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In re Keurig Green Mt. Singleserve Coffee Antitrust Litig.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

April 3, 2019, Decided; April 22, 2019, Filed

14-MD-2542 (VSB)

Opinion

 [*208]  OPINION & ORDER

VERNON S. BRODERICK, United States District Judge:

Before me are four motions to dismiss filed by Defendant Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. ("Keurig" or "Defendant"),1 formerly known as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. and as successor to Keurig, Incorporated, in this multi-district litigation. This Opinion & Order addresses all pending motions, which seek dismissal of four separate amended complaints: (1) the First Amended and Supplemental Complaint of Plaintiff JBR, Inc. (d/b/a Rogers Family Company) ("Rogers"), a privately held roaster, packager, and seller of coffee products, which alleges that Keurig has engaged in anticompetitive practices that had the effect of excluding Rogers from the market for cups or pods used in Keurig's single-server brewer machines, (No. 14-CV-4242, Doc. 83 (the "Rogers Amended Complaint" or "Rogers AC")); (2) the Amended and Supplemental Complaint of Plaintiff TreeHouse Foods, Inc., a food manufacturer [**3]  operating in the United States, as well as its wholly-owned subsidiaries Plaintiff Bay Valley Foods, LLC ("Bay Valley") and Plaintiff Sturm Foods,  [*209]  Inc. ("Sturm") (collectively, "TreeHouse"), which claims that Keurig's allegedly anticompetitive practices excluded TreeHouse from the same market, (No. 14-CV-905, Doc. 86; (the "TreeHouse Amended Complaint" or "TreeHouse AC")); (3) the Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint of direct purchaser Plaintiffs Kenneth B. Burkley, Roger Davidson, Judy Hoyer, Benjamin Krajcir, James G. Long, Linda Major, Sally Rizzo, Henry A. Rocker, David Rosenthal, and Todd W. Springer (collectively, the "DPP Named Plaintiffs"), individually and on behalf of a class of direct purchaser plaintiffs, (collectively, the "DPPs"), which claims that Keurig's allegedly anticompetitive practices caused the DPPs to be overcharged for their purchases of cups or pods used in Keurig's single-server brewer machines, (Doc. 237 (the "DPP Amended Complaint" or "DPP AC")); and (4) the Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint of indirect purchaser Plaintiffs Yelda Mesbah Bartlett, Lavinia Simona Biasell, Linda Bouchard, Bouchard & Sons Garage, Inc., Jessica Searles [**4]  Cristani, Kathryn Pauline D'Agostino, Jonna Dugan, Michael J. Flanagan, Larry Gallant, Patricia Hall, Joseph Hurvitz, Jackson & Runyan, Certified Public Accountants, PLLC, Teena Marie Johnson, Darlene M. Kennedy, Lori Jo Kirkhart, John Lohin, Betty Ramey, Brier Miller Minor, David W. Nation, Patricia J. Nelson, Joyce E. Reynolds, Lauren Jill Schneider, Shirley Anne Schroeder, Rhett Montgomery Tanselle, Carey Rei Varnado, Constance Werthe, and Toni Williams (collectively, the "IPP Named Plaintiffs"), individually and on behalf of a class of indirect purchaser plaintiffs, (collectively, the "IPPs"), which claims that Keurig's allegedly anticompetitive practices caused the IPPs to be overcharged for their purchases of cups or pods used in Keurig's single-server brewer machines, (Doc. 238 (the "IPP Second Amended Complaint" or "IPP SAC")).2

Keurig, Inc. became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Defendant Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. in 2006, which merged into Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. on December 31, 2013. (TreeHouse AC 1 n.1.) I will refer to Defendant as Keurig throughout this Opinion & Order whether referring to Defendant, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, or Keurig, Inc. unless otherwise noted.

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383 F. Supp. 3d 187 *; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69487 **; 2019-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) P80,758; 2019 WL 1789789

IN RE: KEURIG GREEN MOUNTAIN SINGLESERVE COFFEE ANTITRUST LITIGATION. This Document Relates to All Actions

Subsequent History: Reconsideration denied by In re Keurig Green Mt. Single-Serve Coffee Antitrust Litig., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106199 (S.D.N.Y., June 25, 2019)

Prior History: In re Keurig Green Mt. Single-Serve Coffee Antitrust Litig., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199493 (S.D.N.Y., Sept. 19, 2014)

CORE TERMS

Keurig, antitrust, Competitor, Brewer, Cup, Compatible, consumers, enrichment, unjust, anticompetitive, Packs, patent, indirect, manufacturers, foreclosure, brands, quotation, advertising, unfair, monopoly, survive, distributors, monopolization, conspiracy, retailers, injunctive, tortious, overcharges, roasters, coffee

Civil Procedure, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Antitrust & Trade Law, Procedural Matters, Sherman Act, Scope, Monopolization Offenses, Private Actions, Standing, Requirements, Justiciability, Burdens of Proof, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Elements, Injury in Fact, Personal Stake, Remedies, Injunctions, Third Party Standing, Claims, Evidence, Admissibility, Circumstantial & Direct Evidence, Inferences & Presumptions, Inferences, Business & Corporate Compliance, Defenses, Inequitable Conduct, Anticompetitive Conduct, Infringement Actions, Misuse, Clayton Act, Scope, Presumptions, Rebuttal of Presumptions, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Exemptions, Consumer Protection, False Advertising, Lanham Act, Regulated Practices, State Regulation, Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices, Torts, Contracts, Intentional Interference, Business Relationships, Defenses, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Quasi Contracts, Contracts Law, Equitable Relief, Quantum Meruit, Special Proceedings, Class Actions, Certification of Classes, Class Members, Named Members, Preliminary Considerations, Standing, Federal & State Interrelationships, Governments, Courts, Creation & Organization, Judicial Precedent, Remedies, Legislation, Interpretation, Administrative Law, Agency Rulemaking, Rule Application & Interpretation, Validity, Trade Practices & Unfair Competition, State Regulation, Appeals, Appellate Briefs, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review