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(The Atlantic Wire)   Supreme Court rules that corporations can effectively immunize themselves from anti-trust laws by using their power to force smaller entities they do business with to sign agreements that make it impossible for them to sue for anti-trust   (theatlanticwire.com) divider line 208
    More: Asinine, antitrust laws, supreme court ruling, amicus brief, entities, arbitration clauses  
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7542 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Jun 2013 at 2:56 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-20 01:35:27 PM
The dissent, written by Justice Kagan (and concurred to by Justices Ginsburg and Breyer) begins by outlining that decision in a nutshell. "So if the arbitration clause is enforceable, Amex has insulated itself from antitrust liability-even if it has in fact violated the law." It continues:

The monopolist gets to use its monopoly power to insist on a contract effectively depriving its victims of all legal recourse.



That's f*cked up.
 
2013-06-20 01:38:55 PM
They're going to hold a gun to the CEO's head and make him sign the thing, instead of going to their competitors?  If there's demand for fair contracts, surely the free market will seize the opportunity, right? right?
 
2013-06-20 01:52:03 PM

serial_crusher: They're going to hold a gun to the CEO's head and make him sign the thing, instead of going to their competitors?  If there's demand for fair contracts, surely the free market will seize the opportunity, right? right?


LOL
 
2013-06-20 01:56:47 PM
Laws are for little people.
 
2013-06-20 01:57:47 PM

serial_crusher: They're going to hold a gun to the CEO's head and make him sign the thing, instead of going to their competitors?  If there's demand for fair contracts, surely the free market will seize the opportunity, right? right?


I'll get back to you when pretty much any boilerplate EULA or contract has a "binding arbitration" clause - such a condition would essentially nullify existing contract/antitrust law as relates to consumers' relationships with big (faceless) businesses.

This is me, getting back to you.
 
2013-06-20 02:01:06 PM

Dr Dreidel: serial_crusher: They're going to hold a gun to the CEO's head and make him sign the thing, instead of going to their competitors?  If there's demand for fair contracts, surely the free market will seize the opportunity, right? right?

I'll get back to you when pretty much any boilerplate EULA or contract has a "binding arbitration" clause - such a condition would essentially nullify existing contract/antitrust law as relates to consumers' relationships with big (faceless) businesses.

This is me, getting back to you.



Like this?

http://redmondmag.com/articles/2012/05/31/microsoft-limiting-lawsuit s. aspx
 
2013-06-20 02:09:29 PM
Roberts is making Harriet Myers look good by comparison.
 
2013-06-20 02:11:59 PM

serial_crusher: They're going to hold a gun to the CEO's head and make him sign the thing, instead of going to their competitors?  If there's demand for fair contracts, surely the free market will seize the opportunity, right? right?


and if all the big credit card companies require the same arbitration clause (and they do or will)?

The original intent of the Arbitration Act was a good one: it was MEANT to be a way for large, equally powerfully companies to have a way to settle disputes with finality and not clog up the US courts by making agreements to arbitrate disputres rather than litigate them legally binding. Since the parties could select an expert in their feild to be the arbitrator, this not only resulted in faster justice, but often better justice.

The somewhere along the way large companies figured out they could use the law to enforce abritration clauses against consumers too, and thereby preclude consumers from suing them, and instead channel all disputes into a private justice system which, since they pay for, also tends to side with them 98% of the time (that's a real number derived from a study I was involved with).  You proabably don;t realize it, but if you have a cell phone, a credit card, or a bank account, you are probably subject to several of these kinds of agreements
 
2013-06-20 02:14:09 PM
What, you don't think they actually work for the citizens of this country, do you?
 
2013-06-20 02:16:01 PM
Wasn't there a fark headline from the past month or two about how these arbitration cases work? It was some rate that 95 percent plus go in favor of the corporation even though some of them were blatant abuses and even lawbreaking on the company's side of things because the major party is allowed to assign their personal arbitrator to the case.
 
2013-06-20 02:24:03 PM
Those who say 'we want smaller government' are simply finding another way of saying 'we want bigger corporations without restrictions'. Capitalism's end game is a monopoly. And government stands in the way of that.
 
