In the Matter of Investigation of Simon Property Group, Assurance No. 17-154 (Aug. 21, 2017)

New York entered into a settlement with Simon Property Group that prohibits Simon from using anticompetitive tactics to thwart the development of competing outlet centers in New York City. Simon agreed to immediately modify contractual restrictions that have prevented retailers at Woodbury Common center from opening outlet stores in New York City locations. According to the Attorney General, Simon had monopoly power in the market for retail space in outlet centers in the New York City area. The investigation also confirmed that many retailers at Woodbury Common wished to open additional outlets in New York City, but were largely prevented from doing so by so-called radius restrictions in their leases at Woodbury Common. These clauses typically restrict retailers (by threat of a substantial penalty) from opening a second store within 60 air miles of Woodbury, creating a vast 11,000 square mile zone in which Simon faced little effective competition from other outlet centers. In addition to a $945,000 monetary payment to New York State, Simon agreed to revise existing leases to remove radius restrictions that would otherwise prevent outlet center development and for the next 10 years, Simon has agreed to cease using radius restrictions, or other exclusionary tactics, that might deter retailers from opening additional outlet stores. Simon has also agreed to the appointment of an independent monitor to ensure compliance with the terms of the settlement. To be overseen by the Attorney General’s office.

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