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McWane, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
783 F.3d 814 (2015)
McWane, Inc. (McWane) (defendant) held 100 percent of the domestic pipe-fitting market from 2006 to 2009. In September 2009, Star Pipe Fittings (Star), an international pipe-fitting manufacturer, entered the domestic market. That same month McWane implemented a program to encourage its distributors to buy exclusively from McWane. Under this program, if a distributor did not buy exclusively from McWane, it would lose accrued rebates and be cut off from any McWane purchases for 12 weeks. McWane also raised its prices after Star’s entry into the market. By 2011 Star’s domestic market share had risen to 10 percent, but McWane retained the other 90 percent. Despite Star’s prices being lower than McWane’s, there is evidence that firms bought from McWane solely because of the exclusive-dealing threat. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (plaintiff) brought an enforcement action against McWane and found that McWane’s exclusivity scheme violated antitrust law. McWane appealed the FTC’s order.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Marcus, J.)
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