Applied Antitrust Law

Dale Collins
NYU School of Law
Georgetown University Law Center

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Home page
Topical index
Case studies index

23. RPM

 

25. Joint ventures

 

 

24. Price Discrimination

 

Reading and class notes
Statute and significant precedents
Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc.
Promotional discrimination
Reference materials
Case studies

 
Primary Materials
Supplemental Materials

Reading and Class Notes

Reading and class notes
   

Statute and Significant Precedents

Statute

The Robinson-Patman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 13

Act of June 19, 1936, ch. 592, 49 Stat. 1526.

Significant precedents
 

Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc., 546 U.S. 164 (2006) (± Oyez)

Texaco, Inc. v. Hasbrouck, 496 U.S. 543 (1990) (± Oyez)

Falls City Indus. v. Vanco Beverage, Inc., 460 U.S. 428 (1983) (± Oyez)

J. Truett Payne Co. v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 451 U.S. 557 (1981) (± Oyez)

Gulf Oil Corp. v. Copp Paving Co., 419 U.S. 186 (1974) (± Oyez)

FTC v. Borden Co., 383 U.S. 637 (1966)

FTC v Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 363 U.S. 536 (1960)

Automatic Canteen Co. of America v. FTC, 346 U.S. 61 (1953)

FTC v. Morton Salt Co., 334 U.S. 37 (1948)

Bruce's Juices, Inc. v. American Can Co., 330 U.S. 743 (1947)

Price Discrimination
Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc.

Statute

Robinson-Patman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 13

 
Complaint

Complaint, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., No. Civ. 1:04-cv-00576 (M.D. Pa. filed Mar. 17, 2004)

Civil cover sheet
Rule 7.1 statement

Docket sheet (downloaded Jan. 9. 2010)

Expert testimony

Order, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., No. Civ. 1:04-cv-00576, 2006 WL 319284 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 10, 2006) (expert testimony)

 

Merits

Memorandum Opinion, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., Civil No. 1:04-cv-00576, 2006 WL 1274088 (M.D. Pa. May 4, 2006) (denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and granting defendants' motions for summary judgment)

Judgment (May 5, 2006)

 
Appeal

Opinion, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., No. 06-2661 (3d Cir. filed Aug. 14, 2007) (reversing summary judgment for defendants and remanding). Reported as 498 F.3d 206 (3d Cir. 2007)

 
Issues on remand

Memorandum and Order, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., Civil No. 1:04-cv-00576, 2007 WL 3085610 (M.D. Pa. Oct. 19, 2007) (issues on remand)

Order (Sept. 11, 2007) (requiring each party is to submit a letter brief concerning the issues remaining for trial)

Letter from Sodexho (Oct. 2, 2007)

Letter from Feesers (Oct. 2, 2007)

Burden of proof at trial

Memorandum and Order (Oct. 19, 2007)

 
Motions in limine

Order, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., Civil No. 1:04-cv-00576, 2008 WL 112005 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 9, 2008) (motions in limine)

 
Post-trial motions

Memorandum and Order, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., Civil No. 1:04-cv-00576, 2008 WL 4890030 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 12, 2008) (post-trial motions)

 
Judgment (bench trial)

Memorandum, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., 1:04-cv-00576 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 27, 2009) (judgment for plaintiffs). Reported as 632 F. Supp. 2d 414 (M.D. Pa. 2009)

Judgment (Apr. 27, 2009)

 
Contempt motion

Motion for Contempt and Temporary and Permanent Injunctive Relief (May 5, 2009) (proposed order) (proposed TRO)

Brief in Support (May 5, 2009)

Brief in Opposition (May 11, 2009)

Reply Brief (May 13, 2009)

Memorandum, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., Civil No. 1:04-cv-00576, 2009 WL 1475270 (M.D. Pa. May 26, 2009) (contempt motion)

Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., Civil No. 1:04-cv-00576, 2009 WL 1684650 (M.D. Pa. June 16, 2009) (denying stay)

 
Amended judgment

Memorandum, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., Civil No. 1:04-cv-00576 (M.D. Pa. June 30, 2009)

Amended judgment (July 1, 2009)

