Client Alert

| May 25, 2010

Supreme Court Rejects ‘Single Entity’ Antitrust Defense

In American Needle, Inc. v. NFL, No. 08-661, 2010 WL 2025207 (U.S. May 24, 2010), a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court sided with an antitrust plaintiff – a rare occurrence in recent years. The Court ruled that concerted action by entities with distinct economic interests is reviewable under Section 1 of the Sherman Act – even if the entities are working together to create a product that would not otherwise exist. The Court rejected claims that such joint activity should be viewed as the action of a “single entity,” exempt from antitrust scrutiny even under the Rule of Reason due to a lack of multiple actors required in order to engage in a conspiracy in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

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