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Volvo Trucks North America v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc.

Docket No.: 04-905
Certiorari Granted: Mar 7 2005
Argued: October 31, 2005
Decided: January 20, 2006

Topics:

Economic Activity, Antitrust

PartyNames: Volvo Trucks North America, Inc. v. Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc.
Petitioner: Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.
Respondent: Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Volvo Trucks North America, Inc.
v.
Reeder-Simco GMC, Inc.
546 U.S. 164 (2006)
Background:

The Robinson-Patman Act prohibits specified forms of price discrimination "between different purchasers" where the effect of "such discrimination" may be harm to competition "with any person who * * * knowingly receives the benefit of such discrimination."

Question Presented:

1. Whether an unaccepted offer that does not lead to a purchase - so that there is not "discriminat[ion] * * * between different purchasers" as the statutory language contemplates - may be the basis for liability under the Act.2. Whether the Act permits recovery of damages by a disfavored purchaser that does lose sales or profits to a competitor that does not purchase from the defendant, but does not lose sales or profits to any purchaser that "receives the benefit of" the defendant's price discrimination.

Question:

Can a seller be held liable for discriminatory pricing under the Robinson- Patman Act if the purchaser loses profits to competitors that do not purchase from the seller, but does not lose profits to any competitor that "receives the benefit of" the price discrimination?

Holding: reversed and remanded
Vote: 7-2
Opinion By:
Read VOLVO TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA V. REEDER-SIMCO GMC, INC. opinion (PDF)

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