Roxul USA, Inc. v. Armstrong World Industries Inc.
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge Mark A. Kearney on 2/9/2018. (nmfn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
ROXUL USA, INC.
ARMSTRONG WORLD INDUSTRIES,
February 9, 2018
Competing manufacturers relying upon a limited number of companies qualified to
distribute their product to consumers may seek to induce the distributors' primary allegiance in a
number of ways which we do not consider unlawfully anti-competitive.
One effort which can
invite scrutiny is a manufacturer's exclusivity agreement with a distributor with penalties for
selling other products when the manufacturer enjoys a 55% market share and the market
continues to lose qualified distributors.
In addressing these issues in the suspended acoustical
ceiling tile industry, we today find a manufacturer with a smaller market share adequately pleads
anti-competitive conduct by a manufacturer with a much larger market share through exclusivity
agreements in the relevant market in the United States but not, as yet, in Canada and does not
plead a claim for tortious interference with contractual relationships.
In the accompanying
Order, we grant the larger manufacturer's motion to dismiss claims against it for anti-competitive
conduct in the Canadian market and for tortious interference but deny its motion to dismiss the
remaining claims under the Sherman and Clayton Acts subject to further discovery.
Roxul USA, Inc. and Armstrong World Industries, Inc. manufacture and sell ceiling tiles
and related products in the United States and Canada. I Roxul and Armstrong produce ceiling
tiles comparable in quality and function. 2 Ceiling tiles are used in both residential and nonresidential spaces, but the non-residential market accounts for at least 90% of the demand for
ceiling tiles. 3 Armstrong holds at least a 55% share of the ceiling tile market in the United States
and Canada. 4 In total, three firms, including Roxul, compete against Armstrong in the ceiling
tile market in the United States and Canada. 5
Ceiling tile manufacturers sell approximately 85% of their ceiling tile offerings through
distributors specializing in building project materials. 6
The vast majority of ceiling tile
consumers are building contractors purchasing materials for interior construction projects.
Contractors rely on distributors because they offer a wide-range of building material products in
addition to ceiling tiles and provide multiple offerings for each material type. 7 Distributors also
provide services such as same day delivery, logistical planning, product selection and installation
expertise, storage and stocking services, and a knowledgeable sales force. 8 Contractors rely on
distributors because very few contractors have the resources and network necessary to achieve
the same efficiencies as specialized distributors. 9
Due to market forces, regional and national
distributors have consolidated resulting in limited numbers of distributors capable of servicing
Roxul and Armstrong. Io
Roxul challenges Armstrong's actions with distributors to protect its market share in this
consolidating distributor market, including through exclusivity agreements. 11 Following Roxul' s
entry into this market in 2013, Armstrong expanded its geographic scope of the exclusivity with
some distributors from regional to national exclusivity or exclusivity throughout the United
States and Canada.12 Armstrong's exclusive distributors are not permitted to carry Roxul's or
other competing firms' ceiling tiles. 13 Armstrong polices its exclusivity arrangements by raising
prices to distributors who violate the exclusivity arrangement, enforcing liquidating damages
provisions, or refusing to supply its products to the distributors after the breach. 14 Armstrong
also threatens to retaliate against distributors who sell or attempt to sell Roxul and other
competing products in non-exclusive territories. 15 Armstrong also signed exclusivity contracts
with some direct purchasers. 16 Roxul alleges these steps allow Armstrong to raise its prices and
now charge more than 5% over competitive prices despite an overall decline in sales volume in
the ceiling tile market since 2011. 17
Roxul alleges Armstrong's exclusivity arrangements with building material distributors
violates the Sherman Act 18 and Clayton Act. 19 Roxul alleges Armstrong unlawfully obtained and
maintained a monopoly under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. In the alternative, Roxul argues
Armstrong is attempting to monopolize the ceiling tile market in violation of Section 2 of the
Sherman Act. Roxul also alleges Armstrong engaged in concerted action in restraint of trade in
violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act and Section 3 of the Clayton Act. Finally, Roxul
alleges Armstrong tortiously interfered with Roxul' s business relations with building material
Armstrong moves to dismiss Roxul's complaint. 20
Armstrong challenges Roxul's
definition of the ceiling tile market and argues we lack subject matter jurisdiction over foreign
commerce in Canada. Armstrong argues Roxul failed to allege it holds monopoly power in the
ceiling tile market. Armstrong argues its exclusivity arrangements with distributors are not anticompetitive because it has valid business justifications for exclusivity and it did not foreclose
Roxul from a substantial portion of the ceiling tile market. Armstrong argues Roxul failed to
plead antitrust injury. Finally, Armstrong argues Roxul failed to plead tortious interference with
business relations because it did not identify a contract Armstrong interfered with or identify a
prospective business relationship with necessary specificity.
