Third Circuit Finds Robinson-Patman Competitive Injury Between Functionally Different Products

September 01, 2007

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit handed down a controversial decision on the standard for proving competitive injury under the Robinson-Patman Act on August 14, 2007. The court held that two customers who were charged different prices by the same supplier were in “actual competition” for purposes of establishing competitive injury under the Robinson-Patman Act, even though they sold different products at different levels in the distribution chain. The result was that, under the Morton Salt doctrine, since the price discrimination was substantial and persisted over time, the defendant bore the burden of rebutting the presumption of competitive injury. 

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