As part of the ongoing Uber antitrust litigation, Judge Rakoff granted today the defendants’ request to stay the proceeding pending an interlocutory appeal of his prior order denying defendants’ motion to compel arbitration (see our coverage here).
Judge Rakoff noted that the while the defendants had not made a “strong showing” that they would succeed on the merits, the need for clarity from the appellate court warranted a stay:
So what are we left with? Of the two “most critical” factors (the first [success on the merits] and the second [irreparable harm]), the defendants have carried their burden on one factor (the second factor) and have failed to carry it on the other (the first factor) . . . . In this unusual situation, the Court believes that . . . it can take account of still another factor: the need for further appellate clarification of what constitutes adequate consent to so-called “clickwrap,” “browsewrap,” and other such website agreements. Even if defendants do not prevail on their appeal, such a clarification will be materially helpful to this Court in the further conduct of the litigation. For example, . . . . [the] Court’s future consideration of class certification could also be affected, both because the agreement that is the subject of the Order also contains a class action waiver and because the outcome of the appeal might also bear on who determines the validity of that waiver. In these and other respects, the conduct of this lawsuit will be materially affected by the Second Circuit’s ruling on the pending appeal, regardless of whether the appeal is ultimately successful or not.
Our complete coverage of the Uber antitrust case is here.