Judge Richard M. Berman of the Southern District of New York dismissed with prejudice antitrust claims brought against Paul, Weiss client Acumen Brands, Inc., an online western-wear retailer. The plaintiff, Sell it Social, which is a competing online retailer also selling western lifestyle goods and apparel, claimed that Acumen violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act by notifying suppliers that Sell it Social had stolen Acumen's intellectual property by copying its website and by allegedly encouraging suppliers not to do business with Sell It Social. Judge Berman rejected those claims.
Echoing much of the reasoning in our motion to dismiss, Judge Berman held that Sell it Social failed to allege antitrust injury because it failed to allege an adverse effect on competition market-wide, as opposed to an effect on just Sell it Social itself, and because Acumen's alleged efforts to persuade suppliers not to do business with Sell it Social did not constitute exclusive dealing or exclusionary conduct, even in light of Sell it Social's allegation that it was itself hurt by those efforts.
Litigation partner Aidan Synnott argued the case before Judge Berman just 24 hours before the court issued its decision.