During the past year, Virginia's federal courts published surprisingly few antitrust opinions. These few opinions indicate fact-specific analysis and little significant development to the law. However, the decisions reflect the continued difficulties faced by private antitrust plaintiffs alleging conspiracy claims and criminal antitrust defendants prosecuted for conduct which is illegal per se. Antitrust plaintiffs, however, have enjoyed measured, if only temporary, success. For example, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a grant of summary judgment against a durable medical equipment company alleging monopolization claims against a hospital and its affiliated medical equipment company. In another antitrust case, a district court accepted the arguments of a steel fabricator alleging monopolization and price discrimination by a major steel manufacturer, finding that factual issues precluded a grant of summary judgment. While these decisions prove beneficial to private antitrust plaintiffs, they have been tempered by decisions of the United States Supreme Court broadening application of the Noerr-Pennington antitrust immunity doctrines and requiring inquiry in all instances into defendants market power in attempted monopolization cases.
Michael F. Urbanski & Francis H. Casola,
Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Antitrust and Trade Regulation,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol27/iss4/2