On March 5, 2020, the Seventh Circuit reversed a trial court’s dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit under the Supreme Court’s direct-purchaser rule. The appeals court held that an indirect purchaser can evade the direct-purchaser 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. WLF’s amicus curiae brief had argued that the plaintiffs’ proposed “exception” would swallow the rule by inviting antitrust plaintiffs to litigate a series of exceptions to the rule announced in Illinois Brick. Fortunately for the defendants, the Seventh Circuit also held that the plaintiffs had failed adequately to allege any such conspiracy. The appeals court remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings.


July 18, 2019 brief