Actually have a bit of knowledge regarding this, historically back to to the CAct and associated allegations/rulings since then. There have been some interesting once since then, believe it or not. Besides AntiTrust Rulings -- which are in some instances involved in the same situations -- stay outside of IT Industry, as much of it has DoD interest in the USA. Outside of it -- especially in Europe -- there are different issues.
More importantly, though, are Fortune 500 Companies who have gone through the same issues over the past 50 years and have either been able to get legal rulings in their favor or "arrangements" before then.
I'm under a couple of NDAs on these, but a couple to think about are 3M Corporation -- think of "ALL" of their divisions, as most people don't really know what they actually do -- Major Airline Engine/Private Plane manufactures, and another one for reference would smaller companies (at least in the 80s) which now provide huge staples in the US Economy for things as office products, Manufacturing, and other related.
A lot has changed, but for a long time in US History price-fixing has been a serious charge, albeit hard to prove. Until the more recent era (past 30 or so years) the government finally realized the national damage it could cause (mostly due to international competition, not to mention the taxation issue within the US -- read loss of USGovt Rev -- and also their own personal interests... and I need to leave that comment at that, just think 'big' on it).
Hope this gives you all some insight. There's a chance here for a settlement, and there have been some great points made by members -- though it will probably take all of the history, and compounded "intent to exclude" and "fix" pricing within the "fair market".
My best of luck to them.
Originally Posted by Andrew Jones
The filings are merely allegations and the language of the Acts themselves is not nearly as important as the interpretation the courts have given that language. Back in the 60s, the US Supreme Court (which not coincidentally was much more liberal at the time) defined a market under the Sherman Antitrust Act much differently than how it has been defined in recent years. Without getting into too much legalese, I think the chances of UD's actions being found to have substantially lessened competition (there are still several authorized internet retailers and hundreds of authorized B&M locations) or created a monopoly in the sports card market (assuming the court(s) define the market that narrowly; it wouldn't shock me if the market is defined more broadly to include, say, team merchandise that is also licensed by the various leagues) are almost zero. Topps and Panini are bigger companies with bigger market shares within the very same market.
Without getting too lawyery, the best example I can give would be what Apple recently did with the iPhone. If you wanted an iPhone, you had to buy it from one of the few authorized retailers (Apple, AT&T, etc.) and you had to have AT&T service. What wasn't that wasn't illegal or unlawful? IMO, it was because you could buy the iPhone from multiple retailers (even though, like UD, Apple placed pricing restrictions on those retailers) and because Apple didn't have a monopoly within the defined market which was defined as the broader mobile telephone market, not the more narrow iPhone market.