summary order, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of TradeComet's complaint. View "TradeComet.Com LLC v. Google, Inc." on Justia Law

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Petitioners, registered nurses ("RNs") employed in the region, filed a complaint alleging that various hospital owners and operators in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan area had conspired to depress the compensation of RNs in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. 1. A petition for leave to appeal was filed well outside the limitations period but filed within the fourteen days of the district court's denial of the motion to amend the class certification. At issue was whether such a denial constituted "an order granting or denying class-action certification" for purposes of Federal Rule of Civil Procedures 23(f). The court dismissed the petition and held that petitioners failed to timely petition with respect to an order reviewable pursuant to Rule 23(f) where an interlocutory appeal under Rule 23(f) could not properly be taken from an order denying amendment to a previous order granting class certification, at least when the motion to amend was filed fourteen days after the original order granting class certification.