Oral argument: Dec. 8, 2008
Appealed from: United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit (Sept. 11, 2007)
ANTITRUST LAW, SHERMAN ACT, COMPETITION, TELECOMMUNICATIONS, FCC
This case involves price squeeze claims and whether they are viable under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. In addition, the Court will likely determine if price squeeze claims must be pled and treated in the same way as traditional predatory pricing claims. This claim arose when linkLine, an internet service provider, sued its wholesale DSL supplier, AT&T, for engaging in anticompetitive practices in order to stifle competition in the California telecommunications market. The Ninth Circuit rejected AT&T’s argument that linkLine’s claim was not viable under antitrust jurisprudence, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Verizon v. Trinko. The Supreme Court’s ruling will determine the status of price squeeze claims in antitrust jurisprudence, and could also clarify how the costs of retail production of a vertically integrated company with a wholesale monopoly should be measured when considering retail predatory pricing claims.