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Tying Conspiracies

67 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2007  

Christopher R. Leslie

University of California, Irvine School of Law


Antitrust law has long condemned tying arrangements when they are imposed by a single dominant firm. However, tying jurisprudence does not recognize that tie-ins can also occur as the result of a conspiracy among competitors. Consequently, antitrust doctrine fails to appreciate the unique anticompetitive dangers of concerted tying arrangements. After providing real-world examples of tying conspiracies, Professor Leslie explains how concerted tying arrangements present a far greater threat to competitive markets than traditional, unilaterally imposed tying arrangements. Because tying jurisprudence evolved without considering the existence or effects of concerted tie-ins, the current test for evaluating the legality of tying arrangements is inappropriately lenient to tying conspiracies. This is completely inconsistent with one fundamental principle of American antitrust law: concerted action should be treated more harshly than unilateral conduct. Finally, the Article advocates per se illegality for tying conspiracies and argues that greater appreciation of concerted tie-ins can inform the ongoing academic debate about tying arrangements more generally.

Suggested Citation

Leslie, Christopher R., Tying Conspiracies. William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 6, May 2007. Available at SSRN:

Christopher R. Leslie (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Drive, Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States
949-824-5556 (Phone)

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