District Court Rejects application of FTAIA Where U.S. Subsidiary Allegedly Manufactured and Sold Price-Fixed Bearings at the Direction of its Non-U.S. Parent

The World in U.S. Courts: Fall 2014 - Sherman Act/Antitrust/Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA)

In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, August 26, 2014

Among other claims, Plaintiffs in this long-standing antitrust litigation alleged price-fixing in the market for automotive bearings, and sued a Japanese company, NTN, and its U.S. subsidiary, NTN USA.  Both entities sought dismissal from the case based on the FTAIA.

The U.S. District Court in Michigan concluded that the plaintiffs had essentially alleged that NTN USA had manufactured and sold price-fixed bearings in the U.S. at the direction of its parent.  The U.S. sales by a U.S. company did not involve international trade, the Court concluded, and so the FTAIA was inapplicable and was not a bar to claims.  Likewise, the FTAIA was not implicated by a claim that U.S. commerce was adversely affected by NTN's alleged direction of its subsidiary; that conduct did not involve U.S. foreign commerce at all.

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