Antitrust, Professor Meyers
I. Chapter 1 – Introduction to the Competition Model
A. Antitrust is the law of competition Antitrust laws regulate how businesses can compete. Some forms of
competition are encouraged, others discouraged, others illegal. Competitive behavior that goes too far is unlawful.
Instead of beating out competitors in lawful ways (procompetitive conduct), actually destroy competition
(anticompetitive conduct). Fine line.
1. Natural for some businesses to fail. Failed business is not evidence of antitrust violation.
2. Antitrust laws protect competition rather than competitors – This sentence is worth 5 pts on exam!!
3. Determine whether conduct adversely affects competition by looking at economic models.
a. Spectrum – No competition (fixed prices) = unlawful. Excess competition (predatory pricing) = unlawful.
(1) Predatory pricing – pricing products below cost until drive out competition. Once competition gone,
Essential questions – What is proper conduct? What is improper conduct? What do antitrust laws do w/ improper
B. Antitrust Laws
1. 4 Federal Antitrust Laws
a. § 1 Sherman Act – prohibits every K, combination, conspiracy in unreasonable restraint of trade
b. § 2 Sherman Act – prevents monopolization, attempts to monopolize, or consp to monopolize
c. § 3 Clayton Act – unlawful to fix prices, or otherwise sell goods (does not apply to services) in manner
that substantially lessens competition or tends to create monopoly.
d. § 5 of Federal Trade Commission Act – prohibits unfair methods of competition in or affecting
commerce & unfair or deceptive practices in or affecting commerce.
2. Antitrust laws are construed similarly to constitutional provisions.
3. State Antitrust Laws – OK has its own antitrust law. Arkansas, Vermont, & Pennsylvania are the only states
that do not have antitrust laws.
a. Fed gov agencies:
(1) DOJ antitrust division – criminal or civil enforcement;
(2) FTC – enforce only civil violations.
b. Attorneys general of the several states. Ie., if OK citizens wronged, Drew Edmondson may bring action
on behalf of people for civil remedy. Potentially, could enforce state antitrust law for criminal enforcement
but not under fed law.
c. Private individuals may enforce civil suit.
(1) Incentives for private individuals to bring suit:
(a) mandatory treble damages (even if innocent, good faith violation). Reversible error to tell jury
that award will be trebled. That is why treble antitrust case is always better than punitive tort case.
In tort, jury knows it will award punitives when assessing actual & other damages so that may take
punitives into consideration & assess actual damages lower than otherwise. Two reasons for
treble: (1) incentive to bring suit; (2) deter antitrust violations
(b) one way attorney fees award - If P wins, D must pay reasonable atty fees – not a prevailing
party statute – D cannot recover atty fees if D wins.
(2) 90% of enforcement of Sherman Act is by private individuals but public enforcement varies greatly
depending on who is in White House. Public enforcement is politically driven.
5. US v. Addyston Pipe (US, 1899) – important for several reasons:
a. D argued Sherman Act taken from common law, under which only remedy was injunction – no damages so
that Sherman Act should be construed as not allowing damages. By virtue of Sherman Act, antitrust laws
proactive & allow affirmative relief.
b. Justice Taft discusses covenants b/w competitors that are validated at common law:
Covenants in partial restraint of trade are generally upheld as valid when they are agreements
(1) by seller of property or business not to compete w/ buyer in such way as to derogate from
value of property or business sold; (2) by a retiring partner not to compete w/ firm; (3) by
partner pending partnership not to do anything to interfere, by competition or otherwise, w/
business of firm; (4) by buyer of property not to use same in competition w/ business retained
by seller; & (5) by assistant, servant, or agent not to compete w/ his master or employer after
expiration of time of service.
How does Sherman Act treat these? Covenants not to compete generally upheld if reasonable in duration &
location & especially where covenant is ancillary to another agreement, such as selling business. Covenant
not to compete that is not ancillary to another K violates Sherman Act. Ancillary covenants upheld if
c. Introduces concept of Rule of Reason – Ct makes clear distinction b/w naked restraints (always
unlawful) & restraints ancillary to otherwise lawful agreement (sometimes OK). If ancillary restraint,
apply concept of reasonableness.
II. Chap 4 – Cartels & Other Joint Conduct by Competitors
A. Horizontal Restraints – interbrand competitors agree to restrain trade thru price fixing, output reduction, bid fixing,
group boycotts, etc.
1. Development of Analytical & Evidentiary Rules – judicially created:
a. Per se – applies to conduct so inherently anticompetitive that it is unlawful on its face & has not
beneficial effect. Applying per se ends inquiry; once restriction proven to exist, D does not have
opportunity to respond. Judicial economy – some restraints so patently pernicious that no need to waste
judicial time to determine reasonableness. Applied to restraints that ct has had some experience w/ in past
to know that type of restraint is seldom justified – no redeeming value.
b. ROR – Balancing Test – whether conduct has (1) unlawful purpose or (2) anticompetitive effect. Jury
determines if D‟s activities are more pro- or anti-competitive – whether reasonable or unreasonable.
Evidence comes thru fact witnesses, experts – Experts more persuasive.
B. Price Fixing - generally receives per se analysis, but some exceptions
1. Foundation Cases
a. Chicago Board of Trade v. US (US, 1918) – good law today. ROR applies where conduct – even
horizontal price fix – enhances or facilitates competition.
(1) Held – ROR – whether restraint merely regulates & perhaps promotes competition or whether it may
suppress or even destroy competition. To determine that, ct must consider: business to which restraint
applied; conditions before & after restraint; nature of restraint & its effect.
(2) Purpose of “to arrive” rule was to stop price differentials once bd closed for the day. Ct found some
rules needed for bd to exist at all & that existence of bd facilitates trading & benefits competition.
Upheld price fixing b/c: (a) no fixing occurred during open trading period each day; (b) only small %
of nat‟l grain market affected; (c) no appreciable effect on price or output.
(3) Effect on competition judged by whether restriction affects (1) price; &/or (2) output. If restrict
output, price will probably rise due to supply & demand. If affects price or output, apply per se.
(4) Gov tried case as per se & did not introduce evidence for ROR analysis – when Sup Ct held not per se,
no evidence in gov‟s favor under ROR.
(5) Cts take ROR approach to situations where rules deemed necessary for trade (Bd of Trade, Stock
Exchange, college football, etc.)
b. US v. Trenton Properties (US, 1927) – Reasonableness or fairness of price not a defense to per se price
fixing violation. Held – power to fix prices, whether reasonably exercised or not, involves power to
control market & fix arbitrary & unreasonable prices. Reasonable prices fixed today may, through
economic & business changes, become unreasonable tomorrow. Agreements that create such price fix may
be held per se illegal w/o ROR inquiry.
(1) Horizontal price fixing per se illegal – direct holding of case. How important to per se rule is showing
of market power? Monopoly power? Question leads to Apalachian Coals.
c. Apalachian Coals v. US (US, 1933) – 137 coal producers selling at same price b/c agreed to use same
agent. Had not agreed on specific price but understood coal would be sold at same price.
(1) Market share – nationwide, not regional, market share at issue here. Discussion leads to inquiry of
whether market share is an actual consideration.
(2) Historic perspective – Great Depression – coal producers saw necessity to enter agreement in order to
survive Depression. Engaged in cost saving efforts.
(3) Homogeneous product – coal is coal is coal – no individual selling method necessary b/c everyone‟s
product is same.
(4) Willingness to adapt Sherman Act to current economic conditions. Construed Act in almost
constitutional analysis – Act is “charter of freedom” – must be adaptable to current conditions. Ct not
worried about competition among competitors but competition generally. Applied ROR. Held price
fixing reasonable mainly b/c of Depression & also b/c output not reduced.
d. Summary of Price Fix – normally apply per se analysis to agreements that fix price – but if can argue that
agreement has purpose & effect of making market function more competitively or of creating efficiencies,
effect on prices may be viewed as merely an ancillary restraint & subject to ROR.
2. Supply or Output Restrictions
a. U.S. v. Socony-Vacuum Oil Co. (US, 1940) –Agreement for major oil producers to buy gas from indeps –
less gas on market & gas price could go up. Ct looked at arrangement & determined that although not
explicit price fix, unlawful per se. Purpose of agreement was to eliminate excess gas from market.
Initially, affecting output w/ hope/expectation of affecting price.
(1) Held – “Under Sherman Act combination formed for purpose & w/ effect of raising, depressing,
fixing, pegging, or stabilizing price of commodity . . . is illegal per se.”
(2) FN 59 – distinction b/w civil & criminal violation. Intent – requirement of specific intent for criminal
violation. May be guilty of conspiracy but not violation generally & still be held liable under Sherman
Act. Really look at power to restrict output or affect price – not actual restriction.
(3) Ruinous competition no defense to antitrust violation. If ruinous competition were relevant,
Congress would make it so thru legislation.
3. Agreements Limiting Price Competition
a. Kiefer-Stewart Co. v. Joseph E. Seagram & Sons (US, 1951) – agreements that establish max prices
illegal per se w/o further inquiry. Setting max price, no less than setting minimum price, cripples freedom
of traders & restrains ability to sell in accordance w/ own judgment.
b. Goldfarb v. Virginia State Bar (US, 1975) – Held- professional services come w/in Sherman Act –min fee
schedule for attys, as set by state bar (acting as trade assoc), violated Act as collaboration among
competitors to fix prices.
(1) Reasoning – was not an advisory fee schedule, but mandatory – enforced thru disciplinary procedures.
Coercive horizontal price fixing. Not only violation to fix max price but also to fix min price.
(2) Suggested in fn that in applying Act to profession (rather than to individual/business), profession
should receive more leniency. Disapproved in later cases – no distinct treatment of professions.
c. Commercial cooperation & coordination among competitors can take many forms. One of keys to analysis
is measuring how attenuated agreement at issue is from explicit price fixing agreement. Cts generally agree
that agreement on term or condition, inseparable or related to commercial component of price or sale,
should be classified as price fixing.
4. Data Dissemination & Info Exchange – what legit business, if any, do competitors have for exchanging info?
(a) Illegit – dividing territory, fixing prices. (b) Legit – sharing info thru trade associations.
a. Trade Assocs exchange info “for public good & safety.” Trade assocs don‟t begin w/ goals of violating
antitrust, but often result in such violations. DOJ & FTC enforce & private Ps believe that more often than
not trade assocs spin out antitrust violations at same rate as safety, etc. Early cases focused on Ds. Now,
factors include market structure & nature of info exchanged (past, present, or future data). Higher share
of market trade assoc members hold, more likely sharing info will violate.
(1) Question to ask – How does this Trade Assoc advance the industry? In pro- or anti- competitive
(2) Amer. Column & Lumber Co. v. US (US, 1921) – Trade assoc devised “open competition plan” –
compete but share all info – perhaps watered down competition. Exchanged sales, production, &
purchase info daily. Also used monthly meetings that urged high prices.
(a) Held – per se violation of Sherman Act – getting together under guise of trade assoc that has
stabilizing effect on price. Some competitive advantage in secrecy – not sharing all info w/ all
(3) Maple Flooring Mfgs v. US (US, 1925) – Held – Trade assoc that openly & fairly gathers &
disseminates info as to cost, volume, & actual price, & meets & discusses such info & stats – w/o
reaching or attempting to reach any agreement or concerted action w/ respect to prices, production, or
restraining competition – does not engage in unlawful restraint of commerce. Difference from Amer.
Column – sales info on past transactions, not current transactions.
