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7th Circuit upholds antitrust suit dismissal

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by a U.S. District Court in Indiana which threw out a case involving Marathon Petroleum Company and its dealers because the dealers couldn't prove the company violated the Sherman Act.

The Circuit Court upheld the U.S. District Court, Southern Division of Indiana, Indianapolis Division's dismissal of John D. Sherman's complaint in John D. Sherman and S&D Holdings, Inc., on their own behalf and that of all others similarly situated v. Marathon Petroleum Company LLC and Speedway SuperAmerica LLC, No. 07-3543.

Sherman filed the suit against Marathon under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, charging the company with tying the processing of credit card sales to the Marathon franchise and also conspiring with banks to fix the price of processing these transactions.

Marathon dealers had to agree to process Marathon credit cards through a processing service designated by the company; the requirement only applies to Marathon's cards. Dealers are free to use other processing services for other credit cards, but would have to duplicate the system provided by Marathon. Marathon's processing system also can be used for other credit cards, so dealers aren't required to purchase other equipment.

Citing previous caselaw in their decision, the 7th Circuit found flaws in the plaintiffs' charge of illegal tying.

"The additional cost of using multiple card processing systems is not a penalty imposed by Marathon to force the use of its system, but an economy that flows directly from Marathon's offering its own credit card and credit card processing service," wrote Judge Richard Posner. "To call this tying would be like saying that a manufacturer of automobiles who sells tires with his cars is engaged in tying because, although the buyer is free to buy tires from someone else, he is unlikely to do so, having paid for the tires supplied by the car's manufacturer."

Sherman's kickback complaint makes no sense, wrote the judge, because if Marathon is forcing its dealers to pay a lot of money for processing credit card sales, this would only hurt firms that offer credit cards. Judge Posner reasoned that fee would be passed along to the customer in a higher gas price, which will reduce the demand for gas and the credit cards.

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  1. Good riddance to this dangerous activist judge

  2. What is the one thing the Hoosier legal status quo hates more than a whistleblower? A lawyer whistleblower taking on the system man to man. That must never be rewarded, must always, always, always be punished, lest the whole rotten tree be felled.

  3. I want to post this to keep this tread alive and hope more of David's former clients might come forward. In my case, this coward of a man represented me from June 2014 for a couple of months before I fired him. I knew something was wrong when he blatantly lied about what he had advised me in my contentious and unfortunate divorce trial. His impact on the proceedings cast a very long shadow and continues to impact me after a lengthy 19 month divorce. I would join a class action suit.

  4. The dispute in LB Indiana regarding lake front property rights is typical of most beach communities along our Great Lakes. Simply put, communication to non owners when visiting the lakefront would be beneficial. The Great Lakes are designated navigational waters (including shorelines). The high-water mark signifies the area one is able to navigate. This means you can walk, run, skip, etc. along the shores. You can't however loiter, camp, sunbath in front of someones property. Informational signs may be helpful to owners and visitors. Our Great Lakes are a treasure that should be enjoyed by all. PS We should all be concerned that the Long Beach, Indiana community is on septic systems.

  5. Dear Fan, let me help you correct the title to your post. "ACLU is [Left] most of the time" will render it accurate. Just google it if you doubt that I am, err, "right" about this: "By the mid-1930s, Roger Nash Baldwin had carved out a well-established reputation as America’s foremost civil libertarian. He was, at the same time, one of the nation’s leading figures in left-of-center circles. Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. Baldwin’s expansive civil liberties perspective, coupled with his determined belief in the need for sweeping socioeconomic change, sometimes resulted in contradictory and controversial pronouncements. That made him something of a lightning rod for those who painted the ACLU with a red brush." http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/biographies/roger-baldwin-2/ "[George Soros underwrites the ACLU' which It supports open borders, has rushed to the defense of suspected terrorists and their abettors, and appointed former New Left terrorist Bernardine Dohrn to its Advisory Board." http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1237 "The creation of non-profit law firms ushered in an era of progressive public interest firms modeled after already established like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") and the American Civil Liberties Union ("ACLU") to advance progressive causes from the environmental protection to consumer advocacy." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cause_lawyering

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