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Seventh Circuit Takes Broad View Of FTAIA

In a much-awaited decision, the Seventh Circuit has taken a broad view of the ability of U.S. courts to hear antitrust cases concerning alleged foreign cartel activity that plaintiffs contend has effects in the U.S. The Courts ruling reviving a cartel case in the potash industry is likely to make it easier for future litigants to sue foreign defendants in U.S. courts for alleged cartel activity occurring overseas.

The decision also can be expected to have implications on criminal cartel investigations launched by the Department of Justice. By expressly adopting the Departments interpretation of what constitutes commerce having direct effects on the U.S., the decision will further bolster the Departments cartel enforcement activities, which have focused increasingly in recent years on foreign-based cartel activity that the Department contends has had effects in the U.S.


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