Retailer Loses Challenge to Brighton Price Scheme

     (CN) – It’s the end of the road for a retailer who won a nearly $4 million antitrust judgment against the manufacturer of Brighton brand accessories. After the Supreme Court vacated that award five years ago, the case navigated the courts again on remand, and the high court declined to take up the appeal on Tuesday.

     Leegin Creative Leather Products makes and sells Brighton brand handbags, belts, jewelry and other accessories. It not only sells the Brighton products wholesale, but also owns and operates more than 100 Brighton retail stores. The company controls the price of its products by forcing other retailers to sell the items at a certain price.
     PSKS, which owns of Kay’s Kloset in Lewisville, Texas, tried to duck Leegin’s pricing guidelines, so Leegin refused to sell the retailer any more products.
     PSKS accused Leegin of running a vertical resale price scheme, and a jury awarded it more than $3.9 million.
     After the 5th Circuit affirmed that ruling, the Supreme Court reversed in a controversial 5-4 decision, Leegin v. PSKS. The majority held that vertical price restraints often have pro-competitive justifications and should be judged under the “rule of reason.”
     On remand, the federal judge dismissed, and the New Orleans-based federal appeals court again agreed, saying PSKS failed to define the relevant market or allege anticompetitive injury.

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