Gas LDC Must Answer Antitrust Suit by Marketer

Fortnightly Magazine - January 15 1997
This full article is only accessible by current license holders. Please login to view the full content.
Don't have a license yet? Click here to sign up for Public Utilities Fortnightly, and gain access to the entire Fortnightly article database online.

By reversing a ruling by a federal district court judge, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has effectively reinstated an antitrust suit by a natural gas marketer against Washington Natural Gas Co., a natural gas local distribution company (LDC), charging the LDC with "off-tariff" pricing and other practices designed to favor commodity sales over transport-only customers who buy their own gas directly, such as from marketers.

In reinstating the complaint, the appeals court denied any "state action immunity" against antitrust claims. As the court explained, the proper test of whether state action immunity applies is not whether regulators may have "displaced competition in a market with a regulatory structure," but rather, whether the adopted system of regulation permits the alleged conduct.

This full article is only accessible by current license holders. Please login to view the full content.
Don't have a license yet? Click here to sign up for Public Utilities Fortnightly, and gain access to the entire Fortnightly article database online.