A.G.: Woodbury Commons Had Monopoly On Outlet Shopping
More outlet centers may soon open up in or near the Hudson Valley, which should lead to more bargains at stores. Here’s why.
The Attorney General’s investigation into Simon’s practices at Woodbury Common found that Simon had monopoly power in the market for retail space in outlet centers in the New York area.
The investigation also confirmed that many retailers at Woodbury Common wished to open additional outlets in other areas, but couldn’t because of restrictions in their leases at Woodbury Common, officials say.
The clauses threatened large penalties if retailers opened up another store within 60 miles, in any direction, of Woodbury. This created an 11,000 square mile zone in which Simon faced little or no competition for other outlet centers, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
“No business should be allowed to stifle an entire industry at the expense of consumers—but for years, that's exactly what Simon Property Group did to New Yorkers,” Schneiderman said. “Simon's anti-competitive conduct blocked competition and drove up prices for New York consumers. That ends today.”
As part of the settlement:
- Sim agreed to revise existing leases to remove radius restrictions that would otherwise prevent outlet center development.
- For the next 10 years, Simon has agreed to stop using radius restrictions, or other exclusionary tactics, that might deter retailers from opening additional outlet stores.
- Simon will also pay $945,000 to New York State
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