A. Roxul fails to state a claim of antitrust violations based on foreign
trade under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act.
Armstrong challenges Roxul' s definition of the relevant market as "the sale of suspended
acoustical ceiling tiles ... sold in the United States of America and Canada."21
specifically challenges Roxul including ceiling tile sales in Canada.
Armstrong argues the
Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act ("Act") 22 prohibits our exercise of jurisdiction over
foreign conduct under the Sherman Act. 23 Roxul alleges it sufficiently plead the "domestic
commerce exception" to the Act.
The Sherman Act "shall not apply to conduct involving trade or commerce (other than
important trade or commerce) with foreign nations." 24 But there are exceptions for conduct
creating a "direct, substantial and reasonably foreseeable effect" on domestic trade or commerce,
import trade or import commerce with foreign nations, or export trade or commerce with foreign
nations. 25 The Act requires we determine the "geographical effect" of the alleged conduct. 26
The conduct at issue must also "have an effect of a kind that antitrust law considers harmful."27
Stated differently, conduct involving foreign trade falls within the Sherman Act if the conduct
has a "direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect" on domestic commerce and such
effect gives rise to a claim under the Sherman Act. When the proffered anti-competitive conduct
affects both customers outside the United States and within the United States but the adverse
foreign effect "is independent of any adverse domestic effect," the domestic commerce exception
does not apply and the Sherman Act does not apply. 28 "The [Act] requires a plaintiff to allege
that its claims were directly caused by the domestic effects of the conduct and not the foreign
"Courts discussing the 'direct effects' requirements of the [Act] have recognized that
'direct effect' means that there must be an 'immediate consequence of the alleged
anticompetitive conduct with no 'intervening developments.' "30 Allegations of conduct resulting
in a "ripple effect" on domestic commerce are insufficient to satisfy the domestic commerce
In In re Intel Corp. Microprocessor Antitrust Litig. v. Intel Grp., 32 the plaintiff argued the
defendant's anti-competitive conduct involving foreign commerce resulted in the plaintiff losing
foreign sales and weakened the plaintiff as a domestic rival to the defendant. 33 The court found
the plaintiffs argument insufficient to satisfy the "direct effects" standard. 34 The court described
the alleged effect as speculative and found the plaintiff failed to identify how the foreign conduct
resulted in a "substantial and direct domestic effect." 35 The court also discounted plaintiffs
reliance on pleading it is an American company engaged in foreign commerce, as courts assess
the geographical effect of foreign conduct as opposed to the location of the parties under the
Roxul fails to allege how foreclosure from the Canadian market because of Armstrong's
exclusivity contracts directly, substantially, and foreseeably affects United States commerce.
Foreclosure from the Canadian market certainly impacts Canadian commerce and consumers by
limiting their choice and reducing competition in Canada, but Roxul fails to allege how reduced
competition in Canada directly affects domestic commerce. Roxul argues its claim encompasses
injury to competition in both the United States and Canada. We agree, as discussed below,
Roxul has adequately alleged Armstrong's foreclosure of competition in the United States
market impacted domestic commerce. But under the Act, Roxul must allege how the foreclosure
from the Canadian market directly and substantially affected domestic commerce.
Roxul's allegations allowed for an inference the foreclosure from Canada impacted Roxul's
foreign sales thereby impacting its profitability and resulting in lost opportunity to compete
domestically with Armstrong, such effect would be speculative and insufficient to allege a direct
effect on domestic commerce. 37 Based on the present pleading, we can only fairly conclude the
effect from Armstrong foreclosing Roxul and other competing firms from the Canadian market is
separate and independent from the effect Armstrong's conduct created in the United States
B. Roxul pleads monopolization under the Sherman Act.
Roxul alleges Armstrong unlawfully obtained and maintained monopoly power in the
ceiling tile market through its exclusivity arrangements with building material distributors.
Armstrong argues Roxul's allegations of Armstrong controlling at least 55 percent of the ceiling
tile market is insufficient to plead monopoly power.
Armstrong also argues its exclusivity
arrangements are not anti-competitive and offers business justifications for the exclusive
contracts. Armstrong argues Roxul fails to state a plausible antitrust injury because Roxul only
seeks relief for injury to itself, not competition.
To plead monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, Roxul must allege "(l) the
possession of monopoly power in the relevant market and (2) the willful acquisition of
maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a
superior product, business acumen, or historical accident. " 38 "Monopoly power is the ability to
control prices and exclude competition from the given market." 39 To support an inference of
monopoly power, a plaintiff typically must plead "a firm has a dominant share in a relevant
market, and that significant 'entry barriers' protect that market." 40 Absent other factors, our
court of appeals has found a market share of 55% is typically insufficient to demonstrate prima
facie monopoly power.
Other factors to consider to determine whether a firm holds monopoly
power include, "the size and strength of competing firms, freedom of entry into the field, pricing
trends and practices in the industry, ability of consumers to substitute comparable goods or
services from outside the market, and consumer demand factors. " 42 Whether a firm can charge
"supracompetitive prices" is also relevant to determining monopoly power. 43
Anti-competitive conduct under the second element includes "behavior that not only (1)
tends to impair the opportunities of rivals, but also (2) either does not further competition on the
merits or does so in an unnecessarily restrictive way." 44 We apply the rule ofreason in assessing
whether the use of exclusivity contracts is anticompetitive. 45 An exclusive dealing arrangement
violates the rule of reason when the "'probable effect' of the arrangement is to substantially
lessen competition, rather than merely disadvantage rivals. "' 46 Roxul must allege the exclusivity
arrangement resulted in "substantial foreclosure" to the relevant market. 47 Foreclosure does not
become substantial by pleading a particular fixed percentage and courts look to whether the
exclusivity arrangement "bar[s] a substantial number of rivals or severely restricts the market's
"Exclusive dealing arrangements are of special concern when imposed by a
To plead antitrust injury, Roxul must allege it suffered the type of harm antitrust laws are
intended to prevent and the injury flows "from that which makes the defendants' acts
Roxul plausibly pleads monopoly power. Roxul alleges Armstrong holds a market share
"in excess of 55%." 51 Although an allegation of 55% alone may not be sufficient to allege
monopoly power, Roxul alleges a high barrier of entry into the market and Armstrong's history
of controlling prices despite an overall decrease in sales volume in the market. 52 Only three
companies compete against Armstrong in the ceiling tile market. 53 Armstrong has raised its
prices since 2011, despite an overall decrease in sales volume in the ceiling tile market. 54
Armstrong now charges 5% over competitive market prices. 55
Roxul alleges only a few
distributors are capable of servicing companies the size of Roxul. 56
Regional and local
distributors have consolidated with national distributors expanding the reach of the Armstrong
exclusivity agreements. 57
Roxul alleges Armstrong's exclusivity agreements with key
distributors prevented new competitors from entering the market and remaining competitive. 58
