U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Indirect Purchaser — Filed-Rate Doctrine
Simon v. Keyspan Corporation
Judges Walker, Lynch and Droney
Background: The plaintiff appealed from an order dismissing his federal and state antitrust claims against the defendant. The district court found that the plaintiff lacked standing because he was an indirect purchaser and that his claims were otherwise barred by the filed-rate doctrine. The plaintiff was a retail consumer of electricity and alleged that the defendants colluded to increase installed capacity prices.
Ruling: The Second Circuit affirmed. In upholding the district court’s holding, the Second Circuit noted that it would be nearly impossible for a court to determine which portion of an overcharge was actually borne by the direct purchaser and which portion was borne by a subsequent indirect purchaser. Further, the Second Circuit found that the filed-rate doctrine applied because the market-based auction process was circumscribed and reviewed by a regulatory body which determined the resulting rate to be reasonable.
Daniel J. Sponseller for the plaintiff-appellant; John H. Lyons, Tara S. Emory of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom for the defendant-appellee KeySpan Corporation; Jon R. Roellke of Bingham McCutchen for the defendant-appellee Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc.