United States v. Syufy Enterprises, 903 F.2d 659 (9th Cir. 1990)

Blecher Collins & Pepperman successfully defended Syufy Enterprises, a California-based owner and operator of a chain of Las Vegas movie theatres, in a case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging Syufy had unlawfully acquired all the first-run motion picture theatres in Las Vegas in violation of anti-merger and monopoly laws. The Government’s goal was to force Syufy to give up the theatres it had purchased from former competitors, but Blecher Collins & Pepperman demonstrated that Syufy’s acquisitions did not injure competition because there were no barriers to entry—other competitors could and did enter the market—and Syufy did not have the power to control prices or exclude competition. After trial, the court decided in favor of Syufy. The Ninth Circuit affirmed this decision in a frequently cited legal opinion.