Viewing these facts favorably to Roxul as we must do at this stage, Roxul sufficiently alleges
Roxul plausibly pleads Armstrong's willful acquisition of monopoly power through
exclusivity agreements resulting in anti-competitive conduct. Armstrong argues Roxul fails to
plead substantial foreclosure in the ceiling tile market. Armstrong argues Roxul's claim the
exclusivity arrangements with distributors resulted in a 65% foreclosure to the ceiling tile market
is unsubstantiated. Armstrong argues under the facts alleged it can only theoretically foreclose at
most its total market share - 55%. Armstrong narrows its argument on the percentage alleged
but ignores the supporting facts. Roxul is not required to allege a specific foreclosure percentage
and we analyze all the facts in the complaint to determine whether substantial foreclosure is
Specialty building products distributors are a critical channel between manufacturers, like
Armstrong and Roxul, and consumers. 6
Ceiling tile manufacturers sell about 85% of their
ceiling tile product through these distributors. 61 Manufacturers rely on distributors because they
are able to efficiently manage the "logistical complexity of distribution services. " 62 Distributors
also provide a wide range of products to best meet consumer needs such as walling, metal
framing, grid systems necessary to install ceiling tiles, necessary tools for installation, and safety
accessories. 63 Distributors also provide supplemental services such as logistical planning, same
day delivery, product selection and installation expertise, and networking with local
Consolidation of distributors heightened the importance of ceiling tile
manufacturers' maintaining relationships with the limited number of distributors. 65
access to distributors, manufacturers lack access to a viable distribution channel end-users rely
upon to make ceiling tile purchases. 66
The exclusivity agreements prohibit distributors from selling competitor ceiling tiles
nationally or regionally, depending on the agreement. 67 Roxul also alleges Armstrong retaliates
against distributors who violate the exclusivity provision by charging the distributors higher
prices for its products, enforcing liquidated damages clauses, and choosing to stop supplying
Armstrong ceiling tiles to the distributor. 68 Armstrong's exclusivity with distributors coupled
with fear of retaliation for selling Roxul products forced distributors to stop carrying Roxul
products. 69 Roxul sufficiently alleges Armstrong's exclusivity agreements and its retaliatory
conduct foreclosed competition in the ceiling tile market.
Armstrong argues Roxul failed to allege substantial foreclosure because alternative
channels of distribution allow Roxul to reach consumers. Armstrong cites to Roxul's allegations
identifying direct buy contractors and big-box home improvement retailers as potential
alternative distribution channels. 70 But Roxul alleges very few direct buy contractors exist
because they lack the financial resources and expertise to establish the same value-added
services specialty distributors provide. 71 Roxul alleges big-box retailers are unable to service
most commercial projects because of their limited product selection and inability to provide
supplemental services. 72 Roxul alleges these distribution channels are not viable options to reach
ceiling tile consumers. 73 Armstrong also cites to Roxul' s allegation architects "spec" or specify
the brand of ceiling tile in 90% of interior construction projects. 74
Armstrong argues this
allegation proves the selection of ceiling tile brand is "in the hands of the consumer." Armstrong
argues Roxul could promote and sell its products to architects at the specification phase. But
Armstrong ignores Roxul's allegation when contractors attempt to fulfill an architect's spec from
exclusive distributors, the distributor attempts to change the Roxul spec to an Armstrong spec or
faces the risk of retaliation from Armstrong. 75 We accept Roxul' s allegations at this preliminary
Armstrong's factual defense regarding the availability and viability of alternative
distribution channels is best reserved for summary judgment or trial.
Armstrong argues it has a valid business justification for entering into exclusivity
agreements with distributors. Armstrong argues the pro-competitive effects of the exclusivity
arrangements outweigh the anti-competitive effects.
Armstrong argues its exclusivity
arrangements encourage distributors to more aggressively market Armstrong products.
