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American Ad Mgmt., Inc. v. General Tel. Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

December 10, 1998, Argued and Submitted, Pasadena, California ; September 9, 1999, Filed

No. 97-55679

Opinion

 [*1053]  OPINION

TASHIMA, Circuit Judge:

American Ad Management, Inc. and O'Connor Agency (collectively "American") appeal the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of General Telephone Company of California and related companies (collectively "GTE"), in American's suit against GTE for asserted violations of the federal antitrust laws and related state law claims. We previously reversed the district court's award of summary judgment on the merits in favor of GTE. See American Ad Management, Inc. v. GTE Corp., 92 F.3d 781 (9th Cir. 1996) ("American Ad I"). On remand, the district court again granted summary [**2]  judgment to GTE, holding that American lacks antitrust standing. American appeals, contending that it has standing under the test set forth in Associated General Contractors of California, Inc. v. California State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 74 L. Ed. 2d 723, 103 S. Ct. 897 (1983), and theories based on American's participation in the restrained market and the fact that American's injury was inextricably intertwined with GTE's anticompetitive scheme. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we reverse.

GTE publishes telephone directories commonly known as Yellow Pages. Advertisers may purchase advertising space in the directories either directly from GTE or through an Authorized Selling Representative ("ASR"). American is an ASR.

Once an ASR receives an order for advertising space, the ASR purchases the space from the publisher. The publisher sells the space to the ASR at a lower price than that given to the public, thereby providing the ASR with a commission. By charging customers a price lower than the publicly available price, the ASR passes some of the commission on to the customers. This common practice is called [**3]  "discounting."

GTE is a member of the Yellow Pages Publishers Association ("YPPA"). In 1992, American filed suit against GTE, raising claims under § 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, other federal antitrust laws, and state law. 1 American alleges that members of the YPPA agreed to eliminate commissions on local accounts and to restrict the definition of national accounts on which commissions are still paid with the effect of ending the ASRs' practice of discounting with respect to local accounts.

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190 F.3d 1051 *; 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 21563 **; 1999-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) P72,648; 99 Cal. Daily Op. Service 7431; 99 Daily Journal DAR 9441

AMERICAN AD MANAGEMENT, INC., a California Corporation; O'CONNOR AGENCY, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. GENERAL TELEPHONE COMPANY OF CALIFORNIA; GTE DIRECTORIES CORPORATION; GTE DIRECTORIES PUBLISHING CORP.; GTE DIRECTORIES SERVICE CORPORATION; GTE NATIONAL MARKETING SERVICE CORP.; GTE DIRECTORIES SALES CORP., Defendants-Appellees.

Prior History:  [**1]  Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. CV 92-2810. LGB CV 93-3650 LGB. Lourdes G. Baird, District Judge, Presiding.

Disposition: REVERSED and REMANDED.

CORE TERMS

antitrust, advertising, competitor, damages, anti trust law, district court, discounting, consumer, alleged injury, prices, summary judgment, flows, yellow pages, commissions, speculative, factors, duplicative, publishers, customers, unlawful conduct, Sherman Act, space, lower price, anticompetitive, acquisitions, directories, purchasers, restrained, weighs

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment Review, General Overview, Standards of Review, Justiciability, Standing, Antitrust & Trade Law, Private Actions, Costs & Attorney Fees, Clayton Act, Remedies, Damages, Regulated Industries, Communications, Regulated Practices, Prioritizing Resources & Organization for Intellectual Property Act, Governments, Courts