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Hub-and-Spoke Antitrust Conspiracies and the Classic Case of Toys “R” Us v. FTC

 |  February 26, 2020

Jarod Bona; The Antitrust Attorney

Like life, sometimes antitrust conspiracies are
complicated. Not everything always fits into a neat little package. An
articulate soundbite or an attractive infograph isn’t necessarily enough to
explain the reality of what is going on.

The paradigm example of an antitrust conspiracy is the smoke-filled room of competitors with their evil laughs deciding what prices their customers are going to pay, or how they are going to divide up the customers. This is a horizontal conspiracy and is a per se violation of the antitrust laws. Another, less dramatic, part of the real estate of antitrust law involves manufacturers, distributors, and retailers and the prices they set and the deals they make. This usually relates to vertical agreements and typically invites the more-detailed rule-of-reason analysis by courts. One example of this type of an agreement is a resale-price-maintenance agreement…

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