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Ninth Circuit Finds No Article 3 Standing in Customer’s Antitrust Suit against Amazon and Borders

Posted by : Matthew Wild | On : May 30, 2008

On May 27, 2008, the Ninth Circuit in Gerlinger v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 05-178328, 2008 WL 2169401 (9th Cir. May 27, 2008), affirmed dismissal of a customer’s challenge to the arrangement between Amazon and Borders whereby Amazon took over operation of Borders’ internet bookstore. Amazon submitted affidavits showing that the prices paid by plaintiff were the same or lower since the arrangement with Borders. The Ninth Circuit held that Plaintiff did not suffer any injury and therefore lacked Article 3 standing to pursue his antitrust claim. This case marks the second time in about one month that an appellate court has addressed the Article 3 standing of an antitrust plaintiff. The May 16, 2008 post discusses Ross v. Bank of Am., N.A., No. 06-4755, 2008 WL 1836640 (2d Cir. Apr. 25, 2008), where the Second Circuit found that the antitrust plaintiffs had Article 3 standing. Although the Ross plaintiffs had not instituted arbitration proceedings or otherwise had a dispute with their credit card issuers, plaintiffs nevertheless had challenged the arbitration provisions in credit card agreements claiming that these provisions were inserted in the agreements as a result of a conspiracy among certain credit card issuers. According to the Second Circuit, the existence of the offending provisions alone were sufficient to confer standing.

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