Shopping Center Lease Violate NY Anti-Trust Laws

A shopping center landlord may be violating anti-trust laws by using clauses requested by other tenants if those clauses restrict the use of the property and give certain tenants a competitive advantage. The following clauses are illegal:

  1. The exclusion by department stores of discount stores–this is a “vertical group boycott” between the landlord and the department store.
  2. Requirements that all new tenants be approved by the department stores in a mall–this is a “horizontal group boycott”.
  3. Requirements as to the quality, price range, or types or brands of merchandise that retail stores may carry–these may be interpreted as “price fixing”.

The following types of restrictions are permissible:

  1. Requiring the landlord to maintain a balanced and diversified group of retail stores, merchandise, and services in a shopping center.
  2. Retaining the right to prohibit non-retail facilities.
  3. Retaining the right to prevent the developer from allowing objectionable tenants such as pornography shops, massage parlors, and body and fender shops.
  4. Retaining the right to approve the initial layout of the shopping center.