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  • Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Aspiring NBA Player Agent’s Suit Alleging NBPA And NBA Conspired To Prevent Him From Becoming An Agent
     
    01/18/2023

    On December 30, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court’s dismissal of an aspiring National Basketball Association (NBA) player agent’s suit against the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the NBA.  Rosel C. Hurley III v. National Basketball Players Association, et al., No. 22-3038 (6th Cir. Dec. 30, 2022).  Plaintiff alleged that the NBPA and NBA conspired to exclude him from the marketplace for NBA player agents.  The Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal, because it viewed the NBPA and NBA’s alleged actions as exempt from antitrust scrutiny under both the statutory and non-statutory labor exemptions to the Sherman Act.
  • No “Sham,” No Foul: Mattress Companies’ Agency Petitions Immune From Antitrust Liability, Finds District Of Utah
     
    06/02/2022

    On May 23, 2022, Judge David Barlow of the District of Utah dismissed claims against a group of mattress manufacturers who had filed antidumping petitions with federal regulators.  CVB, Inc. v. Corsicana Mattress Company, et al., No. 1:20-cv-00144 (D. Utah 2022).  Plaintiff alleged that defendants engaged in anticompetitive conduct including price fixing and interference with plaintiff’s business relationships in violation of the Sherman Act and the Utah Antitrust Act, in addition to Lanham Act and state common law claims.  The Court dismissed all claims, and in particular dismissed with prejudice those claims relating to defendants’ antidumping petitions, which it found protected under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine.
  • Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In State Hospital System Antitrust Immunity Case
     
    12/21/2021

    On December 6, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a Fourth Circuit ruling that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority, a North Carolina hospital system doing business as Atrium Health, counted as an arm of the local government.  The Fourth Circuit’s decision meant that Atrium was immune from antitrust liability, and the Supreme Court’s decision leaves a potential circuit split on the status of dominant quasi-public hospital systems unresolved.
  • Fifth Circuit Reverses Decision Of Immediate Appealability Of State Action Immunity Defense
     
    10/20/2020

    On October 2, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a district court’s ruling staying an administrative proceeding brought by the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (the “Board”).  Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Bd. v. United States Fed. Trade Comm’n, No. 19-30796, 2020 WL 5869072 (5th Cir. Oct. 2, 2020).  The Fifth Circuit found that the district court lacked jurisdiction to stay the FTC proceeding because the Commission’s order denying the Board immunity under the state action doctrine did not constitute final agency action under the Administrative Procedure Act, nor did the collateral order doctrine apply.  The practical effect of the ruling is the Board will be forced to defend its challenged regulation in the FTC proceeding before taking an appeal.
     
  • Tech Startup’s Antitrust Claims Against Professional Networking Site Don’t Get The Job Done
     
    09/29/2020

    On September 9, 2020, Judge Edward Chen of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed antitrust claims brought against LinkedIn by a tech startup that alleged LinkedIn exploited its monopoly power to deny the startup access to essential information it uses in providing analytics services.  hiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 17-cv-03301-EMC (N.D. Cal. Sept. 9, 2020).
     
  • Northern District Of Illinois Dismisses Antitrust Claims Relating To World’s Most Profitable Drug—Humira (Adalimumab)
     
    06/30/2020

    On June 8, 2020, Judge Manish Shah of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Eastern Division) granted AbbVie’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s Sherman Act claims because the allegations fell “short of alleging the kind of competitive harm remedied by antitrust law.”  In re Humira (Adalimumab) Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:19-cv-01873 (N.D. Il. 2020).  Plaintiffs are two separate classes of indirect purchasers in a consolidated class action alleging that pharmaceutical manufacturer AbbVie, in concert with competing biosimilar manufacturers (Amgen, Samsung Bioepis, and Sandoz), violated §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act by improperly exercising monopoly power over the market for the drug Adalimumab.
     
  • Southern District Of New York Sinks Sync Licensing Claims
     
    02/19/2020

    On January 29, 2020, Judge Denise Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted a group of music publishers’ motion to dismiss antitrust and tortious interference claims.  Downtown Music Publishing LLC et al. v. Peloton Interactive Inc., No. 1:19-cv-02426 (S.D.N.Y. 2020).  Defendant Peloton brought counterclaims alleging that the National Music Publishers’ Association, Inc. (“NMPA”) and its members (collectively, “plaintiffs”) had engaged in anticompetitive behavior including the refusal to deal with Peloton by denying sync licenses for music to be used in its exercise classes.  The Court dismissed defendant Peloton’s antitrust counterclaims for failure to state a claim due to lack of proper market definition and declined to allow Peloton an option to amend its relevant market allegations.
     
  • Northern District Of Georgia Rules On Antitrust State Action Immunity
     
    06/18/2019

    On May 8, 2019, Judge William M. Ray II of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued an order granting in part and denying in part defendants’ motion to dismiss.  SmileDirectClub, LLC, v. Georgia Board of Dentistry, et al., No. 1:18-cv-02328-WMR (D.N.G. 2019).  Plaintiff alleged that the Georgia Board of Dentistry (the “Board”) and its individual members (collectively, “defendants”) conspired to exclude non-dentists from participating in the market for orthodontic aligner treatment services in Georgia.  The Court found that claims against the Board were barred by sovereign immunity, while claims against individual members of the Board were adequately pled and survived dismissal.
  • The Ninth Circuit Affirms Implied Antitrust Immunity For USA Track & Field And The United States Olympic Committee
     
    08/21/2018

    On August 7, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court holding that USA Track & Field and the United States Olympic Committee were immune to antitrust liability for imposing advertising restrictions during the Olympic Trials for track and field athletes.  Gold Medal LLC v. USA Track & Field, No. 6:16-cv-00092-MC (9th Cir. Aug. 7, 2018).  The Court held that defendants were entitled to implied antitrust immunity because the advertising restriction was integral to performance of their statutory duties under the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act (“ASA”) to fund the U.S. Olympic Team.  Plaintiff alleged that the defendants’ anticompetitive conspiracy imposing advertising restrictions that excluded certain sponsors from the Olympic Trials for track and field athletes violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act.