 
Appeal

Opinion, Feesers, Inc. v. Michael Foods, Inc., Nos. 09-2548 (3d Cir. filed Jan. 1, 2010) (vacating judgment for plaintiffs and and remanding with instuctions to enter judgment for defendants as a matter of law)

Petition for rehearing (Jan. 21, 2010)

Promotional Discrimination

Statute

Robinson-Patman Act §§ 2(c)-(e), 15 U.S.C. §§ 13(c)-(e)

Fed. Trade Comm'n, Guides for Advertising Allowances and Other Merchandising Payments and Services, 16 C.F.R. part 20 ("Fred Meyer Guides")

Fed. Trade Comm'n, Request for Public Comments (on modifying or withdrawing the Fred Meyer Guides).

 

Unpublished Opinion, Orologio of Short Hills Inc v. The Swatch Group (U.S.) Inc., No. 15-3024 (3d Cir. June 24, 2016)

Docket sheet (downloaded Oct. 24, 2016)

Brief (Jan. 13, 2016)

Brief for Appellee (Mar. 1, 2016)

Reply Brief for Appellants (Apr. 1, 2016)

Reference Materials

Recent secondary line cases

Bedford Nissan, Inc., No. 1:16 CV 423, 2016 WL 6395799 (N.D. Ohio Oct. 28, 2016)

Camarda v. Snapple Distribs., Inc., Nos. 04 Cv. 01273(CLB), 2007 WL 2702825 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 13, 2007), aff'd, 346 F. App'x 690 (2d Cir. 2009) (unpublished)

Innomed Labs, LLC v. ALZA Corp., 368 F.3d 148 (2d Cir. 2004)

RPA enforcement

± Ryan Luchs, Tansev Geylani, Anthony Dukes & Kannan Srinivasan, The End of the Robinson-Patman Act? Evidence from Legal Case Data, 56 Management Science:2123-2133 (Dec. 2010).

Commerce requirement

Moore v. Mead's Fine Bread Co., 348 U.S. 115 (1954) (holding that at least one sale must cross a state line)

Memorandum Opinion and Order, Fast & Easy Food Stores, Inc. v. Greene Beverage Co., No. 7:11-CV-1929-MHH (N.D. Ala. Nov. 4, 2013) (reported at 2013 WL 12136610)

Docket sheet (downloaded Dec. 23, 2016)

Complaint, Fast & Easy Food Stores, Inc. v. Greene Beverage Co., No. 7:11-CV-1929-MHH (N.D. Ala. filed June 7, 2011)

Amended Complaint, Fast & Easy Food Stores, Inc. v. Greene Beverage Co., No. 7:11-CV-1929-MHH (N.D. Ala. filed Dec. 16, 2011)

Stipulation for Dismissal with Prejudice (Feb. 17, 2015)

Order (Feb. 17, 2015) (dismissing case with prejudice)

Tangible commodities

± First Comics, Inc. v. World Color Press, Inc., 884 F.2d 1033 (7th Cir. 1989)

"Like grade and quality"

± FTC v. Borden Co., 383 U.S. 637 (1936)

Proscribed effect on competition

Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc., 546 U.S. 164 (2006)

Brooke Group Ltd. v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., 509 U.S. 209 (1993) (± Oyez) (primary line discrimination)

FTC v. Morton Salt Co., 334 U.S. 37 (1948) (secondary line discrimination)

Antitrust injury

J. Truett Payne Co. v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 451 U.S. 557 (1981) (± Oyez)

Meeting competition defense

Standard Oil Co. v. FTC, 340 U.S. 231 (1951)

Falls City Indus. v. Vanco Beverage, 460 U.S. 428 (1983)

Functional discount defense

FTC v. Fred Meyer, Inc., 390 U.S. 341 (1968)

Cost justification

United States v. Borden Co., 370 U.S. 460 (1962)

Bruce's Juices, Inc. v. American Can Co., 87 F. Supp. 985 (S.D. Fla. 1949), aff’d, 187 F.2d 919 (5th Cir.), mod., 190 F.2d 73 (5th Cir.), cert. dismissed, 342 U.S. 875 (1951)

Availability defense

± Mueller Co. v. FTC, 323 F.2d 44 (7th Cir. 1963)

Changing conditions defense

± Comcoa, Inc. v. NEC Tel., Inc., 931 F.2d 655 (10th Cir. 1991)

Economics of price discrimination

± Dirk Bergemann, Benjamin A. Brooks & Stephen Edward Morris, The Limits of Price Discrimination (Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 1896, rev. Sept. 2014)., final version at 105 Am. Econ. Rev. 921 (2015).

