Justia Energy, Oil & Gas Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Antitrust & Trade Regulation
Dynegy Mktg. & Trade v. Multiut Corp.
Plaintiff, a natural gas supplier, and defendants, a natural gas distributor and its executive, had a written contract. The relationship unraveled in the face of a failed acquisition, several million dollars' worth of unpaid invoices, and frequent disputes over pricing, inflamed by allegations that natural gas suppliers were manipulating the indices on which natural gas price quotes are based. The district court granted plaintiff summary judgment and ultimately issued a Rule 54(b) judgment on contract and guaranty claims and rejecting counterclaims. The court awarded $8,929,449 in pre-judgment interest on top of its damages of $13,693,943. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments concerning exclusion of an affidavit submitted by defendant, the alleged existence of additional oral contracts, an implied agreement to waive interest, and the sufficiency of evidence. Without something linking defendant's downfall to plaintiff's divulgence or inappropriate use of information in violation of the confidentiality agreement, there was no issue warranting trial on that claim. There was insufficient evidence of price discrimination in violation of the Robinson-Patman Act, 15 U.S.C. 13(a). View "Dynegy Mktg. & Trade v. Multiut Corp." on Justia Law
Kay Electric Cooperative v. City of Newkirk
The City of Newkirk and Kay Electric Cooperative both provide electricity to Oklahoma consumers. "When a city acts as a market participant it generally has to play by the same rules as everyone else. It can't abuse its monopoly power or conspire to suppress competition. Except sometimes it can. If the city can show that its parent state authorized it to upend normal competition [. . . ] the city enjoys immunity from federal antitrust liability. The problem for the City of Newkirk in this case is that the state has done no such thing." Kay sued Newkirk alleging that the City engaged in unlawful tying and attempted monopolization in violation of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1,2. The district court refused to allow the case to proceed, granting Newkirk's motion to dismiss after it found the City "immune" from liability as a matter of law. Upon review, the Tenth Circuit found that the state did not authorize Newkirk to enter the local electricity market as it did in this case. The Court reversed the district court and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Kay Electric Cooperative v. City of Newkirk" on Justia Law