(a) ROR – Ct looked at each alleged restraint & determined exchange of info was OK. Cost info
exchange – no showing of improper things happening in marketplace. Distribution of freight rate
book – not sensitive info, serves useful purpose to quote prices quickly, & no showing of misuse.
Trade stats – past info & no showing of inappropriate use.
(4) U.S. v. Container Corp of Amer (US, 1969) – looks at market structure & hints at applying ROR
rather than per se.
(a) Significant factors – (1) Ds accounted for 90% of sales. (2) Products were all essentially the same.
(3) Demand inelastic – does not change much. (4) Market not truly competitive – excess capacity
– Ds could manufacture more product than demand necessitated (excess capacity is key that price
will decline). (5) Low entry barriers for competitors to enter market
(b) Oligopoly – market w/ few sellers. Oligopoly has characteristics that markets w/ many sellers
will not have – stabilized markets result from oligopoly in market of homogenous products.
Oligopolist market where homogenous product & excess capacity – problematic. Price stability
expected, but where excess capacity & prices do not decline, usually evidence of impermissible
(c) Held – Voluntary exchange on most recent prices charged had effect of stabilizing prices (under
ROR). “Inferences irresistible that exchange of info had anticompetitive effect – price being too
critical, too sensitive a control.”
(d) Example – gas stations w/ large signs that display prices are not committing antitrust violations
for charging same prices b/c they are acting independently & not conspiring to fix prices.
(5) US v. Citizens Bank (US, 1975) – Confirmed Container application of ROR – disclosure or exchange
of price info is not a per se violation; must be proof (based on market structure) that “practice resulted
in unreasonable restraint of trade.”
(6) US v. Gypsum Co. (U.S., 1978) – Competitors freely exchanging sensitive info on daily basis.
Homogenous product in oligopoly market – prices stabilized.
(a) Rule – Socony-Vacuum – per se violation to affect prices so as to stabilize market.
(b) D‟s Defense – Compliance w/ Robinson-Patman Act. R-P Act prevents price discrimination –
violation for seller to discriminate b/w buyers in price. Defense in R-P Act for good faith meeting
(c) Held – R-P is no defense – cannot violate Sherman Act b/c R-P Act “made you” engage in
conduct. Also, price info discovered in legitimate ways indirectly through customers is not a
violation, but direct inter-seller communication is.
(d) Also held – Intent is element of criminal antitrust offense. Must be established by evidence &
cannot be based on legal presumption of wrongful intent from proof of effect on price. Criminal
conviction requires proof of criminal intent & anticompetitive effect. Criminal intent requires
“knowledge of probable consequences”; specific intent not required.
(e) Footnote 13 – probably wrong – cts have not followed it. Suggested that intent may play
important role in divining actual nature & effect of anticompetitive conduct in civil action.
(f) Footnote 16 – When evaluating exchange of competitor‟s info, will use ROR.
(7) Indirect Means of Stabilizing Prices that are Generally Allowed:
(a) Price Signaling – taking out newspaper ads listing prices;
(b) Price Discipline – punishing competitor for lowering price. Usually large powerful “price leader”
stabilizes price by cutting price even further to teach competitors a lesson. Not unlawful unless
price leader drops price below his cost (then becomes predatory pricing).
5. Meaning & Scope of ROR
a. Number of incidents for applying ROR has declined but application has expanded. Early years of Sherman
Act, many violations evaluated under per se rule. But realization that difficult to categorize conduct per se.
Shifted to ROR. Per se approach used b/c of judicial economy. ROR not judicially economic. ROR based
on assumption that judicial resources can be expended on this case.
b. Is there a ground in b/w per se & ROR? Adopt “quick look” rule? Per se does not look at reasons; ROR
takes long look at reasons; “quick look” would take only a short look at the reasons & save judicial time.
Perhaps, “quick look” rule quashed by FTC v. Calif Dental Assoc – Sup Ct case that disapproved quick
look rule used by TC & app ct. Quick look rule is talked about a lot but not clear when to apply it.
c. National Society of Professional Engineers v. US (US, 1978) – Engineering bd declared it unethical to bid
on engineering projects. Bid merely on experience, performance, references, but not price. Price
negotiated after accepted as engineer for the job.
(1) Practice of not negotiating price violated Sherman Act w/o causing price fixing. In fact, price made
irrelevant such that a new engineer would likely not get a project. Price is “central nervous system of
economy” – engineers had neutralized price.
(2) Held – ROR does not support defense based on assumption that competition itself is unreasonable.
Elimination of price as factor is anticompetitive on face & per se violation.
(3) Rationale – Contrary to its name, ROR is not a rule that questions whether activity makes sense or is
reasonable. Instead, focuses directly on challenging restraint‟s impact on competitive conditions.
Balancing of competitive impact.
d. Is competition conducive to ethical behavior? Meyers volunteers that competition is not entirely
conducive to ethical behavior. You may be unethical & still not violate Sherman Act.
e. BMI. v. CBS (US, 1979) – clearing house – blanket licenses w/ broadcasters (like CBS, ABC, etc.) so that
broadcasters could use any music owned by BMI or ASCAP for a flat fee.
(1) Held – Blanket license not per se illegal b/c no practical way to negotiate license agreement w/ each
composer. Instead, subject to ROR, but ct did not reach decision under ROR inquiry.
(2) Rationale – “Price prohibitive.” ROR – composers knowingly agree to license nonexclusive
agreement – nothing prevents CBS from directly negotiating w/ composer. Price competition not
eliminated. ASCAP/BMI can only sell blanket licenses. Agreement among competitors was
(3) See “exclusivity” in NCAA TV contract. If “exclusivity” present, horizontal (1) price fixing; (2)
blanket license – different product capacity lost w/o clearing house type services.
(4) “Joint venture” or “Cooperative venture” – horizontal competitors getting together w/ consent to
provide a product not available on individual basis. Such ventures may be necessary at times.
f. Catalano, Inc. v. Target Sales, Inc. (US, 1980) – Liquor retailers brought suit against wholesalers alleging
conspiracy to eliminate short term trade credit formerly granted on beer purchases.
(1) Held – Wholesalers‟ agreement to eliminate credit terms per se illegal price fixing b/c credit terms
directly impact price. Socony-Vacuum. “Agreement among competing wholesaler to refuse to sell
unless retailer makes payment in cash either in advance or upon delivery is „plainly anticompetitive‟ . .
. [and] lack[s] any „redeeming virtue;‟ hence, conclusively presumed illegal w/o ROR.”
(2) 9th Cir. had held no per se violation – horizontal agreement among competitors to fix credit terms does
not necessarily contravene antitrust laws. Agreement might enhance competition by: (1) removing
barrier to entry; (2) increasing visibility of prices. Ct rejected 9 th Cir justifications: (1) making market
more attractive to new entrants inconsistent w/ prior case law & (2) increased price visibility does not
justify restraint on individual wholesaler‟s freedom to select own prices.
g. Arizona v. Maricopa County Medical Society (US, 1982) – Price fixing of medical fees. Medical Society
argues per se rule does not govern b/c agreements are horizontal & fix maximum prices, are among
members of profession, are in industry w/ which judiciary has little antitrust experience, & have
(1) Held – Per se price fixing of medical fees. Actual effect was to raise insurance premiums paid by end
users. Fixing price on horizontal basis controlled by competitors.
(2) Rationale – Anticompetitive potential inherent in all price fixing agreements justifies facial
invalidation even if procompetitive justifications are offered for some.
(3) But see – vertical agreement for maximum price fixing judged under ROR.
h. FTC v. Calif Dental Assoc (in supplement) – Dentists could advertise but not false or deceptive & must
encourage esteem in public. FTC said restricting advertising violates § 5 of FTC Act. ALJ found unfair
business practice – can‟t put restrictions on advertising. Did not do full ROR inquiry – put on empirical
studies that show restricting advertising restrains trade. Evidence FTC put on was not market specific,
called no expert witnesses. Said would have put on more evidence had it been a ROR case.
(1) Issue: Whether quick look sufficient to determine whether behavior anticomeptitive.
(2) Held – Quick look appropriate in some circumstances but not here. Remanded for ROR application on
whether anticompetitive. Anticompetitive effects must be comparably obvious to employ quick look
rule. “Quick look analysis carries the day when great likelihood of anticompetitive effects can easily
be ascertained.” Here, advertising restrictions arguably protecting patients from misleading or
irrelevant advertising call for more than cursory treatment as obviously comparable to classic
horizontal agreements to limit output or price competition.
(3) Quick look first came up as theory promulgated in NCAA v. Bd of Regents (held “naked restraint on
price & output requires some competitive justification even in absence of detailed market analysis.”).
Didn‟t happen there. Calif Dental case was first Sup Ct look at quick look analysis. 5-4 decision w/
(4) Breyer Dissent – Identifies “four classical, subsidiary antitrust questions: (1) What is the specific
restraint at issue? (2) What are its likely anticompetitive effects? (3) Are there offsetting
procompetitive justifications? (4) Do the parties have sufficient market power to make a difference?
Would affirm lower courts – “I should have thought that anticompetitive tendencies of the three
restrictions [at issue] were obvious. An agreement not to advertise that a fee is reasonable, that service
is inexpensive, or that a customer will receive a discount makes it more difficult for a dentist to inform
customers that he charges a lower price. . . And that likelihood means that dentists will prove less
likely to offer lower prices.”
(5) Remanded to 9th Cir – pg 24 of supp – dismissed complaint & found FTC‟s evidence too general to
support claim. Did not produce evidence under ROR. “Unwarranted second bite at apple.”
(6) Not a holding that restricting advertising is per se illegal.
(7) If judge adopts per se but D presents ROR, object b/c D cannot present evidence on issues not raised
by P. Never as P ignore ROR.
i. NCAA v. Bd of Regents (US, 1984) – perhaps case w/ greatest impact on consumerism for privately
brought antitrust suit. Facts – OU & Georgia football programs challenged NCAA control over
broadcasting games. NCAA system – colleges could not negotiate w/ networks & NCAA set price for
broadcasts. NCAA‟s procompetitive argument – TV threatens actual attendance at football games.
(1) Rule – Ct rejected applying per se b/c it recognized that this was situation “in which horizontal
restraints on competition are essential if product is to be available at all. Instead applied ROR –
procompetitive – NCAA argued its regulations enhanced competition. “Despite fact that case involves
restraints on ability to compete in terms of price & output, fair evaluation of competitive character
requires consideration of NCAA‟s justifications for restraints.” Under ROR, hallmarks of
anticompetitive behavior place upon D heavy burden of establishing aff def that competitively
justifies apparent deviation from operations of free market.
(2) Held – “By curtailing output & blunting ability of Ps to respond to consumer preference, NCAA has
restricted rather than enhanced place of intercollegiate athletics.” Output-restricting agreements are
(3) Reasoning – No doubt that challenged practice constitutes restraint of trade in sense that limits
freedom to negotiate & enter contracts. Horizontal restraints. NCAA argued did not possess market
power & could not be held liable under Sherman Act but Ct found such market power. Ct also stated
“As matter of law, absence of market power does not justify naked restraint on price or output.”
(4) Dissent – Justice White predicted:
(a) that college football threatened by unbridled competition;
(i) effects since plan – 100s of games on TV; increased attendance & stadium expansion;
cost of advertising goes down during football games, which benefits consumers; dollars
per appearance on TV has increased each year
(b) that College Football Assoc would have same problems as NCAA in regulating TV
(i) has not happened b/c of BMI case – nonexclusive. New plan – colleges assign right to
televise each game to CFA. CFA goes to network to determine which games to show
prime time. Games not picked up by networks, assigned back to schools to negotiate to
televise at times that did not conflict w/ network game broadcasts.
