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10th Circuit Nixes Deer Valley Antitrust Claim

(CN) - Deer Valley Resort Co. did not violate antitrust laws by telling Christy Sports that it could no longer rent skis from the resort's mid-mountain rental store, the 10th Circuit ruled.

For about 15 years, Deer Valley resort in Park City, Utah, allowed Christy Sports to rent skis at the ritzier mid-mountain village, while Deer Valley was the sole rental provider at the base area. But in 2005, Deer Valley opened its own mid-mountain rental shop and booted Christy Sports from the area.

Christy Sports filed an antitrust suit, claiming the resort tried to monopolize the ski-rental market by eliminating its competitors.

The Denver-based federal appeals court disagreed, saying "Christy should have been aware that the relationship was temporary and subject to (Deer Valley's) business judgment."

Judge McConnell added that rentals were a small part of the "overall experience" Deer Valley offered.

"The complaint alleges nothing to suggest that destination skiers are choosing their ski resort based on the price of rental skis, separate and apart from the cluster of services associated with destination-ski experience," McConnell wrote. "To define one small component of the overall product as the relevant product market is simply implausible."

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