Minn-Chem, Inc. v. Agrium Inc.

Most of the world's reserves of potash, a mineral used primarily in fertilizer, are in Canada, Russia, and Belarus. Defendants are producers with mines in those countries. Plaintiffs are direct and indirect potash purchasers in the U.S. They allege that producers operated a cartel through which they fixed prices in Brazil, China, and India, and that inflated prices in those markets influenced the price of potash in the U.S. Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that the district court lacked jurisdiction under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, 15 U.S.C. 6a. The district court denied the motion. The Seventh Circuit reversed. The FTAIA limits the extraterritorial reach of the Sherman Antitrust Act to foreign anticompetitive conduct that either involves U.S. import commerce or has a "direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect" on U.S. import or domestic commerce. Whether it blocks jurisdiction or establishes an element of a Sherman Act claim, the FTAIA bars this suit. The complaint alleged little of substance concerning the relationship between the alleged overseas anticompetitive conduct and the American domestic market. View "Minn-Chem, Inc. v. Agrium Inc." on Justia Law