(ii) Another effect – realignment of football conferences. Conferences won arrangements w/
networks & CFA no longer needed. Stepped aside as to TV regulation. Conferences
now negotiated directly w/ networks to market TV packages as did CFA.
(iii) Suits filed against CFA plan were not successful.
6. Sports & Antitrust Laws
a. Checkered history of application of antitrust law in sports context. Analyze any sport – professional or
amateur – in way of NCAA case. Absent statutory or ct created exception, laws apply to sports same as
apply to businesses.
(1) Nature of sports different than nature of other business b/c sports requires cooperation among
teams/competitors. Such cooperation not necessary in other businesses. Team owners must cooperate
in order for there to be a product to sell. Players must cooperate in order to negotiate salaries. (Players
assoc negotiates on basis of players) – cooperation = horizontal restraint.
b. Bargaining Employee/Employer Exception Analogous to Sports:
(1) Congress enacted exemption for collective bargaining in union context – authorizes otherwise
anticompetitive conduct (employees get together & bargain for pay & benefits, etc.) of employees to
be lawful. Specific exception for employees from antitrust liability.
(2) Nonstatutory, judically created exception for employers to bargain collectively w/ union on behalf of
employees. Players Assoc is union in sports context. Judicial exemption allows owners to negotiate
w/ Players Assoc w/o violating Sherman Act.
(3) Brown v. Pro Football – antitrust exemption under labor law. CBA b/w NFL & Players Assoc expired
w/o renewal – negotiating on CBA. Owners took stand on developing taxi (development) squad –
don‟t make team but want to keep players around as practice dummies. CBA said limit development
squad to certain number of players & set their salaries.
(a) Held – CBA, although expired, still being negotiated & necessary for continued operation of
league. No violation.
(4) 1961 – Sports Broadcasting Act – granted exemption from antitrust laws for telecasting of
professional sports & allowed NFL & other sports to agree among owners how to televise games, as
long as football did not broadcast on Friday nights during high school football or on Saturdays during
college football games.
c. Baseball Exemption – Until 1997, all sports covered under antitrust laws except baseball.
(5) 1922, Sup Ct antitrust case against baseball owners. Held in order for violation, must be
K/combination in restraint of trade in interstate commerce. B/c played on field, local & not interstate.
(6) 1942 – subsequent Sup Ct case – stare decisis as to 1922 decision. Baseball has absolute exemption
from antitrust laws.
(7) 1972 – Flood v. Kume – Sup Ct decided yes, baseball has absolute exemption. Indeed, baseball is in
interstate commerce, but Congress has not changed previous decisions & exemption for baseball. B/c
Congress not addressed issue, exemption stands.
(8) Congress passed Flood Act in 1997 – basically says major league baseball subject to antitrust laws just
as any other sport but minor league baseball not covered.
d. Key info on Sports & Antitrust: Two key exemptions:
(1) labor law exemption analogy – CBA w/ players associations
(2) telecast exemption not to conflict w/ high school or college.
(3) No longer a baseball exemption
e. Recent decisions seem to say NBA single actor – group is single actor – not each individual team as actor.
No violation b/c no combination/K/conspiracy b/c all one single collective actor. Prevalent view seems to
be that leagues are single actors, which exempts leagues from § 1 but not § 2 b/c § 2 does not require
f. Carracing – next potential for huge antitrust suit. Two types of courses – oval or street courses. Two
leagues that governed racing – CART & USAC. New league (IRL) started w/ certain requirements – (1)
oval tracks only; (2) slow down; (3) change spec on car to lower cost of season. CART said – any CART
driver or team that participates in new league cannot participate in CART races.
(1) CART filed suit in Detroit w/ junk claims plus antitrust allegations but no clear antitrust claim & did
not seek antitrust remedy
(2) IRL sued CART & Penske in Indianapolis – clear antitrust complaint plus junk claims
(3) Foyt sued CART & Penske in TX for Antitrust (?) and junk
(4) Fittipaldi sued IRL & George in Miami
(5) B/w CART & IRL suits, antitrust claims transferred to Indianapolis & junk claims transferred to
Detroit. Ended dispute. Foyt & Fittipaldi were transferred to Indianapolis & settled.
(6) Are IRL & CART leagues as NFL, etc? Two leagues or one league? Have interleague play w/o
retribution, date conflicts, Make Indy 500 the “world cup.”
C. Proof of Agreement
1. Introduction - § 1 of Sherman Act requires agreement – two or more parties engaged in restraint. How does
one prove “agreement?”
a. Infer conspiracy from circumstantial evidence. Agreement requirement under § 1 does not require proof
of explicit collusion. Agreement can be tacit (silent, implied, unspoken). Evidence showing “meeting of
minds,” concerted action, or mutual understanding sufficient to support inference of agreement.
2. Conscious Parallelism and the Interstate Circuit Doctrine
a. Interstate Circuit v. US (US, 1939) – Letter demanding theater exhibitors to substantially increase price
for film admissions. Letter addressed to all eight exhibitors – knew competitors received same letter.
Evidence that knew other competitors would engage in price increase. All agreed to increase price. No
evidence of direct communication b/w each other in regard to agreement.
(1) Rule – Inference of conspiracy – D presented weak evidence where strong evidence should have been
available – infers strong would have been adverse.
(2) Conscious Parallelism – acting in parallel fashion w/o agreeing to do so (cars hitting brakes on
interstate). Difficult to distinguish b/w legitimate conscious parallelism & illegitimate
(3) Held – Acceptance by competitors, w/o previous agreement, of invitation to participate in plan,
necessary consequence of which is restraint of interstate commerce, is sufficient to establish unlawful
conspiracy under Sherman Act.
b. US v. Masonite Corp (US, 1942) – “Fixing of prices by one member of group pursuant to express
delegation, acquiescence, or understanding is just as illegal as fixing price by direct, joint action.”
c. Proof of withdrawal from conspiracy is effective affirmative defense to § 1 claim. To w/draw effectively,
must either report conspiracy to antitrust authorities or clearly communicate intent to w/draw.
d. Theatre Enterprises, Inc. v. Paramount Film Distributing Corp. (US, 1954) – Downtown theaters showed
first run films. Suburban theaters could not. Crest Theater opened in suburb. Went to six distributors to
ask for first run movies. All six said no. Alleged conspiracy b/c all six were acting consciously parallel by
giving same answer.
(1) Issue – Whether respondents‟ conduct toward Crest Theater stemmed from independent decision or
from agreement, tacit or express.
(2) Rule – Business behavior is admissible circumstantial evidence from which may infer agreement.
(3) Held – Conscious parallelism is not by itself enough to demonstrate conspiracy.
e. “Plus Factors” – Conscious parallelism + ? = Conspiracy. Lower cts have interpreted Sup Ct‟s opinions
on parallelism to allow parties to meet agreement requirement if evidence of consciously parallel conduct
(common plan) in addition to other so-called plus factors (conduct evidence from which inferences can be
drawn demonstrating that competitors had agreed, either explicitly or implicitly, to a common design &
course of action):
(1) proposal for joint action;
(2) identical sealed bids;
(3) complex yet identical set of responses;
(4) direct communication or opportunity for it or phone message notes evidencing conversation;
(5) failure to deny agreement;
(6) set of circumstances that made each participant aware it was in its interest to participate if all did, but
adverse to its interest to participate if others did not. Evidence that common action was contrary to Ds‟
own economic self interests is critical to the inquiry.
3. Delivered Pricing & Base-Point Pricing
a. “Delivered Price” is price to buyer & includes charge for delivery. Concept of base-point pricing sets
delivered price at figure which includes transportation costs from standard reference point, but not
necessarily from where product is shipped. Question here – whether industry-wide delivered pricing
system can give rise to inference of collusion under § 5 of FTC Act.
b. Parallel business behavior that is not illegal under Sherman Act may still constitute an unfair method of
competition under § 5 of Sherman Act, which does not require conspiracy or agreement. All Sherman § 1
violations also violate § 5 of FTC Act but not vice versa.
c. FTC v. Cement Institute (US, 1948) – FTC declared illegal use of basing point price system adopted by
several cement manufacturers. Under basing point system, sellers quote only a delivered price (includes
freight costs). Prices can be kept uniform by establishing one or more basing points (centers where large
number of sellers or dominant firms located). Price to any buyer includes freight from nearest base point,
regardless of where goods actually shipped from. Thus, buyer located close to seller is charged for
“phantom” freight. Sup Ct affirmed FTC ruling, holding that basing point system was conducive to price
parallelism b/c buyer is generally quoted about same price from all sellers wherever located.
4. Oligopoly Pricing & Facilitating Devices
a. DuPont v. FTC (The Ethyl case) (2nd Cir, 1984) – FTC noticed all four anti-knock ethyl gas producers
using same pricing policies & brought suit alleging conspiracy.
(1) Issue – “Whether, given characteristics of industry, challenged business practices constitute „unfair
methods of competition‟ in violation of § 5 of FTC Act simply b/c they „facilitate‟ consciously parallel
pricing at identical levels.”
(2) Rule – Mere existence of oligopolistic market structure in which small group of manufacturers
engages in consciously parallel pricing of homogenous product does not violate antitrust laws.
Represents condition not “method.”
(3) Held – Have not proven conspiracy based merely on evidence of conscious parallelism. In absence of
proof of violation of antitrust laws or evidence of collusive, coercive, predatory, or exclusionary
conduct, business practices not „unfair‟ unless those practices have an anti-competitive purpose or
cannot be supported by an independent legitimate reason.
(4) Case is “final nail in coffin” on conscious parallelism – does not get you there. Before conduct in
oligopolistic industry may be labeled unfair w/in meaning of § 5, minimum standard demands, absent
tacit agreement, at least some indicia of oppressiveness must exist such as (1) evidence of
anticompetitive intent or purpose, or (2) absence of independent legitimate business reason for
5. Intra-Enterprise Conspiracy
a. General rule – generally single corp cannot conspire w/ itself under § 1. Question arises whether
concerted activity b/w corp & subsidiaries or subdivisions can give rise to § 1 liability.
b. Copperweld Corp. v. Independence Tube Corp (US, 1984) – Held – No conspiracy can exist b/w parent
corp & wholly owned subsidiary b/c have same economic interest/economic unity.
(1) Makes no distinction b/w unincorporated subdivisions & wholly owned subsidiary. Reasoning –
enterprise should be free to structure itself in ways that serve efficiency of control, economy of
operations, & other factors dictated by business judgement w/o increasing exposure to antitrust
liability. Nothing inherently anticompetitive about corp‟s decision to create subsidiary.
c. Partially-owned subsidiary – although cases mixed, Meyers‟ view is that where partially-owned
subsidiary is majority owned, cannot conspire. Probably jury question where minority owned.
(1) Can two wholly-owned subsidiaries conspire? No, have unity of interest thru common parent.
Partially owned majority subsidiaries probably cannot conspire. Partially owned minority subsidiaries
probably creates jury question as to conspiracy.
d. Gap in Sherman Act Coverage Filled under Oklahoma Antitrust Act
(1) As illustration (in notes Oct. 2) demonstrates, gap in Sherman Act coverage for individual action
where market share is low. Intentional gap that makes economic sense. § 1 coverage does not take
into consideration market share but § 2 coverage does consider market share so that where market
share is low, cannot demonstrate either monopoly or attempt to monopolize.
