Right now, state attorneys general, led by New York’s Letitia James, are urging Congress to give them a shiny, Thor-sized hammer for antitrust litigation. The State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021, which is currently under consideration in Congress, would categorically eliminate State antitrust actions from the federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) system.
For decades, MDLs have centralized pretrial proceedings when large numbers of similar cases, including state antitrust claims, are filed against the same business involving the same set of allegations. Although not perfect, this system provides the parties and courts with a useful tool for resolving disputes. When many states file antitrust actions against the same business, MDLs can be extraordinarily useful in bringing about a fair, national resolution.