Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Thursday, May 31, 2007

25 Years Later - Does the FTAIA Matter?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Huffman In a post Empagran world and with AMC recommendations on international antitrust, how does (and how should) the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act matter?  Max Huffman of the University of Cincinnati - College of Law provides a historical retrospective in his forthcoming article A Retrospective on Twenty-Five Years of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act.

ABSTRACT: Now twenty-five years after the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) was enacted as part of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982, the once-ignored statute has come fully into the fore. The FTAIA is inelegantly phrased; its opaque language has resulted in further confusion in an area of the law that was already confused and unsettled. The FTAIA is nonetheless massively important. Commentators and judges uniformly have noted the explosion in cross-border implications of U.S. antitrust enforcement. Since the mid-1990s, when the FTAIA was resurrected by foreign plaintiffs seeking the protection of U.S. antitrust laws and plaintiff-friendly procedures, numerous suits seeking billions of dollars in damages for harm suffered world-wide have been filed and consolidated into multi-district litigation proceedings. Litigation has occurred in federal courts at all levels, with the Supreme Court finally addressing the FTAIA directly in 2004 in F. Hoffman-LaRoche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A. And recently, the Antitrust Modernization Commission has considered the statute, declining to recommend it be amended, but noting the need for further clarity.

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