(2) Oklahoma Antitrust Act – [This information will appear on final exam] - § 203(A) extra word in OK
act not in Sherman Act – word is “act” – every act, contract conspiracy . . . Literal effect of this word
is that under OK Antitrust Act, there is no gap similar to that under Sherman Act. Individual act in
restraint of trade is actionable under § 203(A).
6. Burdens of Proof & Summary Judgment Problems (on issue of conspiracy)
a. Matsushit Electric Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio (US, 1986) – US cos. sued Japanese cos. alleging consp
so as to drive out US competition. Alleged that consp had been occurring for 20 years at time of filing suit
& 30 years at time case was b/4 Sup Ct – yet had not actually driven out competition.
(1) Rule – Establishing genuine issue of material fact in order to avoid Summ J involves two components:
(1) show more than conspiracy – show injury resulting from alleged illegal conduct; (2) issue of fact
must be “genuine” – shown w/ specific facts. . . . Where record taken as whole could not lead rational
trier of fact to find for nonmoving party, no genuine issue for trial. Follows from these settled
principles that if factual context renders claim implausible – makes no economic sense – respondents
must come forward w/ more persuasive evidence to support claim than would otherwise be necessary.
(2) Cites Monsanto Co. v. Spray-Rite Service Corp. – conduct as consistent w/ permissible competition as w/
illegal conspiracy does not, w/o more, support inference of conspiracy. That‟s why burden shifts.
Requires P under § 1 claim to present evidence “that tends to exclude possibility” that alleged
conspirators acted independently.
(3) Held – If Ds had no rational economic motive to conspire, & if conduct is consistent w/ other, equally
plausible explanations, conduct does not give rise to inference of conspiracy. Evidence must tend to
exclude possibility that petitioners underpriced respondents to compete for business rather than to
implement an economically senseless conspiracy. In absence of such evidence, no genuine issue for
trial & Ds are entitled to Summ J.
(4) Dissent – criticizes Summ J standard making judge one of jurors as fact finder.
b. Experts in Antitrust – make sure comply w/ Daubert factors to assess reliability:
(1) Whether offered theory or technique can be & has been tested;
(2) Whether theory or technique has been subjected to peer review & publication;
(3) Known or potential rate of error or existence of standards; &
(4) Whether theory or technique used has been generally accepted.
c. City of Tuscaloosa v. Hacros Chemicals (11th Cir) – expert economist used methods acceptable w/in
discipline so that testimony admissible. Once testimony admitted, sufficient to entitle Ps to go to trial &
survive Summ J.
D. Horizontal Market Divisions – competitors agree to divide market, not agreeing to fix prices. Division of market
can affect price so this is not always permissible. Apply per se if division restrains trade, competition, output.
1. Example – Four plumbing contractors in Norman. Divide up town into four regions. Each won‟t do work in
another‟s area. Other ways to divide – one company takes gov business, one takes private business. One
company agrees to sell only certain products and other company other products.
2. US v. Sealy (US, 1967) – Horizontal competitors given licenses by Sealy to manufacture mattresses, Sealy
divided territory among licensees. Looks like vertical arrangement except that licensees actually owned &
controlled Sealy. D was merely puppet & competitors set up territory division arrangement – Per se violation.
3. US v. Topco Associates (US, 1972) – Geographic territory allocation per se illegal. Independent grocers
form co-op to better compete w/ big chains. Created generic brand & agreed to limit sales to specific territories.
D argued pro-competitive b/c only way small independents could compete. Court held horizontal restraint on
competition w/in geographic area firmly established as illegal per se b/c it creates monopoly in that
geographic area. Illegal no matter how worthy reasons are.
4. Polk Bros v. Forest City Enterprises (7th Cir, 1985) – product allocation – ROR. Two merchants formed joint
venture to share one building (strip mall). Agreed not to overlap on products sold. Primary purpose was to
eliminate free riding on advertising that lured customers to stores. Ct applied ROR – restriction on competition
ancillary to valid business purpose; not naked restraint of trade.
E. Boycotts & Other Concerted Refusals to Deal
1. Boycott is refusal to deal w/ particular firm. Individual boycott OK, but cannot lobby others to do same.
Typically, boycotts horizontal in that conspire w/ competitors & vertical in that conspire not to deal w/
supplier or buyer. Boycotts against horizontal competitor are illegal per se.
2. Development of Per Se Analysis: Collective Agreements Aimed at Competitors
a. Eastern States Retail Lumber Dealers’ Assoc. v. US (US, 1914) – Retailers circulated list of wholesalers
who also acted as retailers. P claimed list acted as boycott b/c other retailers would not do business w/
wholesalers-retailers after circulation of lists.
(1) Held – Circulated list acted as boycott.
(2) Rule – “Act harmless when done by one may become public wrong when done by many acting in
concert, for it then takes on form of conspiracy, & may be prohibited or punished, if result too hurtful
to public or to individual against whom concerted action is directed.”
(3) Rationale – Ct found it of no consequence that record lacked direct evidence of actual conspiracy to
use “black lists” as a boycott b/c “conspiracies are seldom capable of proof by direct testimony & may
be inferred from things actually done."
(4) Is conduct actionable where three retailers conspire to boycott one other retailer? Antitrust laws
protect “competition” & not competitors, so if boycott harms only one retailer as a competitor, action
is not necessarily unlawful under Sherman Act.
b. Klors, Inc. v. Broadway-Hale Stores (US, 1959) – Case of two complimentary stores side-by-side w/
agreement not to sell certain items in both stores. “Evidence” at trial of other manufacturers/sellers
available to public. D moved for summ j on ground that no public wrong resulted from concerted action.
TC found merely private quarrel w/ no public wrong. Ct of App affirmed. Sup Ct reversed.
(1) Rule – Public harm must always be shown, but if there is a per se violation, public harm will be
inferred. If violation not per se & is tested under ROR, then private P will not get benefit of
presumption of public harm & must show it through evidence.
(2) Held – Per se illegal group boycott. When conduct anticompetitive on face, P need not prove injury to
competition. Group boycotts clearly bad for consumers in aggregate, so per se test applies.
c. Eastern State and Klor – seem to say horizontal group boycott per se violation. Klors stands for
proposition that public harm is inferred.
d. Market Definition – What are included as substitutes for particular product in question? Is cell phone a
substitute for pay phones? Does not have to define market substitutes as everything that all customers of
one can afford the other.
e. NYNEX Corp. v. Discon, Inc. (US, 1998) – telephone removal services case.
(1) Held – Per se group boycott rule does not apply – must prove injury to market competition.
Substituting one supplier for another is not per se violation. ROR analysis. Facts seem to portray
more vertical arrangement than horizontal arrangement. Where both vertical & horizontal, ct will treat
as vertical if more vertical than horizontal. Under ROR, must show injury to competition – not
presumed as under per se.
(2) Rationale – New entrants could not come into market if made rule that changing suppliers is per se
(3) Case stands for – only use per se when boycott horizontal; where have private P & apply ROR, P must
prove injury to competition, not just injury to individual P.
3. Toward Limited Balancing Approach: Collective Agreements Aimed at Customer Dealings
a. Paramount Famous Lasky v. US (US, 1930) – movie distributors enter agreement to all use standard K w/
(1) Ct used truncated/limited ROR analysis. Not going to arbitrarily apply per se, especially where not
(2) Held – When under guise of arbitration parties enter unusual arrangements that unreasonably suppress
normal competition, their action becomes illegal. Not necessary to show that challenged arrangement
suppresses all competition b/w parties or that parties themselves are discontented w/ arrangement.
Interest of public in preservation of competition is primary consideration.
b. Smith v. Pro Football, Inc. (D.C. Cir., 1979) – NLF draft not per se illegal group boycott b/c NFL clubs
that implemented draft are not competitors w/ the players, & refusal to deal w/ players did not decrease
competition for “providing football entertainment to public.” But ct found agreement (not to deal w/
players before or after draft) was unreasonable restraint of trade under ROR b/c its purpose & effect was
4. Industry Self-Regulation & Disciplinary Actions
a. Silver v. NYSE (US, 1963) – NY Stock Exchange immune from antitrust liability under federal securities
laws only where conduct necessary to operation of Securities Act. Conduct here not immune but per se
violation. Before self-regulation & anticompetitive collective action are approved under implied exception
to antitrust, procedures must be established that satisfy fundamental fairness – notice & opportunity for
b. Northwest Wholesale Stationers v. Pacific Stationery & Printing (US, 1985) – Pacific was member of
NW purchasing cooperative, violated co-op‟s bylaw, kicked out of membership. Alleged boycott by
(1) Rule – Apply per se: (1) if boycotting firm has dominant market share – generally not justified by pro-
competitive conduct; (2) if boycott cuts off access to supply, facility, or market necessary to enable the
boycotted firm to compete – essential facilities doctrine.
(2) Held – No per se evaluation b/c some pro-competitive efficiencies – associates may self-regulate in
reasonable ways & rule at issue here was reasonable. P really objecting to being expelled from
cooperative venture – not complaining of nature of venture itself. Not detrimental to exclude this one
P – did not eliminate anything essential to competition for P. Must cut off competition to supply or
(3) Actual Holding- “P seeking application of per se rule must present threshold case that challenged
activity falls into category likely to have predominantly anticompetitive effects. Mere allegation of
concerted refusal to deal does not suffice b/c not all concerted refusals to deal are predominantly
anticompetitive. When P challenges expulsion from joint buying cooperative, some showing must be
made that cooperative possesses market power or unique access to business element necessary for
(4) Reasoning – Distinguishes Silver – no procedural safeguards required here – not dispositive that P was
expelled from the cooperative venture w/o notice & opportunity for hearing. Silver held that
procedural safeguards were necessary only b/c of nature of NYSE & the Securities Act.
c. Analysis of Boycott: (1) Is it horizontal? (2) Is boycott aimed at competitor or competition? If so, per se.
(3) Does boycotting firm or firms have dominant market power?
d. FTC v. Indiana Federation of Dentists (US, 1986) – 100 dentists, concentrated in geographic area, agreed
among themselves not to supply patient X-rays to insurance companies. Gov claimed per se horizontal
group boycott – concerted refusal to deal.
(1) Ct applied ROR - although conspiracy resembled “group boycott,” did not apply per se b/c rule
generally limited to cases in which firms w/ market power boycott suppliers or customers in order to
discourage them from doing business w/ competitor – not the case here – activity aimed at non-
(2) Held – Evidence of actual adverse effects on competition in those areas where boycotting dentists
predominated is legally sufficient to support finding that challenged restraint was unreasonable even
in absence of elaborate market analysis.
(3) ROR Analysis – (1) Horizontal agreement among dentists. (2) Refusal to compete w/ respect to
package of services offered to customers, no less than refusal to compete w/ respect to price terms of
agreement, impairs ability of market to advance social welfare. (3) Not necessary to determine that
boycotting group has market power where present proof of actual detrimental effects, such as
reduction of output, caused by the arrangement.
(4) Ct cited Professional Engineers, noting that dentists failed ROR b/c no pro-competitive justification
for their policy to w/hold info from customers.
5. Naked & Ancillary Concerted Refusals to Deal
a. Associated Press v. US (US, 1945) – Gov charged that AP had by concerted action set up system of By-
laws that prohibited all AP members from selling news to non-members & that granted each member
power to block nonmember competitors from membership. Dist Ct found that By-laws had hindered &
impeded growth of competing newspapers.
