(39) Because of the large amount of revenue DCAG earns in the United States through MBUSA, the Ninth Circuit held that MBUSA's services satisfied the sufficient-importance test--that is, even if DCAG replaced MBUSA with a contractor, that contractor would still be considered a representative for purposes of the test.
(43) Highlighting the General Distributor's Agreement between DCAG and MBUSA, the court held that it was evident that DCAG reserved the right to exercise control over nearly every aspect of MBUSA's operations.
Furthermore, the Ninth Circuit properly concluded that MBUSA's services are sufficiently important to DCAG because DCAG could not afford to abandon the United States market.
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which reverses and remands because it finds MBUSA did serve as DCAG's agent and the exercise of personal jurisdiction was, in fact, fair and reasonable.
Deeming the "specific" brand of personal jurisdiction irrelevant here, the Court conducted the two-prong test for "general" jurisdiction in which (Plaintiffs demonstrate that) the DCAG possessed requisite contacts with the forum and the exercise of that jurisdiction is fair and reasonable (with the burden on Defendant DCAG to show the exercise is unreasonable).
The question is whether MBUSA's extensive contacts with California warrant the exercise of general jurisdiction over DCAG. Under the controlling law, if one of two separate tests is satisfied, we may find the necessary contacts to support the exercise of personal jurisdiction over a foreign parent company by virtue of its relationship to a subsidiary that has continual operations in the forum."