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US: Appeals court ends Chicago film studio’s antitrust suit

 |  October 20, 2019

A federal appeals panel has ruled an Illinois state agency didn’t violate antitrust laws in how it apportioned the state’s support for competing Chicago film studios.

Chicago Studio Rental and Chicago Studio Real Estate Holdings, which does business as CSC, accused Betsy Steinberg, former managing director for the Illinois Film Office (IFO), of steering business to their competitor, Cinespace. In September 2018, US District Judge Sara Ellis granted summary judgment in favor of Steinberg, the IFO, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO).

A three-judge panel of the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on CSC’s appeal in an opinion issued October 16. Judge Ilana Rovner wrote the opinion. Judges Michael Scudder and Amy St. Eve concurred.

In dismissing the antitrust claim with prejudice, Ellis determined IDCEO, IFO, and Steinberg, in her official capacity, all have 11th Amendment immunity protection. The panel said resolving the issue of immunity was irrelevant because it agreed with Ellis’ determination CSC didn’t adequately allege an antitrust injury.

Full Content: Cooke County Record

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