Comment to the New York Senate Committee on Consumer Protection in Connection with Its Pending Consideration of the Twenty-First Century Antitrust Act (S.933)2


Modern antitrust laws (including the federal antitrust laws and the antitrust laws of other states, as well as the cognate laws of numerous other jurisdictions around the world) generally include provisions that limit unilateral business conduct that may create, protect, or extend monopoly power by unreasonably exclusionary practices. In contrast, New York’s main antitrust law, the Donnelley Act of 1899, contains no such provision. The GAI recognizes that adding such a provision to the Donnelley Act is an intended objective of S.933.

There are several serious questions, however, raised by key aspects of S.933. Specifically, while S.933 §3 adopts a prohibition on monopolization similar to that found in Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 USC § 2, it also includes a prohibition on “abuse of dominance.” S.933 provides limited information regarding the definitions of “dominance” and “abuse.” Rather, S.933 delegates very broad discretion to define these terms to the New York Attorney General (subject to a specific form of legislative veto). This approach presents a number of serious risks and uncertainties. For reasons explained more fully below, the Committee should consider withholding any favorable recommendation on S.933 so long as it contains the abuse-of-dominance provision.