SDNY judge approves Conergy’s antitrust and breach of contract claims against its wafer supplier MEMC Electronoic Materials, Inc.

Today, S.D.N.Y. allowed Conergy to proceed with federal antitrust and breach of contract claims against its wafer supplier, MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc.   Conergy’s Amended Complaint alleges that Conergy had planned to manufacture its own solar wafers before it entered into its the 10-year Wafer Supply Agreement with MEMC in October 2007.  According to its allegations, Conergy was unable to find an acceptable supplier of polysilicon due to the worldwide shortage of polysilicon at the time, and that MEMC’s unique market position allowed it to force Conergy to accept a contract with a non-compete clause.

Defendants MEMC argued that Conergy failed to plead a per se violation of the Sherman Act because Conergy only alleged intent to compete, without also actually showing that it was otherwise prepared to enter the solar wafer market.  However, in her Order, Judge Scheindlin rejected MEMC’s argument.  Noting Conergy will have to make that showing at a later stage in the litigation, she held that  Conergy’s allegation of intent sufficed for the pleadings stage.

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