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Law360, New York (April 05, 2012, 1:27 PM ET) -- Since 1914, the conduct of agricultural cooperatives has been mostly exempt from antitrust liability. This immunity is found in Section 6 of the Clayton Act, which protects labor unions and farmer-producer cooperatives in the “carrying out th[eir] legitimate objects,” and in the Capper-Volstead Act, which clarifies that such “legitimate objects” include “collectively processing, preparing for market, handling, and marketing” products for members’ “mutual benefit.” Under these statutes, the internal activities of qualifying cooperatives are treated as any other business corporation by antitrust laws.
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Cooperative Production Limits: A 4-Course Antitrust Meal
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