(1) Rule – Individually, parties may sell to whomever they wish, but when they join together, they cannot
as an assoc refuse to deal w/ specific parties.
(2) Held – per se violation of § 1 as arrangement designed to stifle competition. Naked restraint – not
ancillary. Result was to limit competition, not to provide product.
(3) D sometimes has duty to competitor – facility here necessary for competitor‟s survival. Essential
b. OK Statute – 79 OS § 203 (c), (d) – codify essential facility doctrine
(c) unlawful for any person in control of an essential facility to deny access to it upon reasonable terms if
the effect of such denial is to injure competition.
(d) “Essential facility” means a facility:
(1) Which is controlled by an entity that possesses monopoly power;
(2) That a competitor would be unable to practically or reasonably duplicate,
(3) The use of which has been unreasonably denied to a competitor or a customer of the entity that
possesses monopoly power, and
(4) That it would be feasible to allow competitor or customer to use or have access to without causing
harm to or unreasonably interfering w/ the entity that possesses monopoly power.
c. SCFC ILC v. Visa USA (10th Cir, 1994) – Visa bylaws said can exclude from membership any applicant
that is issuing Discover or AE cards. Sears issued Discover & alleged exclusion from Visa is violation of
Sherman Act § 1. Ct held (ROR) not violation of § 1. Reason – under market power test, considering all
banks that issue credit cards, Visa lacked market power & Sears failed to demonstrate harm to competition.
Pro-competitive reason given was to prevent “free riding.”
6. Noncommercial Boycotts – based on commercial or political motivations? Sherman Act targeted at only
a. Missouri v. NOW (8th Cir, 1980) – economic boycott – NOW‟s effort to influence Missouri to ratify ERA.
Held – Sherman Act not intended to regulate politically motivated boycotts – covered by 1st Amend as
political speech. “Using boycott in non-competitive arena for purpose of influencing legislation is not
proscribed by Sherman Act.”
7. Summary of Boycotts
a. Per Se Boycott – applied where:
(1) D has market power or exclusive access to essential facility to effect competition.
(2) Restraint aimed at competitor w/ no efficiencies shown – no positive benefits.
(3) Naked Restraint – no market power required to be shown – so obvious
(1) Target is customer rather than competitor
(2) Economic impact not immediately obvious
(3) Market definition may not be necessary if actual adverse effects to market are shown (Indiana
(4) When inquiring into market power – really looking at how restraint affects market.
c. Non-commercial activity not covered by Sherman Act.
III. Chapter 5 – Vertical Restrictions
Section 1 – Intrabrand Distributional Restaints
A. Vertical Restraints - Agreements b/w manufacturer & distributor, or b/w wholesaler & retailer, or b/w any two
sequential parties in production-distribution chain.
1. Types of conduct typically vertical restraint: (1) resale price maintenance (RPM); (2) market division; (3)
exclusive dealing; & (4) typing arrangements.
2. Horizontal Restraint – Interbrand restraint. In horizontal context, if competitors told cannot conspire, they
must compete or drop out of competition.
3. Vertical Restraint – Intrabrand restraint. In vertical context, if tell Ford cannot impose certain restriction on
dealers, Ford can buy its dealers & sell to consumer directly – Vertical Integration.
A. Resale Price Maintenance (RPM) – Per se violation of § 1 for seller (manuf) contractually to set min price at
which buyer (retailer) can resell product. ROR applies to setting max price.
1. Setting Vertical Minimum Prices
a. Dr. Miles Medical Co. v. John D. Park & Sons Co. (US, 1911) – Dr. Miles sought to maintain min prices
for all sales of its product at wholesale & retail. Thru two types of agreements: (a) consignment; (b) retail
sales agency. Held – Vertical minimum price fixing or RPM per se illegal.
(1) Dr. Miles‟s arguments: (a) Propriety medicine manufactured under secret process – rejected b/c
product not patented. (b) Manufacturers entitled to control price of own products – rejected b/c RPM
is about fixing prices for resale – conduct would not work as horizontal restraint & should not work as
(2) Important in RPM to distinguish b/w max & min price maintenance. Here, dealing w/ min price
(3) Ct found – under consignment K, no RPM b/c no sale. Under retail agency agreement, parted w/ title
& setting price for resale is RPM, vertical restraint per se forbidden by Sherman Act
b. 1937, Congress passed Miller-Tydings Fair Trade Amendment – permitted states to authorize RPM
agreements for branded commodities. Insulate small businesses from price & marketing practices of large
(1) OK responded (as did 47 other states) w/ State Unfair Sales Act. Purpose of OK‟s Act – prevent
large chains from selling below cost in order to run out small competitors, including lost leader sales –
pricing particular products below cost in order to draw customers to purchase other items at regular
cost. OK‟s act constitutionally upheld as valid by OK Sup Ct & US Sup Ct.
(2) Act construed narrowly. 10th Cir – strictly construed b/c Act is anti-competitive rather than pro-
competitive. Illegal in OK not to sale goods at least at 6% mark-up. Conduct not actionable unless
can show intent & purpose of injuring competition, etc. § 598.5(c) – evidence of less than cost is p/f
evidence of intent to injure competitors & to destroy or lessen competition.
(3) Act applies only to wholesalers & retailers – not to manufacturers.
(4) Clean Hands Doctrine – injunctive relief – if one seeks equity, one must come into ct w/ clean hands
- complainant cannot have sold below cost. Clean hands doctrine does not apply to actions for
damages. § 598.7 – Meeting competitor‟s price – good faith selling below cost in order to meet (not
beat) competitor‟s price. Argument as well that Act is inefficient in protecting small business. In part,
b/c cannot sell below their own cost – cost to small businesses is probably higher than cost to large
businesses b/c of volume of sales.
2. Consignment Contracts as Means to Control Vertical Price
a. Question left open by Dr. Mills – whether rule applied to manufacturer that transferred product thru
consignment or agency relationship rather than outright sale –addressed in US v. General Elec. (US, 1926)
– no violation of antitrust law for manufacturer to dispose of his article directly to consumer & fix price by
which agents transfer title from him directly to consumer.
b. Simpson v. Union Oil (US, 1964) – reevaluated General Electric. Held – If Sherman Act violation
assumed for consignment agreement that achieves RPM, injury presumed – consignment agreement &
lease being used to injure interstate commerce by depriving independent dealers of exercising free
judgment whether to become consignees at all or remain consignees & to sell at competitive prices.
(1) Held – RPM thru present, coercive type of “consignment” agreement is illegal under antitrust laws &
petitioner suffered actionable wrong or damage.
(2) Distinguished GE case on grounds that: (1) risk of loss on nonsale products passed to retailers in
Simpson; (2) GE was patent case.
(3) Nothing wrong w/ true consignment. “But when „consignment‟ device used to cover vast gasoline
distribution system, fixing prices thru many retail outlets, antitrust laws prevent calling „consignment‟
an agency, for then end result of Socony-Vacuum, would be avoided merely by clever manipulation of
words, not by differences in substance.” Professor Meyers has problem w/ Ct‟s use of “vast” &
“clever manipulation of words.” Would there be violation if only a small distribution system of
perhaps 2-3 outlets? Why discourage “clever” use of words?
(4) Case did away w/ whole scheme of gas distribution. Trying to protect dealers but impact was to put
independent dealers out of business. Decision led to vertical integration of the industry – no more
small independently owned service stations – all owned by Texaco, Chevron, Exxon, etc, selling direct
to consumer. Case tells – better not ask for something unless you really want it – Simpson won the
case but lost in the end b/c vertically integrated.
3. Unilateral Refusal to Deal as Means to Enforce Vertical Price Maintenance: Colgate Doctrine
a. General Rule – Manufacturers are free to announce “suggested retail prices,” as long as merely suggested
& action is truly unilateral. But what if seller announces it will cease dealing w/ any customer who fails to
adhere to suggested retail price?
(1) US v. Colgate (US, 1919) – Colgate Doctrine – 2 prongs: (a) no agreement; (b) under some
conditions manufacturers have absolute right to refuse to deal or to deal w/ whom they choose.
(b) Colgate wanted products sold at “suggested retail price” – mere suggestion of price is not retail
price fixing. But had policy to refuse to continue dealing with those who did not adhere to
suggested price. 2 reasons that retail price fixing not found here: (a) no agreement; (b) just
unilateral announcement of terms under which manufacturer would deal.
(c) Quoted portion of Colgate Doctrine – “In absence of any purpose to create or maintain monopoly,
act does not restrict long recognized right of trader or manufacturer engaged in entirely private
business, freely to exercise his own independent discretion as to parties w/ whom he will deal. He
may announce in advance circumstances under which he will refuse to sell.”
(d) Monopoly & market share are exception to Colgate doctrine – cannot claim Colgate under
monopoly situation. Private business only – does not apply to public utilities. Manufacturer does
not need to answer why they refuse to deal.
(2) Parke Davis (US, 1960) – all you can do is not do business w/ them when dealer refuses to sell at
suggested price. Cannot give second chance – that forms de facto agreement.
4. Vertical Maximum Price Fix – probably benefits customers
a. Albrecht v. Herald (US, 1968) – Maximum price fixing is illegal per se.
b. State Oil v. Khan (US, 1997) – overrules Albrecht – not illegal per se to set max prices.
(1) Facts – State Oil set max price that retailers could sell gas. If sold over that amount, excess was
remitted to State Oil. Kahn had no incentive to sell above or below suggested price.
(2) Held – Vertical max price fixing, like majority of commercial arrangements subject to antitrust laws,
should be evaluated under ROR. ROR will effectively identify situations in which vertical max price
fixing amounts to anticompeitive conduct.
(3) Stare Decisis – “General presumption that legislative changes should be left to Congress has less force
w/ respect to Sherman Act in light of accepted view that Congress „expected cts to give shape to
statute‟s broad mandate by drawing on common law tradition.‟”
(4) Ct notes – “primary purpose of antitrust law is to protect interbrand competition.” At issue here was
5. Dealer Termination
a. Most often complained about action by dealers. Terminated dealer generally asserts termination caused by
failure to adhere to vertical restraints imposed by manuf or supplier. Comes about either as termination or
failure to renew agreement. Dockets clogged w/ frivolous or meritless dealer termination cases. Assuming
no br/K, is termination unlawful under antitrust laws? Typically manuf has number of dealers in
competition w/ each other. Dealer 3 may be a price-cutter, not following suggested price, not promoting
product, etc. so that manuf wants to terminate agreement w/ Dealer 3.
b. Under Colgate & Sylvania, together, appears terminated dealer must prove 2 things for per se:
(1) a qualifying “agreement” instead of unilateral terms by distributor (otherwise legal);
(2) this was “price” rather than “non-price” agreement (otherwise, apply ROR).
c. Continental TV v. GTE Sulvania (US, 1977) – Vertical non-price restrictions such as territorial &
customer restraints receive ROR. GTE wanted dealers to fight other brands, not each other.
(1) Interbrand competition main focus of antitrust laws.
(2) Valid pro-competitive reasons: (a) eliminate intrabrand competition to promote interbrand
competition; (b) eliminate free-riding; (c) maintain quality (product image).
d. Monsanto Co. v. Spray-Rite Service Corp. (US, 1984) – standard of proof required to find vertical price-
fix conspiracy in violation of §1 – mere complaints not enough – must be evidence that excludes
possibility (any chance) of independent action.
