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  • Ninth Circuit Overturns Dismissal Of Antitrust Suit Against City’s Ordinance Allowing App-Based Drivers To Collectively Bargain
     
    05/22/2018

    On May 11, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court partially reversed the district court’s dismissal of claims brought by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of ride-share app companies, that a Seattle ordinance allowing for-hire drivers to bargain collectively violated and was preempted by the antitrust laws.  In an opinion by Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith, the Ninth Circuit held that the state-action defense did not protect the ordinance from preemption by the Sherman Act because:  (1) the State of Washington had not clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed a state policy authorizing for-hire drivers to fix the prices of their service fees when using a ride-share app; and (2) the active-supervision requirement of the state-action defense was not met.

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