Victoria Sims co-authors amicus brief supporting the District of Columbia’s appeal in its monopoly case against Amazon.
Victoria Sims, Vice Chair of COSAL’s Amicus Committee, co-authored an amicus brief filed on January 30, 2023 in the DC Court of Appeals supporting the District of Columbia’s appeal in its monopoly case against Amazon. Other writers on the brief were Jessica Kahn, at Fine Kaplan and Black, and Kristen Marttila, at Lockridge Grindal Nauen and the amicus committee chair.
COSAL argued that the District of Columbia Superior Court misapplied Twombly and the Rule 8 standard when it held that, because the District had not specifically identified the first-party or third-party sellers who were Amazon’s counterparts in its scheme to eliminate competition in the online sales market through the use of Most-Favored Nations clauses, the complaint was not sufficiently plausible to survive a motion to dismiss. The brief explained that, if allowed to stand, the D.C Superior Court’s ruling will jeopardize both public and private enforcement efforts against powerful monopolists like Amazon, whose sellers avoid confrontations with Amazon at all costs, out of fear for their livelihoods. The brief drew on COSAL members’ expertise representing plaintiffs in private antitrust actions to elaborate on the fear of retaliation that can deter those affected by anticompetitive conduct from coming forward, and discussed evidence in a recent report by the House Judiciary Committee that such fears were particularly well-founded and well-documented with respect to Amazon. The Amazon section of the report was written by CGL partner Amanda Lewis. See Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law of the Committee on the Judiciary, 117th Congress, Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets: Majority Staff Report and Recommendations, 213 (Comm. Print 2022).
COSAL’s amicus brief was written up in a January 31, 2023 Law 360 article describing the amicus briefs supporting reversal of the Superior Court’s dismissal of the District of Columbia’s case.