Armstrong asserts exclusivity arrangements prevent "free riding on the substantial investments
that manufacturers (like Armstrong) make with distributors to promote their own products." 76
Roxul alleges sufficient facts outlining the anti-competitive effects the exclusivity arrangements
have on the ceiling tile market. 77 Weighing pro-competitive and anti-competitive effects is best
reserved for summary judgment or trial after the benefit of discovery. 78
Armstrong argues Roxul fails to plead plausible antitrust injury because it does not allege
Armstrong's conduct injured competition and Roxul's alleged harm is not casually connected to
Armstrong's conduct. Contrary to Armstrong's argument, Roxul alleges harm to competition in
the ceiling tile market.
Roxul alleges the exclusivity arrangements between Armstrong and
distributors foreclosed Roxul and other competitors from the ceiling tile market. 79 Armstrong's
exclusivity arrangements have prevented possible competitors from entering the market and
reduced consumer choice in the ceiling tile market. 80 Viewing the facts alleged favorably to
Roxul, we allow for a reasonable inference the injury to competition is casually connected to
Armstrong's exclusivity arrangements with building material distributors.
pleads antitrust injury. Roxul states a claim for monopolization under the Sherman Act.
C. Roxul pleads attempted monopolization under the Sherman Act.
Roxul alleges Armstrong's exclusivity deals are an unlawful attempt to monopolization
under Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Armstrong raises the same arguments it raised to Roxul's
monopolization claim: (1) Roxul has not alleged anticompetitive conduct and (2) Roxul has not
alleged antitrust injury.
To state a claim for attempted monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act,
Roxul must allege "(1) that the defendant has engaged in predatory or anticompetitive conduct
with (2) specific intent to monopolize and (3) a dangerous possibility of achieving monopoly
We consider many factors in determining whether a defendant has a dangerous
probability of achieving monopoly power including the size of the defendant's market share,
strength of competition, barriers to entry into the market, the nature of the alleged
anticompetitive market, the elasticity of consumer demand, and the probable development of the
relevant industry. 82
Determining whether there is a dangerous probability of achieving
monopoly power is "a particularly fact intensive inquiry." 83 "Courts typically should not resolve
this question at the pleading stage 'unless it is clear on the face of the complaint that the
'dangerous probability' standard cannot be met as a matter oflaw.'" 84
As described earlier, Roxul adequately alleges anticompetitive conduct through
exclusivity arrangements with distributors. The exclusivity arrangements foreclose competitors
from accessing a significant portion of the ceiling tile market. 85 Roxul's allegations also allow
for a reasonable inference Armstrong acted with the specific intent to monopolize. Armstrong
pursued exclusivity arrangements with key distributors in the ceiling tile industry and have
actively policed and enforced the exclusivity arrangements to the detriment of competition in the
ceiling tile market. 86 Roxul's sufficiently pleads monopoly power as discussed above, but in the
alternative, Roxul also sufficiently pleads a dangerous probability of achieving monopoly power.
Roxul alleges Armstrong's exclusivity arrangements prevent the entry of new competitors into
the market, foreclose competitors from a significant portion of the market, and allow Armstrong
to raise its prices despite an overall decrease in sales volume. 87 Only three firms compete against
Armstrong in the ceiling tile market. 88 Roxul sufficiently pleads antitrust injury of foreclosure
from a significant portion of the ceiling tile market.
Roxul states a claim of attempted
monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act.
D. Roxul pleads concerted action in restraint of trade under the Sherman
Act and Clayton Act.
Roxul alleges Armstrong engaged in concerted action in restraint of trade with building
material distributors in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act and Section 3 of the Clayton
Act. Section 1 of the Sherman Act prohibits every contract or conspiracy in restraint of trade or
commerce. 89 To state a claim under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, Roxul must allege (1) the
defendant was a party to a contract, combination or conspiracy and (2) the contract, combination
or conspiracy imposed an unreasonable restraint on trade. 90 To plead an unreasonable restraint
on trade, Roxul must allege the concerted action resulted in anticompetitive effects within the
Section 3 of the Clayton Act prohibits a firm from entering into exclusivity
arrangements where the effect of such arrangement "may be to substantially lessen competition
or tend to create a monopoly in any line of commerce."92 To determine the legality of an
exclusive dealing arrangement under the Clayton Act, we determine "whether the competition
foreclosed constitutes a substantial share of the relevant market." 93 Roxul relies on the same
theory asserted above: Armstrong's exclusivity arrangements foreclosed Roxul and other
competing firms from a substantial portion of the ceiling tile market.
