Bid Depositories

The decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of California in the civil antitrust case of United States v. Bakersfield Associated Plumbing Contractors, Inc. brought in its wake considerable renewed interest, discussion, and activities concerning “bid depositories.” This is apparent from the trade press and from inquiries reaching the Antitrust Division, including a number of requests for clearance of bid depository plans through so-called “railroad release” procedures. Even more recently, institution of the civil and criminal antitrust cases of United States v. Arizona Masonry and Plastering Contractors’ Association provided further stimulation. The term “renewed” interest and activities is used because interest and activities in this field had been vivid from the time of demise of the NRA codes until the pre-war years. Perhaps, that interest continued all along, and only the activities subsided because of the institution, around 1940, of numerous antitrust actions involving bid depositories. Is Has the Bakersfield decision given a new lease on life to bid depositories?