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Water Provider Immune from Antitrust Claims

SANTA FE, N.M. (CN) - An association that provides water services to the Las Cruces area is immune from a lawsuit accusing it of monopolizing the market for water utility services, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled.

Moongate Water Company has been locked in legal battles with the Dona Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association and the city of Las Cruces over the right to provide water to the Las Cruces area.

Moongate claimed Dona Ana conspired with the city "to monopolize or attempt to monopolize the market for the provision of water utility services."

Dona Ana responded by asserting immunity to a lawsuit for damages.

The state high court noted that Dona Ana had been formed under the Sanitary Projects Association, making it a "governmental unit" entitled to immunity from damages under the New Mexico Antitrust Act.

The justices added that Dona Ana is also protected from liability under the Local Government Antitrust Act.

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