± Sylvain Weber & Cyril Pasche, Price Discrimination, 2 J. Indus. Org. Educ.article 3 (2008) (with supplementary powerpoint presentation).

± Yongmin Chen & Marius Schwartz, Beyond Price Discrimination: Welfare under Differential Pricing When Costs Also Differ (Dec. 23, 2012).

± Hans Zenger, The Marginal Price E¤ects of Antitrust Rules Against Price Discrimination (Apr. 24, 2012).

± Iñaki Aguirre, Welfare Effects of Third-Degree Price Discrimination: Ippolito Meets Schmalensee and Varian (2012)

± Sylvain Weber & Cyril D. Pasche, Third-Degree Price Discrimination: A Clarification (Apr. 29, 2008).

± Lars A. Stole, Price Discrimination and Competition (rev. May 2006).

± Wesley R. Hartmann & Ricard Gil, Why Does Popcorn Cost So Much at the Movies? An Empirical Analysis of Metering Price Discrimination (Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 1983, Jan. 2008).

± R. Preston McAfee, Hugo M. Mialon & Sue H. Mialon, Does Large Price Discrimination Imply Great Market Power?, 92 Econ. Letters 360 (2006).

± Mark Armstrong, Recent Developments in the Economics of Price Discrimination (Feb. 2006), final version at 2 Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications __(Econometric Society Monographs, Richard Blundell, Whitney K. Newey & Torsten Persson eds. 2006).

± James C. Cooper, Luke Froeb, Daniel P. O’Brien & Steven Tschantz, Does Price Discrimination Intensify Competition? Implications for Antitrust (2005), final version at 72 Antitrust L.J. 327 (2005)

± Shane Carbonneau, R. Preston McAfee , Hugo M. Mialon & Sue H. Mialon, Price Discrimination and Market Power (June 7, 2004)

Mark Armstrong & John Vickers, Competitive Price Discrimination, 32 RAND J. Econ. 1 (2001)

Hal R. Varian, Price Discrimination, in 1 Handbook of Industrial Economics 597 (Richard Schmalensee & Robert Willig eds., 1989)

Hal R. Varian, Price Discrimination and Social Welfare, 75 Am. Econ. Rev. 870 (1985)

Richard Schmalensee, Output and Welfare Implications of Monopolistic Third-Degree Price Discrimination, 71 Am. Econ. Rev. 242 (1981).

Promotional discrimination

 

Conditional pricing

± Lear Competition Note, Price Relationship Agreements: Economic Analysis and Implications for Competition (Nov. 2012).

Commentary

± E. Thomas Sullivan, Herbert J. Hovenkamp , Howard A. Shelanski & Christopher R. Leslie, Secondary-Line Differential Pricing and the Robinson-Patman Act, in Antitrust Law, Policy and Procedure: Cases, Materials, Problems (E. Thomas Sullivan, Herbert Hovenkamp, Howard A. Shelansk & Christopher R. Leslie, eds. 7th ed. 2013).

± Hagit Bulmash, An Empirical Analysis of Secondary Line Price Discrimination Motivations, 8 J. Competition L. & Econ. 361 (2012).

± Herbert Hovenkamp, The Robinson-Patman Act and Competition: Unfinished Business, 68 Antitrust L.J. 125 (2000).

