A.G. Schneiderman Leads Multistate Group Urging Appeals Court To Maintain Strong Antitrust Enforcement Against Dominant Firms

New York’s Amicus Brief, Joined By 12 Other States, Urges Appeals Court To Affirm Decision By FTC Condemning Monopolist’s Efforts To Exclude Competitor From The Market

Schneiderman: We Will Continue To Defend Our Nation’s Antitrust Laws, So That They Can Continue To Be Strong Enough To Protect Consumers

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that he is leading a coalition of more than a dozen states in filing a friend-of-the-court brief urging a federal appeals court to maintain strong legal rules preventing dominant firms from improperly excluding their rivals from the market.  The case involves a dominant company in the pipe fittings industry that, when faced with a competitive challenge from a new market entrant, chose to lock the competitor out of the market instead of competing on the merits.  The Federal Trade Commission found that the company’s conduct violated the antitrust laws, and the states’ brief urges the court to affirm that decision.

“Dominant companies cannot be allowed to perpetuate their market positions by preventing smaller competitors from effectively accessing the market,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.  “A lack of competition – due to these sorts of exclusionary practices – leads directly to fewer choices and increased prices for hardworking Americans. We will continue to defend our nation’s antitrust laws, so that they can continue to be strong enough to protect consumers from these types of tactics.”

Attorney General Schneiderman’s brief was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit last Friday in the case of McWane, Inc. v. FTC.  The brief was joined by the states of Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The brief was prepared by New York Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood, Deputy Solicitor General Steven C. Wu, and Assistant Solicitor General Judith Vale, in collaboration with Eric J Stock, Antitrust Bureau Chief, and Matthew Siegel, an Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Bureau. The Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice is Karla G. Sanchez.

A copy of the brief can be read here.