State Antitrust Law in Action

A predatory pricing case in California under Section 17043 results in a $21 million fine awarded to one newspaper, the Bay Guardian, in a suit against a competitor, San Francisco Weekly (HT: Reason).  The suit alleged that the SF Weekly was selling advertising below cost for the purpose of harming a competitor.  A summary of the appellate decision (available here): No recoupment, no market power, no harm to competition, no problem.  One of the benefits of those requirements for predatory pricing claims under the Sherman Act is to minimize the use of litigation to subvert the competitive process.  No such luck under California law.  To get a sense of how different operation of 17043 from conventional federal antitrust analysis, consider the following excerpt from the opinion…

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