[Update: the FTC did file a reply brief. Link here]
All the briefs are in on the FTC petition for cert in its antitrust case against Rambus, (unless the FTC decides to file a reply brief, which is unlikely to change things much). I’ve added the Rambus opposition to the Rambus Group page on scribd.com, here. Now its time for the antitrust community to hold its breath and see whether the Court takes the case. Some knowledgeable commentators have opined that FTC/Rambus case has the best chance of any antitrust case obtaining review this year, but that plus a dime will get you …. well, nothing I guess. If the petition is allowed, it will be very exciting times for antitrust and standards setting law and policy wonks.
In federal court in Boston the Gatehouse Media v. New York Times case (described in these two (1, 2) earlier posts) has settled, as I suspected it would.… Read the full article
You would think that in a capitalist economy the right of one business to to say to another “I don’t want to deal with you” would be close to sacrosanct. And, you would be right, with qualified exceptions in cases where the party refusing to deal has monopoly power. Even then, the Supreme Court has narrowed the “duty to deal” to fact situations so limited that antitrust liability can be avoided with careful planning.
The two leading Supreme Court cases in this area of the law are Aspen Skiing Co. v. Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp., 472 U. S. 585, 601 (1985) and Verizon Communications Inc. v. Law Offices of Curtis V. Trinko, LLP, 540 U.S. 398 (2004). Post-Trinko, the consensus of the courts is that “refusal to deal” claims are viable only where there was no voluntary prior course of dealing between the parties, where the monopolist’s conduct increased its short term profits, or where the refusal to deal is used to monopolize an adjacent market.… Read the full article
I’d been planning to post a short summary of the legal issues in the FTC’s petition to the Supreme Court in the Rambus case, but I’ve noticed that Professor Michael A. Carrier of Rutgers University School of Law has done this, and done it brilliantly in a post published on the Patently-O Blog, so I stand down and defer to him:
In December 2008, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a petition for certiorari in the Rambus case. There are two central issues in the petition. First, what is the standard of causation needed to connect deceptive conduct with the acquisition of monopoly power? And second, do higher prices in standard-setting organizations (SSOs) present competitive harm? . . . [continue reading]
… Read the full article