Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. Linkline Communications, Inc., 555 U.S. 438 (2009)

This case, initiated by Internet service providers (ISPs), alleged that incumbent telephone companies, which owned infrastructure and facilities needed to provide digital subscriber line (DSL) service, had monopolized and attempted to monopolize regional DSL markets. The ISPs claimed that the telephone companies accomplished this through squeezing the providers’ profits by charging them high wholesale prices for DSL transport and charging consumers low retail prices for DSL internet service. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Pacific Bell d/b/a AT&T did not violate the Sherman Act when it charged other ISPs a high fee to buy space on its phone lines to deliver an Internet connection. In short, the Court ruled that there is no antitrust liability for a price squeeze where there is no predatory or below cost pricing at the retail level.