Working Paper No. 15-02: Aftermarkets, Exclusion, and Single-Serve Coffee

The Supreme Court, in the 1992 case of Eastman Kodak v. Image Technical Services, recognized the potential for consumers to be harmed when companies engaged in anticompetitive practices in aftermarkets. Since that time, most lower courts have ignored the Kodak holding and reasoning, and have been reluctant to find competitive harm in aftermarket monopolization or exclusionary conduct targeted at aftermarket competitors. As a result, there has been little, if any enforcement action involving aftermarkets. This working paper lays out the potential competitive harms that can occur in aftermarkets through the lens of Keurig’s practices in the aftermarket for single-serve coffee. Keurig’s practices has engendered demonstrate the need for both government antitrust enforcers and courts to take the Supreme Court’s mandate seriously.