2013-06-20 02:29:56 PM
When is the last time the supreme court chose the citizens over the corps.  really?
 
2013-06-20 02:36:58 PM
It's pretty simple: find out who's doing the arbitration, blackmail the hell of him, and after he rules in your favor, there's nothing the other party can do to appeal.

/a car accident a week later would simply be tragic
//if all is fair in business then this is where it's heading
 
2013-06-20 02:40:36 PM

whither_apophis: It's pretty simple: find out who's doing the arbitration, blackmail the hell of him, and after he rules in your favor, there's nothing the other party can do to appeal.


InigoMontoya.jpg
 
2013-06-20 02:50:17 PM

Revek: When is the last time the supreme court chose the citizens over the corps.  really?


to be fair? about a week ago, when then struck down a company's patents on strands of Human DNA, but generally speaking, yes this is a very pro-corpratist Supreme Court, but most are.  Lifetime tenture tends to make it a very conservative institution, even though, irnoically most justices, with a few notable exceptions, tend to slide leftward as they get older.
 
2013-06-20 02:59:18 PM
Another victory for Corporape America
 
2013-06-20 03:01:11 PM
Or, as is usually the case:
"Congress wrote a law in a really dumb way, so there's a loophole that a company can drive a truck through and completely circumvent it."

Quit blaming the Supreme Court for interpreting bad laws.  Blame the dumbasses writing the laws.  The Supreme Court can't say "Well, Congress *meant* to write it so it made sense".  They have to say "uh...yeah, that's dumb, but that's how it's written down."

Want it fixed?  Pass a better law.
 
2013-06-20 03:01:12 PM
Simple solution, don't sign a contract with a corporation, nothing good ever comes of it.
 
2013-06-20 03:03:04 PM

Blues_X: Dr Dreidel: serial_crusher: They're going to hold a gun to the CEO's head and make him sign the thing, instead of going to their competitors?  If there's demand for fair contracts, surely the free market will seize the opportunity, right? right?

I'll get back to you when pretty much any boilerplate EULA or contract has a "binding arbitration" clause - such a condition would essentially nullify existing contract/antitrust law as relates to consumers' relationships with big (faceless) businesses.

This is me, getting back to you.


Like this?

http://redmondmag.com/articles/2012/05/31/microsoft-limiting-lawsuit s. aspx


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

Boosh.
 
2013-06-20 03:03:54 PM
America is a plutocracy.  You could argue that we've always been a country that bends over backwards to favor the powerful, and to a point that is true. But our government doesn't even try to hide anymore that it's number one priority is to place the priorities of the powerful and connected over the needs of the common good no matter how blatant the pandering.
 
2013-06-20 03:04:05 PM
Are we allowed to say, "I told you so" yet?
 
2013-06-20 03:04:19 PM
I can't say I agree with Kagan's dissent. You can always be sued for anti-trust liability by other people, or the government can go after you of their own accord. This doesn't change that.
 
2013-06-20 03:04:43 PM
img.fark.net
♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫
Freedoms just another word
for nothing left to sue...
♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫
 
2013-06-20 03:05:19 PM

Nadie_AZ: Those who say 'we want smaller government' are simply finding another way of saying 'we want bigger corporations without restrictions'. Capitalism's end game is a monopoly. And government stands in the way of that.


No.
 
2013-06-20 03:05:27 PM

Nadie_AZ: Those who say 'we want smaller government' are simply finding another way of saying 'we want bigger corporations without restrictions'. Capitalism's end game is a monopoly. And government stands in the way of that.


Yep.

But Congress capitulates to it. The right answer here is simply to get rid of the FAA. Thomas, of all people, told Congress to do exactly that in his concurrence. It won't happen though.
 
2013-06-20 03:05:59 PM

Nadie_AZ: Those who say 'we want smaller government' are simply finding another way of saying 'we want bigger corporations without restrictions'. Capitalism's end game is a monopoly. And government stands in the way of that.


Had the government neglected to incorporate the Arbitration Act, they cases would wend their way through the normal court system -- which the goal everyone here wants to happen. Small government didn't give you this result -- big government did.
 
