Contribution and Antitrust Policy

This Note examines the contribution controversy from an antitrust policy perspective. Part I summarizes the Professional Beauty, Abraham Construction, and Olson Farms decisions and sketches the major provisions of the Bayh Bill and the ABA Statute. Part II discusses four antitrust policy goals that figure prominently in both Circuit Court decisions and Congressional debate: fairness, deterrence, promotion of settlement, and reduced complexity of litigation. Part III argues that none of the rigid contribution rules proposed since Professional Beauty achieves the optimal balance of these policy goals. The Note concludes that a flexible rule permitting courts to assess the propriety of contribution in each case would best resolve this complex antitrust dilemma.