Plaintiff Olde Monmouth, a stock transfer agency, brought antitrust causes of action against defendants Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (DTTC) and Depository Trust Company (DTC), a subsidiary of DTTC, alleging monopolization and attempted monopolization in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Olde Monmouth asserted that defendant DTC, the largest depository for stock certificates, abused its monopoly power in the securities depository industry when it excluded plaintiff from participation in a securities transfer program it had set up. The Court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding that plaintiff’s complaint failed to allege that DTC competes in the relevant market and, therefore, that it could not state a claim under Section 2 of the Sherman Act.
To state a claim for attempted monopolization, a plaintiff must allege “‘(i) that the defendant engaged in predatory or anticompetitive conduct with (ii) a specified intent to monopolize and (iii) a dangerous probability of achieving monopoly power’ in the relevant market.” Olde Monmouth asserted that the relevant market is that of stock transfer agent services and that DTC exerts influence over this market from its monopoly position in the securities depository industry. The Court rejected this argument, finding that the securities depository industry in which DTC operates is distinct from the stock transfer agent industry in which plaintiff competes. Applying Second Circuit law, the Court held there is no danger of monopolization where a defendant does not compete in the relevant market and there is no indication that it ever sought to do so. (Olde Monmouth Stock Transfer Co., v. Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., No. 07 Civ. 990 (CSH), 2007 WL 1180441 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 23, 2007))