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LePage’s, Inc. v. 3M

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
324 F.3d 141 (3rd Cir. 2003) (en banc)


Facts

3M (defendant) makes 90 percent of the transparent tape sold in the United States, known as Scotch tape. Competitor LePage’s, Inc. (plaintiff) makes transparent tape sold under retailers’ house brands. 3M offered rebates to customers who bought multiple 3M products bundled together. For major retailers, those rebates exceeded hundreds of thousands of dollars, or more than half of LePage’s total sales to the same customer. LePage’s also claimed that 3M made payments to customers to secure exclusive dealing. For example, 3M allegedly paid Kmart a $1 million growth reward to use 3M as its sole supplier. One buyer said he could not buy anything 3M made from LePage’s. LePage’s sued, alleging the exclusive dealing and bundling monopolized the transparent tape market in violation of antitrust laws. The jury awarded LePage’s almost $23 million. 3M appealed, arguing it could not violate antitrust laws without pricing products below cost.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sloviter, J.)

Dissent (Greenberg, J.)

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