The US District Court of California denies motion to dismiss in a case of anticompetitive exclusive dealing on the market for digital photo services for the tourism industry (Pro Search Plus / VFM Leonardo)

Successful Mousetrap Builders Beware – Your Sales Contract Just Might Be “De Facto Exclusive Dealing”* Say you built a better mousetrap, the world beat a path to your door and now you have a high share of the mousetrap market. Let’s further assume that your customers find “the cost of switching [to another mousetrap] prohibitive” through no actions of yours. What else must you do to be accused of entering into a de facto exclusive dealing arrangement that might be anti-competitive? According to an opinion last month in Pro Search Plus v. VFM Leonardo (2013-2 Trade Cases ¶78,599; 2013 WL 6229141 (C.D. Cal.)), the answer is “nothing.” While it is just a denial of a motion to dismiss by one district court, the opinion and its reliance on the heavily-criticized ZF Meritor v. Eaton (696 F.3d 254

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Steven J. Cernak, The US District Court of California denies motion to dismiss in a case of anticompetitive exclusive dealing on the market for digital photo services for the tourism industry (Pro Search Plus / VFM Leonardo), 2 December 2013, e-Competitions December 2013, Art. N° 62174

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