Armstrong raises the same arguments it raised in defense to Roxul' s Sherman Act claims.
These arguments fail today for the same reasons.
Roxul sufficiently alleges a contractual
relationship. 94 Roxul also sufficiently alleges the contracts created an unreasonable restrain on
trade by foreclosing competitors from entering the market and foreclosing competitors from a
substantial share of the ceiling tile market. 95
Roxul states a claim under Section 1 of the
Sherman Act and Section 3 of the Clayton Act.
E. Roxul fails to plead tortious interference with business relationships
under Delaware law.
Roxul claims Armstrong tortiously interfered with its business relations by entering into
exclusivity arrangements with distributors and by prohibiting non-exclusive distributors from
purchasing Roxul and other competitors ceiling tiles. Roxul claims Armstrong interfered with its
existing and prospective business relationships. To the extent Roxul's claim is based on existing
business relationships, Armstrong argues Roxul failed to allege the existence of a contract
between Roxul and a distributor and failed to allege a breach of the contract. To the extent
Roxul's claims is based on prospective business relations, Armstrong argues Roxul did not
identify a specific party with which it held a prospective business relationship.
To state a claim for tortious interference with existing contractual relations, Roxul must
allege "(1) a contract, (2) about which defendant knew, and (3) an intentional act that is a
significant factor in causing the breach of such contract, (4) without justification, (5) which
causes injury."96 To state a claim for tortious interference with prospective business relations,
Roxul must allege (1) the reasonable probability of business opportunity, (2) the intentional
interference by the defendant with that opportunity, (3) proximate causation, and (4) damages. 97
To satisfy the first element, Roxul "must identify a specific party who was prepared to entered
[sic] into a business relationship but was dissuaded from doing so by the defendant and cannot
rely on generalized allegations of harm. "' 98 "While the plaintiff does not need to identify a party
by name, the plaintiff must do more than offer 'vague statements about unknown customers. "'99
"A plaintiff cannot plead this element by alleging a 'nebulous, unascertainable class' of business
relationships. " 100
Roxul fails to state a claim for tortious interference with existing contractual relations.
Roxul does not allege a contractual relationship between it and a distributor and does not allege
Armstrong's interference resulted in the distributor breaching an agreement with Roxul. Roxul
also fails to state a claim for tortious interference with prospective business relationships. Roxul
fails to allege a reasonable probability of business opportunity.
Roxul alleges Armstrong
prohibited distributors from selling Roxul ceiling tile products. 101
To the extent these
distributors sold Roxul products, interference with the distributors would not be interference with
prospective relations. It is unclear from Roxul's allegations if distributors sought to sell Roxul
ceiling tile products and Armstrong prevented these sales.
Roxul cites its allegation upon
information and belief "Building Products Distributors would prefer to carry multiple Ceiling
Tile brands." 102 But Roxul does not allege facts supporting an inference of a single distributor
prepared to enter into a business relationship with Roxul. These types of macro allegations
suffice for our Sherman and Clayton Act analysis, but not under the elements of tortious
interference under Delaware law. We are aware of no exception to tortious interference law in
the anti-competitive context.
Roxul fails to state a claim for tortious interference with
prospective business relations.
Roxul adequately pleads Armstrong's exclusivity arrangements in the United States'
suspended acoustical ceiling tile market violate the Sherman Act and Clayton Act. Armstrong's
fact defenses are best reserved for summary judgment or trial. We dismiss Roxul's claim for
antitrust violations to the extent Roxul bases its claim on foreign trade in Canada and its claim
for tortious interference with business relationships without prejudice should Roxul be able to
plead facts consistent with this Memorandum under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11.
