Ross-Simmons, a sawmill, filed suit under §2 of the Sherman Act, alleging that Weyehaeuser Co. drove it out of business by bidding up the price of saw logs to a level that prevented Ross-Simmons from being profitable. The jury returned a verdict against Weyerhauser.
The case is somewhat unusual because its central claim is based on a theory of predatory buying not predatory selling. In a predatory selling claim, a plaintiff must show (under the so-called Brooke Group standard) that the defendant (1) sold its product at prices too low to cover its expenses; and (2) had a dangerous probability of eventually recouping its losses. On appeal, Weyerhaeuser argued that the same standard should govern predatory buying.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Weyerhaeuser, agreeing that plaintiffs making predatory bidding claims must now prove both prongs of the Brooke Group standard to prevail. In other words, a plaintiff will have to show that the defendant paid above-market prices for raw materials and was likely to recoup its overpayments after running its targeted competitor(s) out of business.