Antitrust; Unfair Competition
Clarifies antitrust and unfair competition law with regard to who can sue in certain instances, including when having made indirect purchases. (SD2)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2009
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO CHAPTER 480, HAWAII REVISED STATUTES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. Section 480-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§480-2 Unfair competition, practices, declared unlawful. (a) Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are unlawful.
construing this section, the courts and the office of consumer protection shall
give due consideration to the rules, regulations, and decisions of the Federal
Trade Commission and the federal courts interpreting section 5(a)(1) as [
time to time] amended.
(c) No showing
that the proceeding or suit would be in the public interest [
these terms are interpreted under section 5(b) of the Federal Trade Commission
Act[ )], is necessary in any action brought under this section.
Except as provided in subsection (f), no person other than a consumer,
the attorney general, or the director of the office of consumer
protection may bring an action based upon unfair or deceptive acts or practices
declared unlawful by this section.
(e) Any person may bring an action based on unfair methods of competition declared unlawful by this section.
(f) The State or any of its political subdivisions or governmental agencies may bring an action based on unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices declared unlawful by this section."
SECTION 2. Section 480-14, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
Suits by the State; amount of recovery. (a) Whenever the State[
, any county,] or any of its political
subdivisions or governmental agencies[ ,] is injured, directly or
indirectly, in its business or property by reason of anything forbidden or
declared unlawful by this chapter, it may sue to recover threefold the actual
damages sustained by it[ . (b)],
whether direct or indirect. The attorney general may bring an action on
behalf of the State[ , any county,] or any of its political subdivisions
or governmental agencies to recover the damages provided for by this section,
or by any comparable provisions of federal law.
The attorney general of the State shall be authorized to bring a class action
for indirect purchasers asserting claims under this chapter. The attorney
general or the director of the office of consumer protection may bring a class
action on behalf of consumers based on unfair or deceptive acts or practices
declared unlawful by section 480-2. Actions brought under this subsection
shall be brought as parens patriae on behalf of natural persons residing in the
State, to secure threefold damages for injuries sustained by such natural
persons to their property by reason of any violation of this chapter.
If judgment is in favor of the State[ , any county,] or any of its
political subdivisions or governmental agencies under any provision of this
chapter, the attorney general or the director of the office of consumer
protection shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees together with the cost
of suit; provided further that in any class action lawsuit brought by the
attorney general in behalf of indirect purchasers, the attorney general shall
in addition be awarded an amount commensurate with expenses reasonably expected
to be expended in distribution of damages to the indirect purchasers."
SECTION 3. Section 480-21, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
Court and venue. (a) Any criminal
action or proceeding[
, whether civil or criminal,] authorized by this
chapter shall be brought in any appropriate court in the circuit in which the
defendant resides, engages in business, or has an agent[ , unless otherwise
specifically provided herein].
(b) Any civil action or proceeding authorized by this chapter may be brought in any appropriate court."
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act, upon its approval, shall take effect retroactive to January 1, 1998.