Buccaneer Energy (USA) Inc. v Gunnison Energy Corporation

Buccaneer appealed summary judgment to Gunnison and the other defendants in its antitrust conspiracy case. Applying the rule of reason as that is what buccaneer argued at the district court and on appeal, the panel held that Buccaneer failed to demonstrate that it could not build its own gas pipeline and thus its essential facilities claim failed; that Buccaneer failed to create a genuine issue of fact about the anticompetitive effects on a market as it did not prove fewer production rights were issued; failed to provide any relevant product market analysis; failed to prove the geographic limits of the upstream gas field it alleged Gunnison conspired to retrain trade or monopolize; failed to demonstrate any market power of the defendants in upstream activities as it failed to prove market share or the number and strength of competitors in the production upstream market; its own expert defined the downstream geographic market very narrowly focusing on short term spikes in use which is inadequate to describe a relevant market and in any event also failed prove any market power in downstream markets as it presented no evidence difficulties in connecting to, the pipeline in question and provided no evidence of durable market power.