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Business Law

             , the plaintiff, is a cigar manufacturer in New York. They were seeking damages from the defendant, Altadis, S.A., Altadis U.S.A., and Consolidated Cigar Holdings, Inc., a Spanish Cigar manufacturer and its subsidiaries, claiming that they put themselves in a position to obtain monopoly power in certain cigar markets. The case was held in United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The claims that General Cigar Holdings had against the defendant include attempted monopolization, monopoly leveraging, unreasonable restraint of trade, violations of the Florida Antitrust act of 1980, tying full-line forcing, trademark infringement violations, violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, violations of common law unfair competition law, and violations of common law interference with prospective business relations. The defendants filed motions to dismiss all claims.
             The court dismissed the claim of attempted monopolization because the plaintiff did not prove that the defendant did not hold at least 50% of the market share. The court felt that there was no dangerous probability of monopoly power.
             The court dismissed the plaintiff's accusation of monopoly leveraging, stating that the defendant did not attempt to monopolize the secondary market. The court stated that the defendant was merely seeking to gain a competitive advantage. .
             The claim that the defendant was gaining most of the market by promising future sales of Cuban cigars, and therefore was tying and full line forcing, was also dismissed by the court. Since the sale of Cuban cigars is currently illegal in the US, Cuban cigars are not a relevant market and the plaintiff cannot prove that the defendant has that market power. However, in the future the plaintiff may have a cause of action if the sale of Cuban cigars become legal in the US.
             The court dismissed the claims that the defendant was violating the Florida Antitrust Act for the same reasons that they dismissed the attempted monopolization claim.

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