Suing a Foreign Government Under the United States Antitrust Laws: The Need for Clarification of the Commercial Activity Exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976

Friend, James Hugo | January 1, 1979

Increased state involvement in trade and commerce has manifested itself in a variety of ways, including the growth of producer cartels with sovereign states as members, state monopolization of the sale and production of certain products, the nationalization of industry in peacetime and the concomitant growth of public corporations, and the partial or complete ownership by sovereign states of private corporate entities. The widespread participation of governments in activities of an arguably private nature, especially in view of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, raises a question of growing practical importance: to what extent are the “commercial” activities of sovereign governments, their agents, or their instrumentalities subject to the U.S. antitrust laws?