Justia Antitrust & Trade Regulation Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
New Albany Tractor, Inc. v. Louisville Tractor, Inc.
Plaintiff alleged violation of the Robinson-Patman Act, 15 U.S.C. 13(a), prohibition on selling the same product to different buyers at different prices, by a manufacturer of mowing equipment and a distributor/retailer of that equipment. The district court dismissed. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. In light of recent Supreme Court decisions, courts may no longer accept conclusory allegations that do not include specific facts necessary to establish the cause of action. The new "plausibility" standard is particularly difficult for the plaintiff in this case, because only the defendants have access to the pricing information necessary to show discriminatory pricing, but the plaintiff may not use discovery to obtain those facts. The plaintiff did not have sufficient facts to establish the manufacturer's control of the distributor to proceed under the "indirect purchaser" doctrine. View "New Albany Tractor, Inc. v. Louisville Tractor, Inc." on Justia Law
Realcomp II, Ltd., v. Fed. Trade Comm’n
The real estate multiple listing service (MLS) website policy prohibited distribution of information about exclusive agency and other nontraditional listings to public advertising sites through its feeds. The FTC determined that the prohibition was an anti-competitive policy in violation of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45. The Sixth Circuit affirmed after conducting a full rule-of-reason analysis. The MLS is a "contract, combination, or conspiracy" between competing brokers. The policy gave rise to potential genuine adverse effects on competition due to the MLS's substantial market power, the lack of substitutes for its service, and the policy's anticompetitive nature; the policy actually caused actual anti-competitive effects by narrowing information and choices available to consumers and reducing the number of discount-commission listings. Proffered pro-competitive justifications were insufficient to overcome a prima facie case of adverse impact.