2013-06-20 03:06:13 PM

Magorn: The somewhere along the way large companies figured out they could use the law to enforce abritration clauses against consumers too, and thereby preclude consumers from suing them, and instead channel all disputes into a private justice system which, since they pay for, also tends to side with them 98% of the time


I suspect this was the goal all along, no matter what they claimed at the time. It's too neat to be a purely unintended consequence.

How long has consumer arbitration been legal for, anyway? I don't remember hearing about it more than about 10 years back.
 
2013-06-20 03:07:00 PM

DamnYankees: I can't say I agree with Kagan's dissent. You can always be sued for anti-trust liability by other people, or the government can go after you of their own accord. This doesn't change that.


This plus it points out to a change being needed within the law, which as we only now find out was lacking in the first place.
 
2013-06-20 03:07:22 PM

Nadie_AZ: Those who say 'we want smaller government' are simply finding another way of saying 'we want bigger corporations without restrictions'. Capitalism's end game is a monopoly. And government stands in the way of that.


And, oddly enough, that's not necessarily true. Take a gander at Wal-Mart and see the power a monopsonist can wield. Capitalism also supports demands-side monopolies.
 
2013-06-20 03:07:24 PM

codergirl42: Simple solution, don't sign a contract with a corporation, nothing good ever comes of it.


True, but impossible in a modern capitalist society. They own us.
 
2013-06-20 03:10:00 PM
It'd be awesome if the real-world result of this decision is that everybody refuses to sign any such arbitration contracts anymore, forcing corporations to remove the relevant clauses to gain any further business.

/Don't see it happening
 
2013-06-20 03:10:00 PM

This text is now purple: Nadie_AZ: Those who say 'we want smaller government' are simply finding another way of saying 'we want bigger corporations without restrictions'. Capitalism's end game is a monopoly. And government stands in the way of that.

And, oddly enough, that's not necessarily true. Take a gander at Wal-Mart and see the power a monopsonist can wield. Capitalism also supports demands-side monopolies.


It's called a monopsony, but I'm not sure how Walmart is one. Explain?
 
2013-06-20 03:10:27 PM
So, as an armchair law-talking-guy, let me get this straight:

Companies can illegally use their monopoly or near-monopoly position to do something, and prevent anyone who would have standing from suing by putting a clause in their contract?

I'm okay with this if and only if the DOJ can still initiate antitrust investigations without needing someone to sue first. Is that still possible? Was it ever possible? I would imagine so...
 
2013-06-20 03:10:35 PM

SN1987a goes boom: Boosh.


I bet he wouldn't have dropped that mic had there not been another one hanging from the ceiling.
 
2013-06-20 03:11:48 PM
Needs a new painting of Runnymeade and wiping 800 years out with a simple arbitration clause.
 
PJ-
2013-06-20 03:11:53 PM

REO-Weedwagon: codergirl42: Simple solution, don't sign a contract with a corporation, nothing good ever comes of it.

True, but impossible in a modern capitalist society. They own us.


True, but the less business that carry their card means the less people will want to carry said businesses card in their wallet.
 
2013-06-20 03:13:05 PM

Lord Dimwit: Companies can illegally use their monopoly or near-monopoly position to do something, and prevent anyone who would have standing from suing by putting a clause in their contract?


No, because to have standing to sue you don't have to be a contract party.

Lord Dimwit: I'm okay with this if and only if the DOJ can still initiate antitrust investigations without needing someone to sue first. Is that still possible? Was it ever possible? I would imagine so...


It is possible, yes.
 
2013-06-20 03:13:06 PM
This government is done. I wish that they could reform so we wouldn't have some stupid, mindless mob revolt followed by a revolution which installs the most vocal, unreasonable rabble-rouser available, but the government simply insists that this path must be the only path.
It seems we must soon live in interesting times of turmoil, bloodshed, and idiocy dominated by loud, simple, uneducated voices speaking from insular, privileged perspectives. In a way, it won't be that much different except that we'll all be so much poorer in the interim, and we don't know how much of the baby goes out with the bathwater.
 
