ANTITRUST-STANDING

May 2nd, 2022 by Rieders Travis in Miscellaneous

Host Int’l, Inc. v. MarketPlace, PHL, LLC, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 11358  (3rd Cir. April 27, 2022) (Matey, C.J.)   Host lacked antitrust standing that is not adequately plead in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.  Host’s complaint claims a scheme to gain control over the sale of beverages at PHL by tying the PRA to leases for commercial space.  A successful MarketPlace would enjoy profits at the expense of PHL consumers and others.  What is alleged is unlawful tying and conspiracy, among other things.  The court finds no antitrust injuries.  Host was not excluded from PHL.  It chose to walk away from the table because it did not like the lease terms that MarketPlace offered.  A breakdown in contract negotiation is outside the Sherman Act.  Failure to secure preferred contractual terms is not an antitrust injury.  Refusal to deal can sometimes be an antitrust claim.  Host seeks something novel, recognition and failing to contract for commercial space states a Section 1 claim.  The court did not agree.  Host alleged harm truly only to itself.  While Host’s failure to plead antitrust standing defeats Section 1 claims, there is a deeper problem with the tying theory.  Host claimed that a lease provision limits the use of MarketPlace’s property which forces Host’s sublessees to purchase something they may not want.  The court found that just going too far.  The rule of reason analysis applied.  At bottom, Host alleged the proposed lease demanded purchasing non-alcoholic beverages under the PRA.  Contractual negotiations began the relationship between Host and Marketplace, and contract, not antitrust, is where that relationship ends. The antitrust laws prevent the consequence of an antitrust injury; they do not create one.  Whatever remedy exists for Host’s disappointment must lie outside the antitrust law which “is not intended to be as available as an over-the-counter cold remedy, because were its heavy power brought into play too readily it would not safeguard competition, but destroy it.” Capital Imaging Assocs., P.C. v. Mohawk Valley Med. Assocs., Inc., 996 F.2d 537, 539 (2d Cir. 1993). For that reason, we will affirm the judgment of the District Court dismissing the Complaint with prejudice.

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]

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