(1) Facts – Spray-Rite, discount operator, was terminated & alleged that Monsanto conspired w/ another
dealer to effectuate termination. 7th Cir – proof of termination following competitor complaints is
sufficient to support inference of concerted action. Sup Ct rejected this – complaints not enough to
infer conspiracy. Reasoning – 7th Cir standard makes proving consp too easy, even when no consp
exists. Might preclude manuf from taking complaints from dealers.
(2) Colgate – Manuf can deal & refuse to deal w/ whomever as long as do so independently.
(3) Held – Correct standard is that there must be evidence that tends to exclude possibility of independent
action by manuf & distributor. Must be direct or circumstantial evidence that reasonably tends to
prove that manuf & others had conscious commitment to common scheme designed to achieve
unlawful objective. Something more than evidence of complaints needed.
e. Business Electronics v. Sharp Electronics (US, 1988) – Facts – Hartwells was small dealer w/ customer
service - demonstrate how to use calculator. Business Electronics sold at discount w/o service. Hartwells
says terminate BE or will w/draw as dealer.
(1) Held – Even if price is part of complaint, apply ROR, unless shown that non-price reasons were not
even a plausible purpose of the termination. Vertical restraint per se illegal under § 1 only if express or
implied agreement to set resale prices at some level.
(2) Recognized premises of GTE Sylvania & Monsanto – (1) presumption in favor of ROR; (2)
departure from ROR must be justified by demonstrable economic effect, such as facilitation of
cartelizing, rather than formalistic distinctions; (3) interbrand competition is primary concern of
antitrust laws; (4) rules in this area should be formulated w/ view toward protecting doctrine of GTE
Sylvania (interbrand competition is main focus of antitrust laws).
f. Summary – Two parts to proving § 1 violation – (a) K, combo, combination; (b) in restraint of trade.
Monsanto rule goes to (a) – cannot prove conspiracy merely w/ evidence of complaints. Business
Electronics goes to (b) – apply ROR to determine whether in restraint of trade, unless shown to be vertical
price restraint. To show price restraint & apply per se rule, must show no plausible purpose for which non-
price reasons were used to terminate.
Section II. Interbrand Vertical Foreclosure
A. Exclusive Dealing Under ROR
1. Exclusive Dealerships – contractual relationship whereby all but one dealer in same product of same
company/manufacturer are eliminated. If supplier unilaterally decides only to sell to one dealer in particular
area, no violation of § 1. Arrangement protects dealers in that they only can carry product in certain market.
a. Valley Liquors, Inc. v. Renfiled Importers (1982) – Renfiled (supplier) terminated Valley (distributor) &
granted exclusive dealership to other distributor. Alleged that terminated unlawfully in order to set
prices. Ct applied ROR & held no – P must show improper motive where there exists plausible reasons
for termination. Judge Posner writes:
We reject casual of interbrand competition w/ intrabrand competition. Elimination of price cutter who is
taking free ride on promotional efforts of competing distributors will tend to stimulate nonprice
competition intrabrand as well as improve interbrand position . . .
ROR is difficult to apply . . . courts look for shortcuts. Balance tips in favor of P if D has significant
market power. . . Vertical actions of companies w/o market power are of little concern to cts b/c such
companies cannot afford to intentionally disserve customers, if they mistakenly do . . . market retribution
will swiftly correct the problem.
b. ROR applies – In general, manuf may lawfully pick & choose those w/ whom will deal; t/f may choose
to sell to certain buyers & not to others. However, legality of such arrangement may ultimately depend
upon extend of interbrand competition. If no interbrand competition (manuf has no competitors),
intrabrand competition may be considered more important, thereby restricting manuf‟s right to deal.
2. Interbrand Vertical Foreclosure – (Output Ks) – cannot sell to my competitors – not necessarily lawful for
manuf to impose restrictions on how the buyer can resell goods. Subject to ROR. Certain nonprice vertical
restrictions may foster interbrand competition & thereby have redeeming competitive virtues, even though they
reduce or eliminate intrabrand competition.
3. Exclusive Dealing – (Requirement Ks) – have to buy all you need of X from me.
a. Clayton Act § 3 – deals w/ exclusive dealing – “Unlawful to sell or lease goods on conditions . . . that
substantially lessen competition or tend to create monopoly.” Easier to show than injury to competition.
Applies to goods & not services, not output contracts.
b. Test – Subject to ROR, D must foreclose substantial share of market. First, define market; then, apply
ROR to determine extent of foreclosure. If no foreclosure, may be legal.
c. Efficiency Analysis is considered. Exclusionary effects of exclusive dealings must be weighed against
economies achieved thru K‟s efficiency features.
4. Tampa Elec. Co. v. Nashville Coal – TE agreed to purchase all coal requirements from NC for 20 yrs. TE
wanted out – filed Clayton § 3 action since K foreclosed 18% of Florida coal market. Considering only state-
wide market, TC granted Summ J for TE. NC appealed – said relevant market is aggregate of all states where
NC did business – not only Florida. Based on regional market definition, no substantial foreclosure.
B. Tying Arrangements
1. Introduction: Economics of Tying
a. Leverage Theory – will sell product one on condition that seller buys product two (which is not as
desirable as product one). Try to leverage selling power of product two to market power of product one.
Product one is the tying product. Product two is the tied product.
b. Problem in tying, disproportionate number of sales of product two that would not otherwise get w/o tying
arrangement. T/f, affecting market economy. Irrational displacement of sales in product two.
c. Certain products that so traditionally are sold together are not considered tying – shoes.
d. Three statutes where tying becomes issue - §§ 1 & 2 of Sherman; § 3 of Clayton; § 5 of FTC Act. Tying
illegal under § 3 of Clayton Act – form of exclusive distribution arrangement – only as to goods & not
e. Three elements P must Prove for per se:
(1) Two Separate Products – must be coherent basis for distinguishing second product from first
(2) Tying Product – D possessed sufficient economic power in market of tying product (must first define
product & relevant market)
(3) Tied Product – substantial amount of commerce affected in tied product.
2. Development of Unique Per Se Rule for Tying Arrangements
a. Times Picayune Publishing Co. v. US (US, 1953) – advertising in both morning & evening papers.
(1) Rule of thumb for monopoly power – 50% of market. Justice Clark states, “When seller enjoys
monopolistic position in market for tying product . . . a tying arrangement violates narrower standards
expressed in § 3 of Clayton Act b/c from either factor requisite potential lessening of competition is
inferred.” Sup Ct later says too high a standard. Not Clayton Act case – Clayton Act deals w/
products, not services.
(2) Test from Times that continues today – If substantial volume of commerce in tied product is restrained,
tying arrangement violates § 3 of Clayton Act b/c requisite potential lessening of competition inferred.
(3) Essence of illegality of tying arrangement is wielding “monopolistic” leverage; seller exploits
dominant position in one market to expand empire into next.
(4) Held – no tying product (could not identify whether advertising market of morning or afternoon papers
was dominant) so no tying arrangement.
b. Dunkin Donuts (not in book) – P complained that DD required franchisers to purchase paper products
(bags & napkins) from D at higher price than could get on open market. Underlying problem w/ tie –
charging more for Product 2. Ct held illegal tie under Clayton § 3.
(1) Full Line Enforcing – must buy entire line of products we produce – not just desirable products.
Tying in context. To be illegal under § 3 of Clayton Act, must either substantially limit competition or
tend to create monopoly
c. Northern Pacific Railway v. US (US, 1958) – US had given RR 40 mill acres of land for its building rail
across US. RR began selling land on condition that if buyer/lessee produced anything on land, had to ship
it on RR. RR promised that its rates would be equal to those of competing carriers.
(1) Land was tying product. Tied product was rail.
(2) Rule – Tying arrangements traditionally subjected to per se rule when party has sufficient economic
power w/ respect to tying product to appreciably restrain free competition in market for tied
product & a “not insubstantial” amount of interstate commerce is affected.
(3) Held – RR‟s preferential routing clauses were unlawful restraints of trade. RR possessed substantial
economic power by virtue of extensive landholdings, which it used as leverage to induce purchasers &
lessees to give it shipping preference. Also, no doubt that a “not insubstantial” amount of interstate
commerce was & is affected by tying arrangement.
(4) Arguments that did not work – (1) don‟t really enforce agreement for requiring rail service – so what,
people are following agreement whether enforced or not; (2) economic effect on consumer was same
here – promised price to be same. Does shifting from whom purchase service when price is same have
negative effect on consumer or competition?
(5) Meyers believes cost factor made this not unlawful tying arrangement. Northern Pacific did not say
cost was defense. Further, Northern Pacific applied per se rule analysis.
d. Essence of Tying – prove (1) two products; (2) tying product has market power; (3) arrangement has not
insubstantial affect on economic market.
(1) Factors cts look to in finding two products: (a) physical characteristics; (b) business justification such
as cost efficiencies; (c) end-usage; (d) whether challenged aggregation is essential ingredient of
product‟s success; (e) industry trade practices; & (f) whether products ever sold in separately.
3. Proof of Tying Product Power
a. US Steel Corp. v. Fortner Enterprises (US, 1977) – tying sell of homes to credit. Tying product –
extension of credit. Tied product – homes.
(1) “Sufficient economic power” – whether seller has power, w/in market for tying product, to raise prices
or require purchasers to accept burdensome terms that could not be exacted in competitive market.
Whether seller has some advantage not shared by competitors in market for tying product.
(2) Held – If evidence merely shows credit terms unique b/c seller willing to accept lesser profit – or incur
greater risk – than its competitors, uniqueness will not infer economic power in credit market. W/o
any evidence that US Steel had some cost advantage over its competitors – or could offer form of
financing significantly differentiated from what other lenders could offer if they elected – unique
character of its financing did not support conclusion that they had kind of economic power necessary.
(3) Ct said – don‟t really have two products here – just one product – a credit sale of homes. No evidence
that US Steel was selling credit w/o homes. Tantamount to left shoe-right shoe.
(4) Major point – just b/c yell “unique” does not prove inference of market power.
b. Jefferson Parish Hosp v. Hyde (US, 1984) – alleged tie b/w surgery (tying product) & anesthesiology (tied
product). Ct finds two products.
(1) Test for 2 products – Would buy one w/o other? Found two products b/c “choice of individual
anesthesiologist separate from choice of hospital” is one that patients should enjoy & exercise.
(2) Held – Tie but no sufficient market power. (Only if patents are forced to purchase anesthesiologist
services as result of hosp‟s market power would arrangement have anticompetitive consequences.)
Insufficient market power b/c patients have lots of choices as to other hospitals.
(3) Ct still ostensibly applying per se rule. “Far too late in our antitrust jurisprudence to question
proposition that certain tying arrangements pose unacceptable risk of stifling competition & are
unreasonable per se.”
(4) Not finding per se tying arrangement, ct proceeded to answer whether K violated Sherman Act b/c
unreasonably restrained competition. Inquiry into actual effect on competition among
anesthesiologists. Found no evidence of actual adverse effect on competition.
(5) O‟Connor Concur – “Per se doctrine in tying cases requires elaborate inquiry into economic effects of
tying arrangement. As result, tying doctrine incurs costs of ROR w/o achieving its benefits: doctrine
calls for extensive & time-consuming economic analysis characteristic of ROR, but then may be
interpreted to prohibit arrangements that economic analysis would show beneficial.” Calls for
abandonment of per se approach.
c. Distinguishing tying arrangements from exclusive dealing Ks can be difficult. Two practices are governed
by very different legal tests.
d. Eastman Kodak v. Image Tech Services (US, 1992) – Copiers case. No argument that Kodak had
significant market power in sale of copiers. P alleged Kodak had unlawfully tied sale of service for Kodak
machines to sale of parts. Kodak refused to sale parts to Independent Service Operator. ISOs sued –
truncated discovery. Summ J granted in D‟s favor. Ct of App reversed.
