NFIB Files Supreme Court Brief in Antitrust Case

From the folks in the Washington D.C. NFIB office…
Washington, D.C., August 27, 2012 – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center today filed an amicus brief in Federal Trade Commission v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc., on behalf of the petitioner. The case raises the question of whether federal antitrust laws can be invoked to challenge monopolistic conduct when the defendant is operating under a grant of general corporate power from a state hospital authority. Generally quasi-governmental entities, like the defendant in this case, are deemed exempt from antitrust laws under the “state action immunity doctrine.”

“We at NFIB are hearing more and more from small-business owners who are frustrated by taxpayer-funded government actors or quasi-governmental entities that directly compete with their businesses,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “We believe that the state action immunity doctrine should be applied only in cases where the defendant acts to advance legitimate regulatory policy, as opposed to some policy or program designed solely to benefit a public enterprise.”

NFIB’s brief, filed today with the Supreme Court of the United States, encourages the court to determine that an antitrust defendant cannot invoke state action immunity when it has become a market participant, engaged in competition with private businesses. NFIB argues that government entities should be held to the same rules and standards as private business is when competing in the market.

NFIB is the nation’s leading small-business advocacy organization, representing 350,000 small businesses around the country.

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About Mike Durant

Mike Durant was named New York State Director of NFIB in May 2011. Prior to joining NFIB as the Assistant State Director in May 2010, Durant began his career in the New York Senate working in the Office of Member Services. From there, he served in a number of positions during former New York Governor George E. Pataki’s administration. As a Research Specialist in the New York State Office of Demographic Policy, Mike was responsible for drafting a redistricting proposal for Governor Pataki. In addition, Mike served as a Research Specialist for the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Associate Commissioner of Human Resource Management with the New York Department of Labor. Durant also spent four years working at the Questar III BOCES as a specialist focusing on the complex formulas that drive aid to school districts across the state while also taking a lead role in the state legislative/budget process as it related to education policy. These past positions have given Mike a deep understanding of the complex political economics of the State of New York. Active in the community, Durant has served on a number of boards in both the village of Ballston Spa and Town of Milton. Durant received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, New York and resides in Ballston Spa with his wife and two children.
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