Thursday, August 3, 2017

Seattle's Collective Bargaining Ordinance Immune from Sherman § 1 Challenge by Uber, Lyft, et al

The court granted defendant City of Seattle's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' Sherman § 1 claims because Seattle was protected by state action immunity. The court first found that Seattle's ordinance was clearly articulated as a state policy. "The statute [from which the ordinance derives its authority] specifically states that 'it is the intent of the legislature to permit political subdivisions of the state to regulate for hire transportation services without liability under federal antitrust laws.' . . . The Ordinance, by its terms, is an attempt to exercise the authority granted by [this and similar] state statutes to ensure safe and reliable for-hire and taxicab transportation services within the City of Seattle. . . . The statutes on which the City relies clearly delegate authority for regulating the for-hire transportation industry to local government units and authorize them to use anticompetitive means in furtherance of the goals of safety, reliability, and stability. The state 'affirmatively contemplated' that municipalities would displace competition in the for-hire transportation market, a situation which satisfies the 'clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed' requirement for state immunity."

Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. City of Seattle et al, 2-17-cv-00370 (WAWD 2017-08-01, Order) (Robert S. Lasnik)

The above decision was reported in Docket Navigator's new Antitrust Docket Report.  Get yours free today at

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