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Antitrust Law

9th Circuit is 0 for 6 Before the Supreme Court

Posted Feb 26, 2009 7:34 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection yesterday of an antitrust “price squeeze” claim is the sixth decision this term overturning or vacating decisions by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Supreme Court has yet to affirm a decision by the San Francisco-based appeals court this term, the Daily Journal reports (sub. req.).

The Supreme Court ruling yesterday rejected a claim that an AT&T subsidiary engaged in an illegal price squeeze by charging competitors steep wholesale rates for high-speed Internet service. The court said companies that operate at both the wholesale and retail levels have no duty under federal antitrust law to offer competitive wholesale prices, according to the Daily Journal story.

The 9th Circuit has a reputation as a liberal and often-reversed appeals court. Last term, the Supreme Court ruled against the 9th Circuit in eight out of 10 cases, the Daily Journal story says.

This year doesn’t look any better for the circuit, according to University of Pittsburgh School law professor Arthur Hellman. "At this point, it looks as though the 9th Circuit's reversal rate this term will be at the high end for recent years," Hellman told the Daily Journal.

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