2013-06-20 03:13:32 PM

REO-Weedwagon: codergirl42: Simple solution, don't sign a contract with a corporation, nothing good ever comes of it.

True, but impossible in a modern capitalist society. They own us.


Buy local, boycott big business
 
2013-06-20 03:13:34 PM

This text is now purple: Small government didn't give you this result -- big government did.


Big government also gave me the US Constitution in the first place. What exactly is your point?
 
2013-06-20 03:13:41 PM
Coke & Pepsi are masters of the duopoly.
 
2013-06-20 03:15:24 PM

Magorn: most justices, with a few notable exceptions, tend to slide leftward as they get older.


[citation_needed.jpg]
 
2013-06-20 03:15:55 PM

Trayal: It'd be awesome if the real-world result of this decision is that everybody refuses to sign any such arbitration contracts anymore, forcing corporations to remove the relevant clauses to gain any further business.

/Don't see it happening


I opt out of such agreements in writing wherever possible (in the past year I've done so with both AmEx and Paypal) but how can you really expect the population at large to know to do that?  For all intents and purposes the corporations are writing the laws now.
 
2013-06-20 03:16:47 PM

REO-Weedwagon: codergirl42: Simple solution, don't sign a contract with a corporation, nothing good ever comes of it.

True, but impossible in a modern capitalist society. They own us.



img.fark.net

http://www.toplessrobot.com/conglomo.jpeg
 
2013-06-20 03:17:31 PM

Lost Thought 00: What, you don't think they actually work for the citizens of this country, do you?


It isn't SCOTUS' job to create law, that's what Congress is for and this ruling reflects that. If you don't like it than I suggest that you write your Congressperson.
 
2013-06-20 03:18:01 PM

codergirl42: Buy local, boycott big business


So, there's a local credit card company they could have signed with to serve customers who use AMEX?
 
2013-06-20 03:18:53 PM

Blues_X: Dr Dreidel: serial_crusher: They're going to hold a gun to the CEO's head and make him sign the thing, instead of going to their competitors?  If there's demand for fair contracts, surely the free market will seize the opportunity, right? right?

I'll get back to you when pretty much any boilerplate EULA or contract has a "binding arbitration" clause - such a condition would essentially nullify existing contract/antitrust law as relates to consumers' relationships with big (faceless) businesses.

This is me, getting back to you.


Like this?

http://redmondmag.com/articles/2012/05/31/microsoft-limiting-lawsuit s. aspx


Yes, that's my point.

In my wallet are credit and debit cards originating in 3 separate banks. Each of the agreements I signed for those cards has a binding arbitration clause, and I suspect the same is true for the cards that you have. Check your mortgage paperwork as well (if you own a home) - if it's been updated in the last 5 years, it's got one there, too.

HOA agreements, software EULAs, employment contracts, some business-to-business contracts (which, let's be fair, are the main reason for arbitration in the first place), health care/insurance...these are all things where you can expect to have signed away (or "that you will sign away") your right to take them to task for violations of US law. You're going to have your case heard by someone on their payroll, who knows their corporate officers' dogs names but will send you (John Smith) mail addressed to "Jim Stein", and who will continue a business relationship with the arbitrators long after the profits from whatever malfeasance they perpetrated on you are lost to other corporate malfeasance.
 
Qel
2013-06-20 03:19:12 PM
When people feel powerless and the law doesn't protect them,at some point, buildings are going to be set on fire.
 
2013-06-20 03:19:26 PM

a44v589: Or, as is usually the case:
"Congress wrote a law in a really dumb way, so there's a loophole that a company can drive a truck through and completely circumvent it."

Quit blaming the Supreme Court for interpreting bad laws.  Blame the dumbasses writing the laws.  The Supreme Court can't say "Well, Congress *meant* to write it so it made sense".  They have to say "uh...yeah, that's dumb, but that's how it's written down."

Want it fixed?  Pass a better law.


Do you seriously think it was unintentionally written that way? Sociopaths way smarter than you or I were very careful about how these laws were written.
 
2013-06-20 03:19:50 PM
Great, more corporate welfare! Thanks Obama!
 
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