Pillsbury has secured a noteworthy appellate win on behalf of American Media Inc. in long-running antitrust litigation brought by now-defunct magazine wholesaler Anderson News LLC. In an opinion posted on August 6, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a District Court decision granting summary judgment dismissing Anderson’s claims of purported collusion by numerous national distributors and magazine publishers—including American Media—to put it out of business. Anderson had sought more than $1 billion in damages.
In the opinion, which carefully reviewed the facts, the three-judge panel unanimously affirmed the District Court’s decision. Publishers simply sought to pay the lowest amount possible for distribution, the court concluded, choosing to take their business elsewhere rather than submitting to a fee hike that Anderson tried to impose.
“Anderson sought to significantly change the state of the market by suddenly seeking to impose a surcharge and setting an immediate deadline for publishers to take it or leave it,” the panel explained. “It is not surprising that defendants quickly rejected the proposal in favor of switching to existing wholesalers without surcharges, refusing to accept the terms of Anderson’s new business model.”
The Pillsbury team representing American Media in the matter was led by partners David Keyko and Eric Fishman and senior associate Jay Dealy.