Term focus – Hub-and-spoke conspiracy

Today I offer you what could be the first in a new occasional series of posts – I thought it might be useful to focus on a particularly new, unusual, interesting or difficult term (in any language) from time to time. What do you think?

* * *

600px-Artillery-spoked_wheelA court in the Southern District of New York found that Apple had engaged in a per se illegal horizontal price-fixing conspiracy with five of the six top national book publishers to raise the price of e-books.

The court found that Apple effectively engaged in a ‘hub-and-spoke conspiracy’, i.e., Apple (acting as the hub) effectively facilitated and encouraged a horizontal agreement among the publishers (the spokes) to fix prices through a series of vertical agreements (…) between Apple and each of the publishers.

Credit: Allen & Overy briefings.

Also see the definition below, from the US Court of Appeals opinion and order in the case Total Benefits Planning Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 552 F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008).

“A hub and spoke conspiracy involves a hub, generally the dominant purchaser or supplier in the relevant market, and the spokes, made up of the distributors involved in the conspiracy. The rim of the wheel is the connecting agreements among the horizontal competitors (distributors) that form the spokes. Each of the three parts is integral in establishing a per se violation under the hub and spoke theory.”

Polish readers in particular might be interested in this paper by Dr Antoni Bolecki, a legal advisor and antitrust specialist, entitled Polish antitrust experience with hub-and-spoke conspiracies.

8 thoughts on “Term focus – Hub-and-spoke conspiracy

  1. I think this is a great idea. I translate a lot of antitrust/competition stuff and had encountered “hub-and-spoke cartels” quite a bit, but didn’t realise that US antitrust law used “conspiracy” that way (that is if I haven’t completely misunderstood the article and the definition)…fascinating!

    Thanks a lot for digging this up!

    • Thanks a lot Colin. 🙂 If a few readers think it’s a good idea, I think I’ll go ahead and run it as a regular feature, as I said.
      And it would be great if people would send me ideas for terms (in any language) that could be included.

      • I’m pretty sure we can come up with some ideas to share. After all as translators we all encounter new terms and concepts every day (at least I do 😉 I’ll have a look…Do you want narrow down the legal areas? We do a lot of patent law, trademarks antitrust, which all have their very own special terminology (as you surely know).

        Anyway, thanks for the great idea!

  2. Absolutely Colin, me too! 🙂 I’m happy to leave the areas of law open – I just think it would be nice if we included terms in other languages than English if we can, to maintain the “global” character of the blog.

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