The Antitrust Implications of the Arab Boycott

This Note focuses on the legal means that can and should be used to challenge both the economic pressures exerted upon American companies and the subsequent participation by such companies in the boycott of Israel and blacklisted firms. The Note contends that, while “quiet diplomacy and persuasion” are perhaps the only means short of full-scale economic warfare available to the United States to eliminate completely Arab economic pressures and their coercive effects, the United States antitrust laws are sufficient to counteract many of the boycott’s actual or potential manifestations. Specifically, the Note demonstrates that the Arab boycott and the discriminatory conduct it induces are violative of the antitrust laws despite both the unique political purposes underlying the boycott and the presence of conspiratorial conduct abroad. It shows that the “sovereign immunity,” “act of state,” and “sovereign compulsion” doctrines are not defenses that generally can· shield American defendants (and even some foreign entities) from antitrust prosecution. Finally, the Note concludes with the suggestion that new legislation should be enacted to clarify possible ambiguities in the present antitrust laws.