In an opinion yesterday, the Second Circuit affirmed Judge Forrest’s ruling (covered here) dismissing claims by consumer and commercial end-users who alleged that aluminum trading firms and warehouses conspired to increase the price of aluminum. The Second Circuit ruled that the plaintiffs lacked antitrust standing because they did not participate in the markets where the wrongdoing was alleged to have occurred:
[T]o suffer antitrust injury, the putative plaintiff must be a participant in the very market that is directly restrained. Usually, that market is the one in which the defendant operates, such as when the plaintiff is a competitor or consumer of the defendant, but sometimes the defendant will corrupt a separate market in order to achieve its illegal ends, in which case the injury suffered can be said to be “inextricably intertwined” with the injury of the ultimate target. Regardless, antitrust injury is suffered by participants in the restrained market (or markets).
Consumers and Commercials [defined as “commercial end users”] disavow participation in any of the markets in which the defendants operate. They did not store aluminum in the defendants’ warehouses; they did not trade aluminum futures contracts with the defendants; and they do not allege that any of the aluminum they purchased was ever stored in any of the defendants’ warehouses, or was the underlying asset for any of the defendants’ futures trades.
Our coverage of the aluminum antitrust litigation is here.