(1) Issue – whether D‟s lack of market power in primary market precludes, as matter of law, possibility of
market power in derivative market.
(2) Kodak urged for adoption of a substantive legal rule that “equipment competition precludes any
finding of monopoly power in derivative after-markets.” If no market power in sale of copiers, how
can have market power in parts & services? Must look at market power in relation to competitors –
cannot have monopoly over own products. Ct disagrees that can never be monopolist over own
product. “Relevant market for antitrust purposes is determined by choices available to Kodak
equipment owners. B/c service & parts for Kodak equipment not interchangeable w/ other
manufacturers‟ service & parts, relevant market is composed of only those companies that service
Kodak machines.” Kodak has market power in this market.
(3) Ct complains that “record too sparse” b/c of truncated discovery.
(4) Does this case narrow Matsushita? Backing away from burden placed on P in Matsushita (to offer
theory that makes economic sense)? Majority in Kodak restrict broad interpretation of Matsushita, at
least where P‟s economic theory of antitrust enforcement – use of dominant market power to create
tying arrangement in intrabrand market – can be shown to have anticompetitive, exclusionary effect.
(5) Cir cts reluctant to follow Kodak. Interbrand competition thriving in market. Isn‟t this really just a
form of vertical integration & how can cts tell firms that they must sell to ISOs rather than do work
(6) Kodak concluded that after-market power might exist even though Kodak had no power in primary
market b/c poorly informed customers might purchase copier not knowing about repair costs, & be
“locked-in,” since cheaper to pay monopoly price for parts than to discard copier & purchase different
brand. Subsequent cases have noted obvious fact that lock-in theory applies only if time gap b/w
decision to buy copier & need for parts.
e. Microsoft (2000) – Civil action brought by gov against Microsoft. Two antitrust issues discussed here: (1)
Microsoft tying operating system to Browser (Explorer). (2) Exclusive Dealing.
(1) Tying Arrangement – Held – Dis Ct found Microsoft guilty of tying. Found had market power to
substantially affect market. Found two products; proof that marketing Explorer by itself establishes
separate product. Made no difference that did not charge for Explorer.
(2) Exclusive Dealing – Agreements in question required other party to promote & distribute Internet
Explorer to partial or complete exclusion of Navigator. Held – No exclusive dealing b/c access not
denied. Netscape had access to market & could be used w/ Microsoft operating system
(a) Rule – Cts condemn as exclusive dealing only those contractual arrangements that substantially
foreclose competition in relevant market by significantly reducing number of outlets available to
competitor to reach prospective consumers of competitor‟s market.
(b) Test – subject to ROR. Cts look at a variety of factors: (1) degree of exclusivity & relevant line
of commerce implicated by agreement; (2) whether % of market foreclosed by Ks is substantial
enough to import that rivals be largely excluded from competition; (3) agreements‟ actual
anticompetitive effect in relevant line of commerce; (4) existence of any legit, procompetitive
business justifications offered by D; (5) length & irrevocability of agreement; (6) availability of
any less restrictive means for achieving same benefits.
IV. Chapter 6 – Monopoly Structure, Power, & Conduct
1. § 1 of Sherman Act has two components: (1) K, combo, consp; (2) in restraint of trade. Claims under § 1 are
evaluated under either per se or ROR.
2. § 2 of Sherman Act – no per se or ROR lingo. Very diff from § 1, although same conduct can violate both
3. Three Offenses:
a. Monopolize (not to have monopoly) – can do by self or by consp – no requirement of consp. Generally
50% or above of market share gets to jury.
b. Attempt to Monopolize – Specific Intent + Dangerous Probability of Success (b/w 30-50% of market
c. Conspiracy to Monopolize. No such thing as conspire to attempt to monopolize.
4. Tension of § 2 is balancing when § 2 should stop success – encourage to compete but do not compete too well
as to reach monopoly position. Traditional Remedy – dissolution. § 2 Dilemma – Are there diff standards by
which conduct is judged depending on how successful a business is? Yes. When competing becomes
5. Terms – Monopoly Power – means market power. Judges & cases use term “monopoly power.” Economists
use “market power.” A firm w/ 1% of market has market power but not monopoly power. Firm w/ 70% has
both market power & perhaps monopoly power.
a. Monopoly Power – Sup Ct & all Cir Cts, except 10th, has defined monopoly power as: “Power to control
price or exclude competition.” Some argue that not different b/c power to control price gives power to
exclude competition & vice versa. But Cir Cts & Sup Ct say they are different.
(1) 10th Cir – view power to control price & power to exclude competition as separate but requires both
types of power in order to find monopoly power.
(2) In OK – Antitrust Reform Act – specifically defines monopoly power as or. OK has adopted other
cir‟s views of monopoly. Different standard, then, in OK from 10 th Cir. Wanted law in OK to be
construed as close to generally prevailing law in country.
6. Search for Standards – on when one is violating § 2. No definitions, explanations, or standards written into
text. Wanted cts to construe as it does Constitution & wants cts to develop standards. Under § 2 Monopoly
Power (MP) + ? = Monopolization? Is monopoly power by itself violative? Or, is something else required?
What conduct or circumstance do we put in ? to come up w/ monopolization?
B. Problem of Monopoly
1. US v. Amer Can (D. Md., 1916) – various actions including purchasing competitors at high prices, non-
compete agreements extending years, etc.
a. In court for “bad acts” pre-1910 or so. Ct looked at things as done presently/recently. Profits not really out
of line. Ct does not need to get into “business” of saying that monopoly power OK if not making huge
profits. What they should look at is cost of monopoly on others – competitors & consumers. Could extract
inflated prices from purchasers but be inefficient in business operations so that do not have or show
excessive profits. Cts should not allow defense of low profits.
b. Ct discusses size of firm – Size itself is not crime but unlawful exclusion of others to increase size is
violation. Illegal or unnatural growth may not be OK. Look at origin of growth – natural, legit, or illegally
2. Natural Monopoly – local newspaper in small towns – not enough demand to support competitors.
a. ALCOA (2nd Cir. (Judge Learned Hand), 1945) – Alcoa was sole producer of aluminum “ingot” in US. P
argued that this was evidence of monopoly.
(1) 30/60/90 test - 90% of market share is monopoly; 64% questionable; 33% is not.
(2) Important decision – force & effect of Sup Ct decision. Roadmap case for evaluating § 2 cases.
Defining market – who gets to define market sometimes determines whether ct finds monopoly. Here,
ct defined market as virgin ignot & recycled ignot. “Thus, in case at bar, Alcoa always knew that
future supply of ignot would be made up in part of what it produced at that time, & that consideration
must have had its share in determining how much to produce.” Defining market as such, Alcoa enjoys
(3) Ct acknowledges that although Alcoa had 90% of market & hence monopoly power, it still may not be
guilty of monopolizing b/c it may have had monopoly “thrust upon” it. Origin of monopoly may be
critical in determining its legality. Size does not determine guilt; must be some exclusion of
competitors; growth must be something else than „natural‟ or „normal;‟ must be a „wrongful intent,‟ or
some other specific intent; or some „unduly‟ coercive means used.
(4) Held – Acloa used its monopoly size for abuse. Not a passive beneficiary of monopoly.
“Exclusionary acts” include those not honestly industrial, & not limited to those actuated by desire to
(5) Alcoa developed the modern two-stage definition of the offense of monopolization under § 2. First, ct
must determine whether D has “monopoly power” – sufficient market power to “dominate” an
industry. If no, D is not guilty. If yes, ct must additionally determine whether D is an “innocent”
monopolist whose dominance was “thrust upon” it by its own skill or efficiency, or whether it engaged
in anticompetitive or monopolistic acts.
(6) Conduct that is not competitively inevitable may be exclusionary.
3. Three Tests b/4 this case to determine Monopolization – Must have monopoly power. Assuming monopoly
power, three tests:
a. Classic Test – MP & have engaged in acts that are unreasonable restraints of trade (acts unlawful under §
1) (not honestly industrial)
b. Most Hostile Test – MP (alone, plus nothing else). Makes big bad.
c. Intermediate Test – MP plus exclusionary acts. Does not have to violate § 1. Can be acts that are
honestly industrial. Used today - Sup Ct has thrown out the most hostile & classic tests.
a. Natural Monopoly – “Thrust Upon” Monopoly – did not choose to monopolize – just naturally happened.
b. Superior Skill, Foresight & Industry Defense – Monopoly b/c have superior skills, superior foresight.
Did better than competitors & was more industrious. Microsoft‟s defense.
5. Double standard in the law – someone w/ monopoly power may not engage in same type of conduct that
someone w/o monopoly power can lawfully perform. Conduct which is held exclusionary when practiced by
someone w/ monopoly power can form basis of § 2 violation but firm w/o monopoly power can engage in same
conduct w/o it being held exclusionary & w/o it forming basis for § 2 violation.
C. The Modern Offense of Monopolization
1. Market Power & the Relevant Market:
a. Test for illegal monopolization: (1) D must have large amount of market power; & (2) D must have
engaged in certain monopolistic, or anticompetitive, acts.
(1) Market power is ability to raise price by reducing output.
(2) Monopoly power – power to control price or exclude competition.
(a) Prove: (1) with actual evidence of controlling price or excluding competition (such direct evidence
may be sufficient); or (2) Determine whether D has power to so control prices or exclude
b. As general rule, cts begin analysis in monopolization cases by determining D‟s market share. Ct must
define “relevant” market – consists of two parts – product market & geographic market. P always wants
to define market narrowly b/c easier to establish monopoly power. Normally, product has some sort of
competition, must determine what competitors fall w/in relevant market. Then, determine market share to
determine market or monopoly power.
(1) In determining market share, ct generally does three things:
(a) identifies “product” that is alleged to be monopolized;
(b) determines relevant geographic market;
(c) computes “market share” expressed as D‟s output of relevant product in relevant market, divided
by total output of relevant product in relevant market.
(2) Market power is function of three different values:
(a) D‟s market share;
(b) elasticity of demand in entire market; &
(c) cross-elasticity of supply of competing or potentially competing firms.
(i) Elasticity of supply – presence of unused capacity in industry or existence of firms that
could easily shift to production of product. Greater elasticity of supply, less control
particular producer has over market price.
(3) Things to be grouped inside relevant market must, to significant degree, be substitutes for each other.
That is, to conclude that a grouping of sales constitutes relevant market is to conclude both (a) that
things inside grouping do not face significant competition from things outside grouping & (b) that
things inside grouping do compete w/ each other.
c. US v. Du Pont (US, 1956) – US brought action against Du Pont for monopolizing cellophane.
(1) Ct below found relevant product market was flexible packaging market. 75% of market for
cellophane. Cellophane just 20% of all flexible packaging market.
(2) Ct says relevant market depends on availability of like products for buyers – whether cross-elasticity
of demand b/w cellophane & other wrappings. Look at product in question – are there a lot of
products one could substitute for cellophane? Demand-side. What does buyer demand – what is
buyer willing to accept if first product priced too high or otherwise not available?
(3) In order to define relevant product market – look at substitutability/fungibility – what products
substitutable for another – ct looks to price, uses, etc.
(4) Price can be different. “In determining market, it is use or uses to which commodity is put that control.
