The Limits of State Indirect Purchaser Suits: Class Certification in the Shadow of Illinois Brick

40 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 1999 Last revised: 22 Sep 2015

See all articles by William H. Page

William H. Page

University of Florida - Levin College of Law

Date Written: 1999

Abstract

In Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, the Supreme Court denied indirect purchasers the right to sue for a illegal overcharge, reasoning that concentrating the full right of recovery in direct purchasers would lead to more effective enforcement of the antitrust laws. But several states and the District of Columbia reject the federal rule and authorize indirect purchaser suits. State indirect purchaser litigation undermines Illinois Brick?s policy of efficient deterrence by providing fora in which indirect purchaser classes can sue for damages. In recent years, however, trial courts in many of these jurisdictions have refused to certify indirect purchaser class actions on the ground that issues common to the class did not predominate over individual issues. These cases cast doubt on the wisdom of state Illinois Brick repeals, because they suggest that only a small subset of all indirect purchasers of price-fixed products will satisfy the requirements for class certification. Consequently, despite the enormous burdens indirect purchaser suits impose on state court systems, such suits fail to achieve any meaningful compensation for those actually injured by price-fixing conspiracies.

Suggested Citation

Page, William Hepburn, The Limits of State Indirect Purchaser Suits: Class Certification in the Shadow of Illinois Brick (1999). Antitrust Law Journal, Vol. 67, No. 1, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=147513

William Hepburn Page (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

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