W. States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litig. v. ONEOK, Inc.

Decision Date10 April 2013
Docket Number11–16799,11–16821,11–16798,11–16802,11–16876,Nos. 11–16786,11–16818,11–16869,11–16880.,s. 11–16786
Citation715 F.3d 716
PartiesIn re WESTERN STATES WHOLESALE NATURAL GAS ANTITRUST LITIGATION, Learjet, Inc.; Topeka Unified School District 501, Plaintiffs–Appellants, v. ONEOK, Inc.; ONEOK Energy Marketing & Trading Co., L.P.; The Williams Companies, Inc.; Williams Merchant Services Company, Inc.; Williams Energy Marketing & Trading Company; American Electric Power Company, Inc.; AEP Energy Services, Inc.; Duke Energy Corporation; Duke Energy Trading and Marketing, LLC; Dynegy Marketing and Trade; El Paso Corporation; El Paso Merchant Energy, L.P.; CMS Energy Corporation; CMS Marketing Services & Trading Company; CMS Field Services; Reliant Energy, Inc.; Reliant Energy Services, Inc.; Coral Energy Resources, L.P.; Xcel Energy, Inc.; e prime, Inc., Defendants–Appellees. In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, Heartland Regional Medical Center; Prime Tanning Corp.; Northwest Missouri State University, Plaintiffs–Appellants, v. ONEOK, Inc.; ONEOK Energy Marketing & Trading Co., L.P.; The Williams Companies, Inc.; Williams Merchant Services Company, Inc.; Williams Energy Marketing & Trading Company; American Electric Power Company, Inc.; AEP Energy Services, Inc.; Duke Energy Corporation; Duke Energy Trading and Marketing, LLC; Dynegy Marketing and Trade; El Paso Corporation; El Paso Merchant Energy, L.P.; CMS Energy Corporation; CMS Marketing Services & Trading Company; CMS Field Services; Reliant Energy, Inc.; Reliant Energy Services, Inc.; Coral Energy Resources, L.P.; Xcel Energy, Inc.; e prime, Inc., Defendants–Appellees. In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado, LLC; BBD Acquisition Co., Plaintiffs–Appellants, v. Xcel Energy, Inc.; e prime, Inc., Defendants–Appellees. In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, Reorganized FLI, Inc., Plaintiff–Appellant, v. ONEOK, Inc.; ONEOK Energy Marketing & Trading Co., L.P.; The Williams Companies, Inc.; Williams Merchant Services Company, Inc.; Williams Energy Marketing & Trading Company; American Electric Power Company, Inc.; AEP Energy Services, Inc.; Duke Energy Corporation; Duke Energy Trading and Marketing, LLC; Dynegy Marketing and Trade; El Paso Corporation; El Paso Merchant Energy, L.P.; CMS Energy Corporation; CMS Marketing Services & Trading Company; CMS Field Services; Reliant Energy, Inc.; Reliant Energy Services, Inc.; Coral Energy Resources, L.P.; Xcel Energy, Inc.; e prime, Inc., Defendants–Appellees. In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, Sinclair Oil Corporation, Plaintiff–Appellant, v. ONEOK Energy Services Company, L.P., Defendant–Appellee. In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, Sinclair Oil Corporation, Plaintiff–Appellant, v. e prime, Inc.; Xcel Energy, Inc., Defendants–Appellees. In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, Arandell Corporation; Merrick's Inc.; Sargento Foods Inc.; Ladish Co., Inc.; Carthage College; Briggs & Stratton Corporation, Plaintiffs–Appellants, v. Xcel Energy, Inc.; Northern States Power Company; e prime, Inc.; American Electric Power Company, Inc.; AEP Energy Services, Inc.; CMS Energy Corporation; CMS Field Services; CMS Marketing Services & Trading Company; Coral Energy Resources, L.P.; Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC; Duke Energy Trading and Marketing LLC; Dynegy Illinois Inc.; DMT G.P. L.L.C.; Dynegy GP Inc.; El Paso Corporation; El Paso Merchant Energy, L.P.; ONEOK, Inc.; ONEOK Energy Marketing & Trading Co., L.P.; RRI Energy, Inc., fka Reliant Energy, Inc.; RRI Energy Services, Inc., fka Reliant Energy Services, Inc.; The Williams Companies, Inc.; Williams Power Company, Inc.; Williams Energy Marketing & Trading Company; Williams Merchant Services Company, Inc., Defendants–Appellees. In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, Newpage Wisconsin System, Inc., Plaintiff–Appellant, v. CMS Energy Corporation; CMS Marketing Services & Trading Company; CMS Field Services; Xcel Energy, Inc.; Northern States Power Company; e prime, Inc.; Coral Energy Resources, L.P.; Duke Energy Trading and Marketing LLC; Dynegy Illinois Inc.; DMT G.P. L.L.C.; Dynegy GP Inc.; Dynegy Marketing and Trade; El Paso Corporation; El Paso Merchant Energy, L.P.; ONEOK, Inc.; ONEOK Energy Marketing & Trading Co., L.P.; RRI Energy Services, Inc., fka Reliant Energy Services, Inc.; The Williams Companies, Inc.; Williams Power Company, Inc.; Williams Energy Marketing & Trading Company; Williams Merchant Services Company, Inc., Defendants–Appellees. In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, Arandell Corporation; Merrick's Inc.; Sargento Foods Inc.; Ladish Co., Inc.; Carthage College; Briggs & Stratton Corporation, Plaintiffs–Appellants, v. CMS Energy Corporation; CMS Marketing Services & Trading Company; CMS Field Services, Defendants–Appellees.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Ninth Circuit

OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

Jennifer Gille Bacon (argued), William E. Quirk, and Gregory M. Bentz, Polsinelli Shughart PC, Kansas City, MO, for Appellants Learjet, Inc., et al., Heartland Regional Medical Center, et al., Breckenridge Brewery of Colorado, LLC, et al., Reorganized FLI, Inc., and Sinclair Oil Corporation.

Robert L. Gegios, Alexander T. Pendleton, and William E. Fischer, Kohner, Mann & Kailas, S.C., Milwaukee, WI, for Wisconsin PlaintiffsAppellants.

Mark E. Haddad (argued), Michelle B. Goodman, and Nitin Reddy, Sidley Austin LLP, Los Angeles, CA, for DefendantsAppellees CMS Energy Corp., CMS Energy Resources Management Co., and Cantera Gas Company.

Michael J. Kass and Douglas R. Tribble, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, San Francisco, CA, for DefendantsAppellees Dynegy Marketing & Trade, Dynegy Illinois, Inc., DMT G.P. L.L.C., and Dynegy GP Inc.

Joshua D. Lichtman, Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., Los Angeles, CA, and Roxanna A. Manuel, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, for DefendantAppellee Coral Energy Resources, L.P.

Joel B. Kleinman, Adam Proujanski, and Lisa M. Kaas, Dickstein Shapiro LLP, Washington, D.C., for DefendantsAppellees Duke Energy Trading and Marketing, L.L.C. and Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC.

Robert B. Wolinsky, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Washington, D.C., and Steven J. Routh, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, L.L.P., Washington, D.C., for DefendantsAppellees American Electric Power Company, Inc. and AEP Energy Services, Inc.

Brent A. Benoit and Stacy Williams, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP, Houston, TX, for DefendantsAppellees El Paso Corporation, El Paso Merchant Energy, L.P., and El Paso Marketing, L.P.

Amelia A. Fogleman, Oliver S. Howard, and Craig A. Fitzgerald, Gable Gotwals, A Professional Corporation, Tulsa, OK, for DefendantsAppellees ONEOK, Inc., ONEOK Energy Services Company L.P.

J. Gregory Copeland and Mark R. Robeck, Baker Botts LLP, Houston, TX, for DefendantAppellee Reliant Energy Services, Inc.

Graydon Dean Luthey, Jr. and Sarah Jane Gillett, Hall, Estill, Hardwick, Gable, Golden & Nelson, P.C., Tulsa, OK, for DefendantsAppellees The Williams Companies, Inc., Williams Merchant Services Company, Inc., Williams Power Company, Inc., and Williams Energy Marketing & Trading Company.

Michael John Miguel, K & L Gates LLP, Los Angeles, CA, for DefendantsAppellees Xcel Energy, Inc., e prime, Inc., e prime Energy Marketing, Inc., and Northern States Power Company.

Before: CARLOS T. BEA and PAUL J. WATFORD, Circuit Judges, and WILLIAM K. SESSIONS, District Judge.*

OPINION

BEA, Circuit Judge:

These cases arise out of the energy crisis of 20002002. Plaintiffs (retail buyers of natural gas) allege that Defendants (natural gas traders) manipulated the price of natural gas by reporting false information to price indices published by trade publications and engaging in wash sales.1 Plaintiffs brought various claims in state and federal court beginning in 2005, and all cases were eventually consolidated into the underlying multidistrict litigation proceeding. In July 2011, the district court entered summary judgment against Plaintiffs in most of the cases,2 finding that their state law antitrust claims were preempted by the Natural Gas Act, 15 U.S.C. § 717 et seq. (“NGA”). Plaintiffs appeal the district court's order granting summary judgment, as well as orders denying as untimely Plaintiffs' motions to amend their complaints, orders dismissing the AEP Defendants from two cases for lack of personal jurisdiction, and an order granting partial summary judgment to Defendant Duke Energy Trading and Marketing, LLC.

We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We reverse the district court's order granting summary judgment to the Defendants, reverse in part the district court's orders dismissing the AEP Defendants from the Wisconsin Arandell and Missouri Heartland suits, and affirm all of the other orders at issue in this appeal. We remand to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I. Facts and Regulatory FrameworkA. Energy Crisis of 20002002

A brief recitation of the background of this litigation, as well as a description of the regulatory framework governing this case, is useful to set the stage for our holding. These cases arise out of claims that the Defendants violated antitrust laws by manipulating the natural gas market and selling natural gas at artificially inflated prices, leading to the energy crisis of 20002002. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) conducted a fact-finding investigation of the energy crisis, and concluded...

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