Reed Smith News Flashes

On June 7, 2021, a party-line vote in the New York State Senate approved proposed legislation, Senate Bill S933-A. The bill, modeled after European antitrust laws, would provide sweeping changes to New York’s current antitrust law, the Donnelly Act.

If passed, the bill, among other provisions, would:

  • Establish an “abuse of dominance” standard, essentially prohibiting any unilateral conduct by any business, making it easier than ever to challenge what may be predatory pricing, tying, and exclusionary conduct.
  • Create a first-of-its-kind state-level pre-merger notification review process, requiring notice at least 60 days prior to consummation of transactions, with a mere $9 million transaction threshold as compared to the current federal transaction threshold of $92 million.
  • Give the New York attorney general unprecedented rulemaking authority to carry out certain provisions of the bill, including issuing guidance regarding the attorney general’s interpretation of market shares and market conditions used in adjudicating violations.
  • Authorize fines of up to $100 million for civil and criminal violations of corporations and up to $1 million for violations of natural persons.
  • Allow the attorney general to bring parens patriae actions to seek and recover damages for violations of the Donnelly Act, on behalf of injured residents and entities.

S933-A is now on its way to the New York State Assembly, where a majority vote in approval would advance the bill to the governor to sign into law. With the New York Legislative Session ending on June 10, there are mere hours left for the legislature to decide if this bill lives or dies.

News Flash 2021-162