Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Case of the Day: In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litig., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17135 (2d Cir. Sept. 20, 2016)


Chinese manufacturers of Vitamin C appealed the district court's decision to deny their motion to dismiss. Appellants argued that they were fixing prices, but only based on the express mandate of the Chinese government in the planned economy. The Chinese government appeared as an amicus curiae, and offered that Chinese law indeed mandated these instances of price-fixing.

The Second Circuit reversed. The court found that the district court abused its discretion by failing to defer to the Chinese government's interpretation of its own laws. Based on the Chinese government's interpretation, the Second Circuit found that there was a "true conflict" between the U.S. law and Chinese law, and held that the district court should have abstained from exercising jurisdiction out of consideration for international comity.


A rare victory for international comity! My forthcoming paper is about how U.S. courts frequently give no more than a lip service to comity while forcing foreign parties to violate foreign laws. It is nice to see that the Second Circuit agree with my conclusion and give greater deference to foreign laws and the foreign governments' interpretation of their own laws.

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