A PYMNTS Company

US: FTC fights McWane’s plea for monopoly ruling review

 |  February 11, 2016

The Federal Trade Commission has pushed back against McWane Inc.’s request for the US Supreme Court to review the commission’s opinion that the company unlawfully maintained monopoly power through a rebate program for US-made iron pipe fittings, saying the Eleventh Circuit rightly affirmed its findings.

In a Feb. 5 opposition brief, the FTC urged the high court to uphold the Eleventh Circuit’s April decision backing a finding by the commission that McWane’s rebate program limited the ability of its primary competitor Star Pipe Products Ltd. to compete for manufacturing and distribution projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The panel held that McWane’s so-called Full Support Program — which threatened to take back rebate savings from distributors and cut off their purchases for three months if they bought fittings from Star — was actually an unlawful exclusive dealing policy that helped McWane maintain its monopoly in the domestic fittings market. McWane had filed a petition for certiorari in December challenging the ruling.

But in its opposition to the cert petition, the FTC said the Eleventh Circuit got it right and that the ruling didn’t conflict with any decision of either the Supreme Court or any other court of appeals, as McWane had argued in its petition.

Full content: American Metal Market

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