More than fifty years after the Supreme Court’s decision in Hanover Shoe, Inc. v. United Shoe Machinery Corp. established the direct purchaser rule, the Supreme Court was provided with an opportunity in Apple Inc. v. Pepper to reevaluate and update the proximate cause standing requirement for litigation under § 4 of the Clayton Act. In the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision, the majority opinion established a rule that consumers who purchase directly from a monopolist satisfy the direct purchaser standing requirement notwithstanding the internal business structure of the monopolist. This interpretation of the direct purchaser rule, along with the recent reformulation of the proximate cause standing doctrine in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc., signals a more substantial change in the Supreme Court’s understanding of supply chains and competition that is more closely tailored to modern economic activity and electronic commerce.
Konstantin G. Vertsman,
The Direct Purchaser Requirement in Clayton Act Private Litigation: The Case of Apple Inc. v. Pepper ,
Cath. U. J. L. & Tech
Available at: https://scholarship.law.edu/jlt/vol28/iss1/3