Filetech S.A.R.L. v. France Telecom

978 F. Supp. 464 (1997)

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Filetech S.A.R.L. v. France Telecom

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
978 F. Supp. 464 (1997)

  • Written by Heather Whittemore, JD

Facts

Filetech S.A. (plaintiff) was a French corporation that compiled information about consumers and sold marketing lists. France Telecom S.A. (defendant), a corporation owned and operated by the French government, provided telephone services to France and compiled databases of information about its customers to develop marketing lists. Under French law, individuals could opt out of allowing their personal data to be processed on computers. Any company found to have violated the law could be punished with criminal sanctions. To comply with the law, France Telecom made a list of its telephone customers who opted out of having their data processed for marketing purposes. France Telecom was the only company with the list and refused to share the list with its competitors. Filetech sued France Telecom in France, arguing that France Telecom had a monopoly on marketing lists that were safe for marketing companies to use. France Telecom asserted that French law prevented it from releasing the list to its competitors. In 1995, while litigation in France was pending, Filetech sued France Telecom in United States federal court, alleging that France Telecom violated § 2 of the Sherman Act by monopolizing the marketing-list industry. France Telecom moved to dismiss the case, arguing that the doctrine of international comity prevented the court from hearing the case and that the court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the case.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Haight, J.)

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