Hastings Law Journal


Susan Harriman


In 1976, Congress passed the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Enforcement Act. This Act empowered state attorneys general to sue as parens patriae on behalf of citizens of their state to obtain monetary relief under section 4 of the Clayton Act for antitrust violations. A year later the Act appeared to have been emasculated by the United States Supreme Court in Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, which barred monetary recovery by indirect purchasers under section 4 of the Clayton Act. This Comment argues that state attorneys general should be allowed to sue on behalf of indirect purchasers because the policy considerations that preoccupied the Illinois Brick Court were recognized and effectively addressed by Congress in its enactment of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. The Comment also argues that the legislative history of the Hart-Scott- Rodino Act, which clearly evinced a desire to compensate the ultimate consumer for injury caused by antitrust violations, should govern the interpretation of the Act's provisions.

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