Motion For Remand must be granted unless jurisdiction exists based on federal question.
Defendants also oppose plaintiffs' Motion For Remand on grounds that plaintiffs' claims are primarily based on federal antitrust law and therefore jurisdiction exists based on federal question. The existence of federal jurisdiction on removal must be determined on the face of the plaintiffs' complaint. Gully v. First National Bank in Meridian, 299 U.S. 109, 57 S. Ct. 96, 81 L. Ed. 70 (1936), Louisville & Nashville Railroad v. Mottley, 211 U.S. 149, 29 S. Ct. 42, 53 L. Ed. 126 (1908), Brough v. United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO, 437 F.2d 748 (1st Cir.1971), Salveson v. Western States Bankcard Ass'n, 525 F. Supp. 566 (N.D.Cal.1981), La Chemise Lacoste v. Alligator Co., Inc., 506 F.2d 339 (3d Cir.1974), cert. denied, 421 U.S. 937, 95 S. Ct. 1666, 44 L. Ed. 2d 94 (1975), rehearing denied, 421 U.S. 1006, 95 S. Ct. 2408, 44 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1975), 14 C. WRIGHT, A. MILLER, & E. COOPER, FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE § 3722 at 557 n. 23 (1976), 1A MOORE'S FEDERAL PRACTICE para. 0.160 n. 12 (1981). Where plaintiffs' claims involve both a federal ground and a state ground, the plaintiff is free to ignore the federal question and pitch his claim on the state ground, precluding removal based on the existence of a federal question. La Chemise Lacoste v. Alligator Co., 506 F.2d 339 (3d Cir.1974), cert. denied, 421 U.S. 937, 95 S. Ct. 1666, 44 L. Ed. 2d 94 (1975), rehearing denied, 421 U.S. 1006, 95 S. Ct. 2408, 44 L. Ed. 2d 674 (1975), Coulston v. International Bhd. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen, and Helpers of America, 423 F. Supp. 882 (E.D.Pa.1976), Salveson v. Western States Bankcard Ass'n, 525 F. Supp. 566 (N.D.Cal.1981), Vitarroz Corp. v. Borden, Inc., 644 F.2d 960 (2d Cir.1981), Peterson v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, 272 F.2d 115 (7th Cir.1959), Warner Bros. Records, Inc. v. R.A. Ridges Distributing Co., 475 F.2d 262 (10th Cir.1973), Brough v. United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO, 437 F.2d 748 (1st Cir.1971); 1A MOORE'S FEDERAL PRACTICE para. 0.160 (1981); WRIGHT, MILLER & COOPER FEDERAL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE: Jurisdiction § 3722 at 564-69 (1976).
An exception to the rule limiting the court's examination to the face of the complaint arises in cases in which plaintiffs seek to conceal the federal nature of their claims. Although the court is not free to second-guess the plaintiffs' chosen form of pleading, it is entitled to assure itself that plaintiffs have not by "artful pleading" sought to defeat defendants' right to a federal forum. In those circumstances, it is proper for the Court to examine the record to determine if the real nature of the claim is federal, notwithstanding plaintiffs' characterization to the contrary. See Federated Department Stores, Inc. v. Moitie, 452 U.S. 394, 397, 101 S. Ct. 2424, 2427, 69 L. Ed. 2d 103 (1981)(claims purportedly asserted under state law which are essentially "federal in nature" are subject to removal); In re Wiring Device Antitrust Litigation, 498 F. Supp. 79, 82 (E.D.N.Y.1980) ("While plaintiff has alleged only state law claims in his complaint and argues strenuously that by so doing federal jurisdiction has been precluded, it is nevertheless evident that a federal antitrust question is integral to its claims"; remand denied); Hayes v. C. Schmidt & Sons, 374 F. Supp. 442, 455 (E.D.Pa.1974)("an action may be removed to the District Court when the real nature of the claim is federal, irrespective of the characterization given to it by plaintiffs"; remand denied); KMT Corp. v. American Maize Products Co., No. EC 80-318-LS-P (E.D.Miss.1981)("A review of the complaint indicates that although plaintiffs have cast their claims in terms of state law, the claims are nevertheless federal in nature. The court is of the opinion that the federal character of plaintiffs' claims is sufficient to support removal"; remand denied).
After examining the record in these cases, the Court is persuaded that plaintiffs' complaints, although cast in terms of state antitrust violations, are essentially federal in nature and artfully pleaded in a manner intended to defeat defendants' right to a federal forum. By their four complaints and their motions for injunctive relief, plaintiffs seek to prevent The New York Times Co. from attempting to expand the circulation of The New York Times in the geographic regions encompassing the Pennsylvania counties of Bucks, Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware, and in so doing competing with the independent dealers for the sales of The New York Times to home delivery customers. Plaintiffs do not dispute that their claims involve interstate commerce. The New York Times Co.'s expansion of its so-called "T-Routes" is part of a nationwide campaign to increase circulation. It is unquestioned that defendant New York Times Co. is engaged in interstate commerce and that the products whose prices are the subject of this action were manufactured outside of Pennsylvania and shipped there for sale. See In Re Wiring Device Antitrust Litigation, 498 F. Supp. 79, 82-83 (E.D.N.Y.1980). Plaintiffs argue, instead, that the antitrust laws in Pennsylvania extend to interstate commerce. This Court notes, however, that Pennsylvania has no antitrust statute. To the limited extent that Pennsylvania courts have recognized a common law antitrust cause of action for legal or equitable relief, the Courts have relied almost solely on federal antitrust standards. See Collins v. Main Line Board of Realtors, 452 Pa. 342, 304 A.2d 493 (1973), cert. denied, 414 U.S. 979, 94 S. Ct. 291, 38 L. Ed. 2d 223 (1973); Sun Drug Co. v. West Penn Realty Co., 439 Pa. 452, 268 A.2d 781 (1970).
Furthermore, for a corporation such as The New York Times Co. that does business nationwide, it is important to enforce to the extent possible uniform antitrust regulations. See Flood v. Kuhn, 407 U.S. 258, 284, 92 S. Ct. 2099, 2112, 32 L. Ed. 2d 728 (1972).
Accordingly, Plaintiffs' Motion For Remand shall be denied. An Order follows.