Law360’s August 12 article “Outsiders Defend Calif. Class Action Law In Qualcomm Appeal” highlighted AAI’s amicus brief in Stromberg v. Qualcomm. From the article:
Advocacy groups and academics have assailed Qualcomm for trying to duck certification of an antitrust class estimated at 250 million U.S. consumers, telling the Ninth Circuit in amicus briefs that the chipmaker was attempting to “manufacture a policy conflict among state antitrust laws” to evade application of California law to a national class.
The American Antitrust Institute on Friday filed one of four amicus briefs supporting consumers against Qualcomm’s appeal of class certification. In it, the group, which advocates for robust antitrust enforcement, blasted Qualcomm’s attempts to claim that California’s Cartwright Act cannot be applied to the nationwide class because unlike California, many states haven’t created carveouts to the prohibition on federal law antitrust damages claims from so-called indirect purchasers.
“This court should reject Qualcomm’s effort to manufacture a policy conflict among state antitrust laws,” the AAI said.
According to the brief, “choice-of-law” rules mandate that claims over Qualcomm’s licensing practices be weighed under California laws, unless the company can show a conflict with the laws of other states. But the AAI maintains there is no conflict as it charted the differences between states that still follow the indirect purchaser bar created by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1977 ruling in Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois , and those who’ve repealed it.
“Follower states and repealer states are in harmony on substantive antitrust policy, and substantive considerations have primacy in conflict analysis. Follower and repealer states also are in harmony on remedial policy; they merely differ as to who may sue, which does not create a conflict under the governmental interest test,” the AAI said.