Case Studies


Woodman's

Complaint, Woodman's Food Mkt, Inc. v. Clorox Co., No. 14-CV-734 (W.D. Wis. filed Oct. 28, 2014) (alleging violations of Sections 2(d) and 2(e) of the Robinson-Patman Act)

Docket sheet (downloaded Dec. 25, 2015)

Notice of Motion & Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Oct. 28, 2014)

Plaintiff's Brief in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Oct. 28, 2014)

Woodman’s Statement of Record Facts and Statement of Facts It Intends to Prove (Nov. 14, 2015)

Defendants’ Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Nov. 24, 2014)

Plaintiff’s Reply Brief in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction (feb. 18, 2015)

Opinion and Order (May 28, 2015) (denying motion)

 

Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint (Nov. 20, 2014)

Defendants’ Brief in Support of their Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint (Nov. 20, 2014)

Plaintiff''s Brief in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Nov. 25, 2015)

Defendants’ Reply Brief In Support of their Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint (Jan. 5, 2015)

Opinion and Order (Feb. 2, 2015)

Defendants’ Motion To Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint As Moot (Feb. 24, 2015)

Defendants’ Brief in Support of their Motion to Dismiss the Complaint As Moot (Feb. 24, 2015) (letter informing Woodmans of termination of future sales)

Plaintif'f''s Motion forr Leave to Amend Complaint (Mar. 20, 2015)

Plaintiff’s Brief in Opposition to Defendants’ 2nd Motion to Dismiss and in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint (Mar. 20, 2015)

Defendants’ Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint (Mar. 27, 2015)

Defendants’ Reply Brief in Support of their Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint As Moot (Mar. 30, 2015)

Plaintiff's Reply Brief' n Support of Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint (Apr. 3, 2015)

Opinion and Order (Apr. 27, 2015) (denying defendant's motion to dismiss and granting plaintiff's motion for leave to amend complaint)

Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (Apr. 28, 2015)

Defendants’ Motion to Certify for Interlocutory Appeal the Court’s Orders Denying Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss (May 22, 2015)

Defendants’ Memorandum in Support of their Motion to Certify for Interlocutory Appeal the Court’s Orders Denying Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss (May 22, 2015)

Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Certify for Interlocutory Appeal of the Court's Orders Denying Def'endants' Motions to Dismiss (June 2, 2015)

Defendants’ Reply Brief in Support of their Motion to Certify the Court’s Orders for Interlocutory Appeal (June 12, 2015)

Opinion and Order (July 17, 2015)

Notice of Motion & Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Order Certifiying f'or Interlocutory Appeal Its Orders Denying Defendants' Motions o Dismiss (July 23, 2015)

Plaintiffos Memorandum in Support of Its Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Order Certifying for Interlocutory Appeal Its Orders Denying Def'endants' Motions to Dismiss (July 23, 2015)

Defendants’ Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’S Order Certifying for Interlocutory Appeal Its Orders Denying Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss (July 30, 2015)

Opinion and Order (Aug. 13, 2015) (denying plaintiff's motion for reconsideration and granting defendants' motion to stay all proceedings pending appellate review)

 

Seventh Circuit (interlocutory appeal)

Woodman's Food Mkt, Inc. v. Clorox Co., Misc. Dkt. No. 15-8016 (7th Cir. docketed Sept. 14, 2015)

Docket sheet No. 15-8016 (downloaded Dec. 25, 2015)

Petition for Permission to Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) (July 27, 2015)

Plaintiff’s-Respondent’s Response in Opposition to Defendants’-Petitioners’ Petition for Permission to Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) (Aug. 6, 2015)

Motion for Leave to File Reply in Support of Petition for Permission to Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) (Aug. 13, 2015)

Reply in Support of Petition for Permission to Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) (Aug. 13, 2015)

Plaintiff’s-Respondent’s Motion for Leave to File Sur-Reply Brief in Response to Defendant’s-Petitioner’s Petition for Permission to Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) (Aug. 14, 2015)

Plaintiff’s-Respondent’s Sur-Reply Brief in Response to Defendants’-Petitioners’ Petition for Permission to Appeal Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) (Aug. 14, 2015)

Order (Sept. 8, 2015) (granting permission to appeal)

 

Woodman's Food Mkt, Inc. v. Clorox Co., No. 15-3001 (7th Cir. docketed Sept. 14, 2015)

Docket sheet No. 15-3001 (downloaded Dec. 25, 2015)

Brief for Defendants-Appellants The Clorox Company and The Clorox Sales Company (Oct. 26, 2015)

Brief of Amicus Curiae the Federal Trade Commission in Support of Defendants-Appellants and Reversal (Nov. 2, 2015)

