The Courthouse News Service explains why, “The Keith Haring Foundation’s refusal to authenticate about 80 works cannot be spun into an antitrust conspiracy to control the market on paintings belonging to the iconic pop artist.”
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote refused to allow such “broad allegations” to make it past the pleading stage.
The collectors’ theory of the case would posit that “any refusal by an auction house, dealer, or gallery to sell a Haring without authentication by the foundation could be a conspiratorial act,” she wrote in a 35-page opinion.
“Furthermore, the complaint’s allegations regarding the refusals of auction houses and others to accept plaintiffs’ works can be explained by unilateral decisions motivated by entirely lawful goals,” the opinion states. “The decision by any individual entity not to sell artwork that may not be authentic is an act consistent with lawful, independent action.”