ECF Doc. No. 1 at ifif 1-2.
Id. at if 19.
Id. at if 17.
Id. at if 39.
Id. at if 41.
Id. at if 28.
Id. at if 31.
Id. at if 32.
Id. at if 33.
Id. at if 37.
Id. at if 48.
Id. at~ 54.
Id. at~ 57.
Id. at~~ 58-59.
Id. at~ 62.
Id. at~ 68.
Id. at~ 74.
15 U.S.C. § 1, et seq.
15 U.S.C. § 12, et seq.
In deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), we accept all well-pleaded allegations in
the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party, but
we "are not compelled to accept unsupported conclusions and unwarranted inference, or a legal
conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Castleberry v. ST! Group, 863 F.3d 259, 263 (3d
Cir. 2017) (quoting Morrow v. Balaski, 719 F.3d 160, 165 (3d Cir. 2013)). "To survive a motion
to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face."' Edinboro Coll. Park Apartments v. Edinboro Univ.
Found., 850 F .3d 567, 572 (3d Cir. 2017) (quoting In re Vehicle Carrier Serv. Antitrust Litig.,
846 F.3d 71, 79 n.4 (3d Cir. 2017)). A claim satisfies the plausibility standard when the facts
alleged "allow the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Maiden Creek Assoc., L. P. v. US. Dep 't of Transp., 823 F .3d 184, 189 (3d
Cir. 2016) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). While the plausibility standard
is not "akin to a 'probability requirement,'" there nevertheless must be more than a "sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556). "Where a complaint pleads facts that are 'merely consistent with' a defendant's
liability, it 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief."'
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
Our court of appeals requires we apply a three-step analysis under a 12(b)(6) motion: (1) "it must
'tak[e] note of the elements [the] plaintiff must plead to state a claim;"' (2) "it should identify
allegations that, 'because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth;"' and, (3) "[w]hen there are well-pleaded factual allegations, [the] court should assume
their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief."
Connelly v. Lane Constr. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
ECF Doc. No. 1 at~ 6.
15 U.S.C. § 6a.
Our court of appeals instructs as the limitations contained in the Act are "substantive merits
limitations" rather than a jurisdictional bar. Animal Sci. Prods. v. China Minmetals Corp., 654
F.3d 462, 468-69 (3d Cir. 2011). Our court of appeals clarified challenges under the Act must be
decided under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim, as opposed to Rule 12(b)(l)
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Id. at 469. We assess whether Roxul states a claim under
the Sherman Act as to the foreign conduct at issue rather than assess whether we have subject
matter jurisdiction over the foreign conduct.
15 U.S.C. § 6a.
F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. v. Empagran S.A., 542 U.S. 155, 161-62 (2004); Animal Sci. Prods.
v. China Minmetals Corp., 654 F.3d 462, 465-66 (3d Cir. 2011).
In re Intel Corp. Microprocessor Antitrust Litig. v. Intel Corp., 452 F Supp. 2d 555, 560 (D.
Del. Sept. 26, 2006).
F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., 542 U.S. at 162; 15 U.S.C. § 6a(2).
F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd., 542 U.S. at 162.
In re Intel Corp. Microprocessor Antitrust Litig. v. Intel Corp., 452 F Supp. 2d at 561.
Id. at 560 (citation omitted).
Id. at 561.
452 F Supp. 2d 555, 560 (D. Del. Sept. 26, 2006).
Id. at 560.
Id. at 560-61.
Id. at 561.
See id. at 560-61.
In re Mushroom Direct Purchase Antitrust Litig., 514 F. Supp. 2d 683, 700 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 25,
2007) (quoting Crossroads Congregation Corp. v. Orange & Rockland Utils., Inc., 159 F. 3d
129, 141 (3d Cir. 1998)).
