The indirect purchaser rule and private enforcement of antitrust law: A reassessmentClick here to read the full article online
Despite broad statutory language authorizing “any person” injured by an antitrust law violation to sue for damages, the Supreme Court of the United States has construed that language to bar antitrust damages claims by indirect purchasers, such as consumers two or more steps removed from antitrust violators. The Court and some scholars have justified the indirect purchaser rule on the ground that assigning direct purchasers exclusive rights to recover antitrust damages increases the likelihood of suit. But this article presents new evidence that the rule reduced private antitrust litigation by twenty percent. It argues that the rule should be abandoned, consistent with the statutory text.