South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Foreign Buyers of U.S. Products May Assert Price Fixing Action in U.S. Court
Description Appeals court held that foreign buyers of vitamin products had standing to bring suit in U.S. court against U.S. vitamin manufacturers that were accused of being involved in an international price-fixing conspiracy.
Topic Antitrust
Key Words Price Fixing; Foreign Purchasers; Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Several foreign firms bought large quantities of vitamin products from several U.S. and foreign producers. The buyers contended that the sellers engaged in a cartel conspiracy to fix prices in international markets in violation of U.S. antitrust law and that of other nations. The district court dismissed the suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The buyers appealed.
Decision

Reversed. Under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act of 1982, when anticompetitive conduct has legally harmful effects on U.S. commerce, foreign plaintiffs who are injured by that conduct's effect on foreign commerce have standing to sue. Hence, the foreign purchasers of vitamins have standing to assert Sherman Act price-fixing claims against U.S. manufacturers if they can show that the manufacturers' conduct had a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on commerce in the U.S.

Citation Empagran S.A. v. F. Hoffman-LaRoche, Ltd., 315 F.3d 338 (D.C. Cir., 2003)

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