Summary: H.R.1650 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended, Part I (09/18/2008)

Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2008 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Clayton Act (the Act) to make federal antitrust laws applicable to all common carriers subject to the Surface Transportation Board (STB), regardless of whether the carrier filed a rail carrier rate or whether a complaint challenging a rate is filed.

(Sec. 3) Subjects to antitrust review agreements among rail carriers to pool or divide traffic, services, or earnings.

(Sec. 4) Authorizes the the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce certain provisions of the Act against STB-approved agreements or combinations, including those related to rates.

(Sec. 5) Removes the prohibition against a private party seeking injunctive relief against a rail carrier for a violation of the antitrust laws.

(Sec. 6) Provides that, in any civil action against a rail common carrier, the U.S. district court shall not be required to defer to the primary jurisdiction of the STB.

(Sec. 7) Amends the Federal Trade Commission Act to authorize FTC enforcement against rail carriers for unfair methods of competition.

(Sec. 8) Amends federal transportation law to terminate the exemptions from antitrust laws for rail carriers, including mergers and acquisitions and ratemaking agreements.

Requires the STB when reviewing a proposed rate agreement, to take into account its impact upon shippers, consumers, and affected communities, and to make findings regarding such impact, which shall be made part of the administrative record.

Revises STB authority to provide that a rail carrier, corporation, or a person participating in an approved transaction is not exempt from specified antitrust laws.

(Sec. 9) Makes the date of enactment of this Act its effective date. Makes an exception for parties engaging prior to such enactment in conduct or actions previously exempted by STB approval (such parties to have 180 days to discontinue such conduct or action or otherwise become subject to the antitrust laws).