SEATTLE A U.S. District Court judge here reportedly cleared the way on Wednesday for a trial to determine if Starbucks Corp. illegally blocked a small-scale coffeehouse operator from opening stores in the area. Penny Stafford last year sued the 15,000-unit Seattle-based coffee giant, saying Starbucks violated antitrust regulations by blocking her from opening competing stores in Seattle and Bellevue, Wash., where she already operates a coffeehouse. Stafford contends that Starbucks’ ...

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