The US Justice Department has thrown its support behind one of Tesla’s key legal arguments in its ongoing lawsuit against the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association and other entities. Tesla alleges that these parties conspired to curtail competition by enforcing Louisiana’s ban on direct-to-consumer automobile sales, reported Reuters.
Tesla, the prominent electric car manufacturer led by CEO Elon Musk, had previously appealed the dismissal of its case back in June. In response to this appeal, the Justice Department filed an amicus curiae brief with the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The primary contention in their brief is that the trial court judge overseeing Tesla’s case wrongly interpreted antitrust laws when she dismissed the lawsuit.
The Justice Department’s filing, which mirrors a similar submission by Tesla the previous week, argues that U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance erred in her conclusion that Tesla needed to demonstrate the intent of members of Louisiana’s motor vehicle commission to suppress market competition.
Importantly, the government clarified that it was neither supporting nor opposing Tesla or its adversaries and held no position on the ultimate outcome of the appeal.
Both the Justice Department and Tesla’s legal teams maintain that U.S. civil antitrust law does not necessitate a demonstration of intent. They assert that imposing such a requirement would inappropriately limit the scope of antitrust law.