On July 18, 2019, WLF urged the Seventh Circuit to affirm the dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit under the Supreme Court’s direct-purchaser rule. The appeal arises from an action by three healthcare providers who purchase medical supplies indirectly (through brokers and distributors) from the defendant manufacturer. Under the plaintiffs’ theory, an indirect purchaser can evade the direct-purchaser rule simply by alleging that distributors entered into anticompetitive contracts with manufacturers—regardless whether the distributor had any part in setting the allegedly inflated price or absorbed any of the alleged overcharge. As WLF’s amicus curiae brief argues, not only would the plaintiffs’ proposed “exception” swallow the rule, but adopting it would fly in the face of the Supreme Court’s caution that it would be counterproductive to create a “series of exceptions” to Illinois Brick.


July 18, 2019 brief