Summary: H.R.233 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended, Part I (11/30/2010)

Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009 - Amends the Clayton Act to remove an exemption from coverage under the federal antitrust laws with respect to mergers and acquisitions involving rail carriers. Removes from the Surface Transportation Board (STB) the authority to enforce federal antitrust laws with respect to rail carriers (thus vesting such authority in the federal antitrust agencies). Removes: (1) the prohibition against a private party seeking injunctive relief against a rail carrier for a violation of the antitrust laws; and (2) the rail carrier exemption from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prohibition against unfair methods of competition.

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.

Makes federal antitrust laws applicable to rail carriers regardless of whether the carrier filed a rail carrier rate or whether a complaint challenging a rate is filed. Provides that, in any civil action against a rail carrier, the U.S. district court shall retain the discretion to defer to the jurisdiction of the STB.

Sets forth an effective date for this Act as the date of enactment, but provides a 180-day grace period for conduct that was exempted under the antitrust laws before such date of enactment.