Does a Cartel Aim Expressly? Trusting Calder Personal Jurisdiction When Antitrust Goes Global
31 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2009 Last revised: 24 Jan 2012
Date Written: September 1, 2008
In recent years, plaintiffs have stepped up their use of the effects test from the 1984 Supreme Court case of Calder v. Jones to obtain personal jurisdiction over antitrust defendants. Under this theory, defendants may be haled into a forum, despite a lack of traditional contacts, because of anticompetitive effects that they expressly aimed at that forum. A review of the caselaw shows that although this theory works well with some types of antitrust allegations, the Calder analogy weakens when charges of broad-based anticompetitive conduct collide with the long-arm statutes of particular states. While at least one case attacking international price-fixing contains ample allegations of express aiming sufficient to satisfy the effects test, the Vitamins Antitrust litigation showed that the heightened requirements of various states' long-arm statutes precluded findings of Calder jurisdiction. The Note concludes with a review of public policy arguments that support a broader application of Calder to antitrust cases. The Note was the unanimous winning entry of the 2008-2009 Student Writing Competition sponsored by the American Bar Association's Section of Antitrust Law.
Keywords: antitrust, personal jurisdiction, Calder v. Jones, effects test, long-arm statute
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