Response Brief of Palintiff-Appellee Woodman's Food Market, Inc.. (Nov. 25, 2015)

Brief for Amicus Curiae National Grocers Association in Support of Plaintiff-Appellee and for Affirmance (Dec. 2, 2015)

Corrected Brief for Amicus Curiae National Grocers Association in Support of Plaintiff-Appellee and for Affirmance (Dec. 7, 2015)

Reply Brief for Defendants-Appellants The Clorox Company and The Clorox Sales Company (Dec. 23, 2015)

± Argued (Feb. 12, 2016)

Opinion, Woodman's Food Mkt, Inc. v. Clorox Co., No. 15-3001 (7th Cir. Aug. 12, 2016) (reported at 833 F.3d 743)

Satbam Distributors
(private 2015)

Complaint, Satnam Distribs. LLC v. Commonwealth-Altadis, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-06660-JCJ (E.D. Pa. filed Nov. 20, 2015)

Docket sheet (downloaded June 12, 2016)

Motions to dismiss

Defendants Commonwealth-Altadis, Inc.'s, Commonwealth Brands, Inc.'s, and Altadis, U.S.A., Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (Feb. 12, 2015)

Defendants Commonwealth-Altadis, Inc.'s, Commonwealth Brands, Inc.'s, and Altadis, U.S.A., Inc.'s Memorandum of Law In Support of their Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint (Feb. 12, 2015)

Proposed Order (Feb. 12, 2015)

Defendant Harold Levinson Associates, Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint for Failure to State a Claim (Feb. 12, 2015)

Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss (Apr. 13, 2015)

Reply Memorandum of Defendants Commonwealth-Altadis, Inc., Commonwealth Brands, Inc., and Altadis, U.S.A., Inc. in Support of their Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint (May 13, 2015)

Defendant Harold Levinson Associates, Inc.’s Reply Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint (May 13, 2015)

Transcript of Motion to Dismiss Hearing (July 22, 2015)

Memorandum (Oct. 14, 2015) (reported at 140 F. Supp. 3d 405)

Order (Oct. 14, 2015)

Answers

Answer of Defendants Commonwealth-Altadis, Inc., Commonwealth Brands, Inc., and Altadis U.S.A. Inc. to Complaint (Nov. 17, 2015)

Defendant Harold Levinson Associates, Inc.’s Answer to Plaintiff’s Complaint (Nov. 17, 2015)

Drug Mart

District court

Drug Mart Pharmacy Corp. v. American Home Prods. Corp., 472 F. Supp. 2d 385 (E.D.N.Y. 2007) (denying summary judgment on the Section 2(a) and 2(d) liability claims but granting granted summary judgment on claims for damages and injunctive relief because the designated plaintiffs failed to show that they, individually, suffered antitrust injury), amended by 2007 WL 4526618 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 20, 2007).

Note: After these judgments, 3,700 non‐designated plaintiff pharmacies at 3,987 locations remained. Of the plaintiff locations, 3,101 concluded that they would not be able to identify lost customers and filed stipulations of dismissal with prejudice. Drug Mart Pharmacy Corp., 2012 3 WL 3544771, at *1 n.2.

Drug Mart Pharmacy Corp. v. American Home Prods. Corp., No. 93-CV-5148 (ILG), 2012 WL 3544771 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 16, 2012) (granting summary judgment to defendants for failure to prove injury to competition and antitrust injury to plaintiffs)

Notice of Appeal (Nov. 20, 2012)

Second Circuit

Appeal docketed (Nov. 28, 2012)

Docket sheet (downloaded Sept. 19, 2015)

Brief and Special Appendix for Plaintiff-Appellant (Jan. 17, 2014)

Brief for Defendants-Appellees (Apor. 15, 2014)

Reply Brief for Plaintiffs-Appellants (Apr. 29, 2015)

Cash & Henderson Drugs v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 12-4689-cv (2d Cir. Aug. 27, 2015) (reported at 799 F.3d 202), aff'g sub nom. Drug Mart Pharmacy Corp. v. American Home Prods. Corp., No. 93-CV-5148 (ILG), 2012 WL 3544771 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 16, 2012)

 

23. RPM

25. Joint ventures