The Second Circuit has played a significant role in the development of the substantive law of antitrust. To be sure, most of the important antitrust precedents have emanated from the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what Congress intended when it enacted the Expediting Act, which permitted direct appeals from district courts to the Supreme Court in government initiated actions. However, the repeal of the Expediting Act, coupled with the Supreme Court's arcane case selection process and the practical limitations on the Court's ability to hear cases, has shifted much of the burden of hearing and deciding antitrust matters to the circuit courts, particularly the Second Circuit.
This Article will survey antitrust case law in the Second Circuit as it developed over the last century. It is not intended to be a case-by-case discussion of all antitrust decisions within the Second Circuit, but rather it seeks to highlight and analyze only the most important developments.