Selling price b/w commodities w/ similar uses & different characteristics may vary, so that cheaper
product can drive out more expensive.” No clear lines but once determined what is & is not w/in
product market, line is drawn.
d. Note on Cross-Elasticity of Demand – criticizes Du Pont for committing the “Cellophane fallacy” –
concluding from observed high cross-elasticity of demand at current market prices that D lacks power,
while ignoring possibility (from direct evidence) that firm is already charging monopoly price.
e. Telex v. IBM (10th Cir. 1975) – Telex alleged that IMB monopolized & attempted to monopolize plug
compatible peripheral computer products. IBM alleged that all peripherals were in the market, including
those not plug compatible. Argued that suppliers of noncompatible plug peripherals could shift to produce
compatible plugs if reward is great enough.
(1) Reasonably interchangeable – not actually interchangeable today. If incentive present to cause
manufacturer to change & not too expensive to change, define market from supply side as compatible
& noncompatible suppliers. Suppliers in market today & those that could reasonable enter market in
future. Price assumption – if IBM gets high enough, consumers won‟t change (not reasonably
interchangeable from demand side) but competitive suppliers will change.
(2) Held – Reasonable interchangeability proven here; hence, market should include all peripheral
products, those compatible & those not compatible. These products, though not fungible, are fully
interchangeable & may be interchanged w/ minimal financial outlay, & so cross-elasticity of supply
(3) Preferred approach for defining from demand side but can do supply side analysis. In defining market,
look at both demand & supply side.
D. Measuring Geographic Market
1. US v. Grinnell Corp. (US, 1966) – burglary alarm case.
a. Found geographic market was nationwide b/c nationwide prices, discounts, terms, etc. Competitors operate
throughout nation. Even though individual customer must interact w/ home station w/in 25-mile radius of
b. Reasoning – “We see no barrier to combining in a single market a number of different products or services
where that combination reflects commercial realities. There is here a single basic service –protection of
property through use of central service station – that must be compared w/ all other forms of property
c. Where are competitors; where are potential competitors?
2. Relevant geographic market generally larger than existing area in which D sells. Issue is whether, w/ small
increase in price, firms in surrounding areas that not actually competing in geographic area at this time, would
be reasonably likely to enter market.
3. Four steps to calculate Share of Market:
a. Determine product market (cellophane v. flexible wrap);
b. Determine appropriate geographic market (regional v. national);
c. Determine total sales in market (both product & geographic market);
d. Determine D‟s sales in market
E. Monopoly Conduct
1. Exercise of monopoly power does not refer to monopolistic pricing, but rather to creation or preservation of
market power by means considered anticompetitive. These means are called “exclusionary practices” & are
activities that, when combined w/ market power, yield the offense of monopolization.
2. Barriers to Entry
a. United States v. United Shoe (D. Mass, 1953) – challenged lease agreements that United Shoe commanded
from lessees as barriers to entry. Lease terms held exclusionary.
(1) Ct found conduct exclusionary, not economically avoidable, honestly industrial, but sufficiently
exclusionary to arrive at monopolization under § 2. United‟s leases created barriers to entry: (1) lease
deters shoe manufacturer from disposing of United machine & acquiring competitor‟s machine b/c of
10-yr term of lease; (2) when replacing United machine at end of term, United gives favorable terms if
replace w/ another United machine; (3) United does not charge for repairs during lease term so that
there are no independent service organizations & other competitors are forced to offer same repair
services. Exclusionary features of United‟s leases were the 10-year term, full capacity clause, return
charges, & failure to segregate service charges from machine charges.
(2) Ct finds leases constitute “Ks, arrangements, & policies which, instead of encouraging competition
based on pure merit, further the dominance of a particular firm. In this sense, they are unnatural
barriers; they unnecessarily exclude actual & potential competition; they restrict free market.”
All the intent that is required in finding a § 2 violation is intent to engage in the practices, not intent to
(3) Held: (1) United has, & exercises, such overwhelming strength in shoe machinery market that it
controls the market; (2) strength excludes some potential, & limits some actual, competition, & (3)
strength not attributable solely to D‟s ability, economies of scale, research, natural advantage, &
adaptation to inevitable economic laws.
(4) Ct rejected remedy of dissolution. Ct determined leases should be purged of restrictive features –
terms shortened, full capacity clause eliminated, discriminatory charges removed, United Shoe
required to segregate charges for machines from service charges. Ct also instructed that United is to
offer for sale any machinery that it also offers for lease.
(5) Test for exclusionary conduct – “though „honestly industrial,‟ not economically inevitable.”
Creating jury instruction on this test is not easy. Must define „honestly industrial‟ & then define
(6) Three requirements for barriers of entry –
(a) Initial cost - must be some relatively high cost for prospective entrant to bear;
(b) Risk – must be significant risk of failure;
(c) Sunk cost – significant % of these cost must be unrecoverable in event of failure.
3. Problem of Strategic Behavior
a. Berkey Photo v. Eastman Kodak Co. (2nd Cir. 1979)
(1) Rule – After monopoly power found, second element of § 2 offense is “willful acquisition or
maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as consequence of superior
product, business acumen, or historic accident.” Mere possession of monopoly power not a problem
but cannot act w/ regard to competitors so as to smother them.
(2) Held – Use of monopoly power attained in one market to gain competitive advantage in another is
violation of § 2, even if no attempt to monopolize second market. Use of economic power creates
liability. Reasoning – Tolerate existence of monopoly power only insofar as necessary to preserve
competitive incentives & to be fair to firm that has attained position innocently. No reason to allow
exercise of such power, though, for detriment of competition.
(3) Berkey argued that monopolist has duty to inform competitors of new products & advancements in
order to allow competitors to compete. Ct rejected this. Might stifle innovation. Firm may normally
keep innovations secret from rivals as long as wishes, forcing them to catch up on strength of own
efforts after new product introduced.
(4) Does not impose on Kodak obligation to announce innovations in advance. Innovation itself is no
exclusionary action. Also, no violation of § 2 for Kodak to encourage sales of its new product
although it may have suffered certain deficiencies.
(5) Ct notes that Kodak proved no damage to itself from the complained-of activities.
b. Calif. Computer Products v. IBM (9th Cir., 1979) – P manufactured peripheral computer products
compatible w/ IBM. Charged IBM w/ “technological manipulation” of its products so as to exclude
CalComp‟s products from compatibility where such manipulation did not improve performance.
(1) Held – IBM, assuming it was a monopolist, had the right to redesign its products to make them more
attractive to buyers – whether by reason of lower manufacturing costs & price or improved
performance. Under no duty to help CalComp or other peripheral equipment manufacturers survive or
c. Drawing line b/w permissible innovation & impermissible exclusionary conduct is difficult.
d. Aspen Skiing Co. v. Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp. (US, 1985) – 4 mountains –offered six-day All-Aspen
lift ticket. Ski Co. owned three mountains; Highlands owned by another company. Ski Co discontinued
four mountain pass & offered only three mountain pass for its three mountains. Highlands sued Ski Co for
monopolization in violation of § 2. Jury found Ski Co. violated § 2, affirmed by 10 th Cir on grounds of
exclusionary conduct & duty to deal (essential facilities doctrine)
(1) Sup Ct said no affirmative duty to deal w/ competitors. But here, not dealing w/ monopolist refusing
to engage in cooperation proposed by competitor. Instead, monopolist elected to make important
change in pattern of distribution that had originated in competitive market & had persisted for years.
Ski Co‟s decision to terminate All-Aspen ticket was decision by monopolist to make important change
in character of market. B/c jury found no business justification for making this change, conduct was
(2) Exclusionary Conduct – comprehends behavior that not only (1) tends to impair opportunities of
rivals, but also (2) either does not further competition on merits or does so in unnecessarily restrictive
way. Conduct exclusionary on its fact, if justified by legit business reasons is OK. Whether
exclusionary does not depend on whether conduct hurts P but whether hurts customers – whether
impaired in unnecessarily restrictive means. Ct uses language “predatory” but Meyers says too
strong. Predatory (§ 1 conduct) not necessary to find § 2 violation – need only exclusionary.
(3) Essential Facilities Doctrine – not necessary to examine this argument b/c found liability on ground
of exclusionary conduct.
(4) Relevant Market – downhill skiing; geographic market – all ski destinations nationwide? All skiing
in Colorado? Just Aspen? Ct found submarket – may be more than one relevant, appropriate market.
Submarket is Aspen.
(5) Diff b/w “Attempt to Monopolize” & Monopolization – Intent relevant to both offenses. In
“attempt” circumstances, necessary to prove “specific intent” to accomplish forbidden objective –
intent that goes beyond mere intent to do act. In monopolization context, evidence of intent merely
relevant to question whether challenged conduct is fairly characterized as “exclusionary” or
“anticompetitive.” No monopolist monopolizes unconscious of what he is doing.
e. SmileCare Dental Group v. Delta Dental Plan (9th Cir. 1996) – no violation of § 2 b/c unlike Aspen Ski,
Delta Dental did not discontinue marketing arrangement w/ SmileCare. Distinction b/w refusing to deal
initially & terminating existing agreement in competitive market.
f. Submarket – not as large as primary market but is market in & of itself. Can‟t submarket just be ruled
primary market w/o confusingly distinguishing submarket from primary market?
(1) Idea for submarket came from Sup Ct in Brown Shoe – factors:
(a) industry or public recognition of submarket;
(b) products in submarket have peculiar characteristics;
(c) unique production facilities for submarket products;
(d) distinct customers;
(e) distinct prices;
(f) sensitivity to price changes;
(g) specialized venders for submarket.
(2) Meyers has argued submarket in situation where 6 competitors (4 coops & 2 privately owned
companies). Aruged submarket for private companies distinct from coops.
g. Essential Facilities Doctrine – if monopolist in control of essential facility, duty to deal w/ competitor.
Essential facility requires three factors:
(1) facilities must be essential to P‟s business survival in that particular market;
(2) facility cannot be practically duplicated;
(3) can be used by P w/o interference w/ D‟s use.
V. Oklahoma State Antitrust Laws
A. OK Const requires legislature enact antitrust laws. First enacted in 1910.
B. Revised in 1997
1. Four goals of revision:
a. conform as closely as possible as fed antitrust laws;
b. correct procedural deficiencies:
(1) old law required atty gen bring case in OK Sup Ct (no jury trial);
(2) enforcement powers – AG investigatory powers
c. repeal onerous provisions – unduly harsh penalties
d. repeal unconstitutional provisions
2. § 203A – like Sherman § 1 – except makes individual conduct able to violate Act b/c of word “act,” which does
not require agreement/conspiracy/etc. Has to be that way under OK const.
3. § 203B – mirror image of Sherman § 2
4. § 203C – essential facilities doctrine (Meyers argued against this as unnecessary b/c of fed precedent used to
construe our act)
5. § 205 – essentially same as fed except: (1) If state of OK is P (injured party) damages not trebled; but if OK
brings action on behalf of OK citizens, can treble damages; (2) Previously, AG had no power to intervene on
behalf of OK citizens.
6. § 210 – Meyers argues pro-business b/c: (1) provision if think AG oversteps bounds, can shut off investigation;
(2) FTC has same powers & have not used then in antibusiness ways – not many investigations lead to lawsuit.
(3) If AG does not have this power, forced to file suit in order to investigate all complaints. If able to
investigate, can work out w/o going to court. (4) In other contexts, OK AG has same power & has not abused it
nor has it resulted in more suits. Essentially, § 210 is more likely to result in fewer lawsuits rather than more.
Worth 2pts on final: Never marry man who won‟t clean up kitchen.