Logourl black
From our private database of 14,200+ case briefs...

In re High Fructose Corn Syrup Antitrust Litigation

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
295 F.3d 651 (2002)


Facts

In the 1980s, the market for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was highly concentrated, with five HFCS producers (defendants) accounting for 90 percent of sales. The HFCS products were standardized and fungible. In 1988, one producer raised its price, and the other four producers immediately followed. A class of HFCS buyers (plaintiffs) sued, alleging a price-fixing conspiracy in violation of § 1 of the Sherman Act. The parties agreed that the plaintiffs had to show an explicit, not merely tacit, agreement. The plaintiffs presented evidence that the defendants had excess production capacity, yet they still bought HFCS from one another and resold it to customers. Additionally, the defendants’ market share remained stable even as output grew. The plaintiffs presented noneconomic evidence in the form of statements from the defendants suggesting a conspiracy, including references to “an understanding within the industry not to undercut each other’s prices” and to new entrants having to “play by the rules.” The district court held there was not enough evidence for a reasonable jury to find the existence of a price-fixing conspiracy and granted summary judgment to the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 252,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.