Broadcom Corp. v. Qualcomm, Inc., 501F.3d297, 307 (3d Cir. 2007) (citation omitted).
Id. (quoting Harrison Aire, Inc. v. Aerostar Int'!, Inc., 423 F.3d 374, 380 (3d Cir. 2005)).
See Fineman v. Armstrong World, Indus., 980 F.2d 171, 201-02 (3d Cir. 1992).
Id. (citation omitted).
Broadcom Corp., 501 F.3d at 307 (citing United States v. Microsoft Corp. 253 F.3d 34, 51
(D.C. Cir. 2001)).
Int'! Constr. Prods. LLC v. Caterpillar Inc., No. 15-108, 2016 WL 264909, at *8 (D. Del. Jan.
21, 2016) (citing Aspen Skiing Co. v. Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp., 472 U.S. 585, 605 n.32
See Eisai, Inc. v. Sanoji Aventis US., LLC, 821 F.3d 394, 403-04 (3d Cir. 2016).
Id. (citation omitted).
Id. (citation omitted).
ZF Meritor, LLC v. Eaton Corp., 696 F.3d 254, 271 (3d Cir. 2012) (citing United States v.
Dentsbly Int'!, 399 F.3d 181, 187 (3d Cir. 2005)).
In re Processed Egg Prods. Antitrust Litig., _ F.3d _,No. 16-3795, 2018 WL 671128, at *5
(3d Cir. Jan. 22, 2018).
ECF Doc. No. 1 at~ 39.
Id. at~~ 42-44, 48-50.
Id. at~ 41.
Id. at~~ 42-44.
Id. at~ 74.
Id. at~ 48.
Id. at~ 37.
Id. at~ 48.
See Eisai, Inc., 821 F.3d at 404 (identifying foreclosure does not become substantial at a
ECF Doc. No. 1at'if29.
Id. at 'if 30.
Id. at 'if 30.
Id. at 'if 31.
Id. at 'if 32.
Id. at 'if 37.
Id. at 'if 50.
Id. at 'if'if 54-57.
Id. at 'if'if 58-60.
Id. at 'if 65.
Id. at 'if'if 33-34.
Id. at 'if 33.
Id. at 'if 34.
Id. at 'if 35.
Id. at 'if 88.
ECF Doc. No. 10 at p. 23.
ECF Doc. No. 1 at 'if'if 71-75, 82-98.
See In re Wellbutrin XL Antitrust Litig., 868 F.3d 132, 170 n. 64 (3d Cir. 2017) (identifying
difficulty of assessing fact intensive rule of reason analysis, even at the summary judgment
ECF Doc. No. 1 at 'if'if 85-86.
Id. at i!i! 82-83, 95.
Broadcom Corp., 501 F.3d at 317 (citation omitted).
Id. at 318 (citation omitted).
Id. (citation omitted).
ECF Doc. No. 1 at i!i! 65-66.
Id. at i!i! 54-75.
Id. at i!i! 65-66, 72, 74.
Id. at i! 41.
Burtch v. Mi/berg Factors, Inc., 662 F.3d 212, 221 (3d Cir. 2011) (citation omitted).
UniStrip Techs., LLC v. LifeScan, Inc., 153 F. Supp. 3d 728, 739-40 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 28, 2015).
15 U.S.C. § 14.
u.s.c. § 1.
UniStrip Techs., LLC, 153 F. Supp. 3d at 738 (citing LePage 's Inc. v. 3M, 324 F.3d 141, 157
(3d Cir. 2003)).
ECF Doc. No. 1 at i!i! 54-56.
Id. at i!i! 66, 72-73, 75, 83.
Bhole, Inc. v. Shore Ins., Inc., 67 A.3d 444, 453 (Del. 2013) (citation omitted) (emphasis in
Organovo Holdings, Inc. v. Dimitrov, 162 A.3d 102, 122 (Del. Ch. Jun. 5, 2017) (citation
Id. (citation omitted).
Id. (citation omitted).
Id. at 122-23.
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