SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
STANDARD FASHION COMPANY v. MAGRANE-HOUSTON COMPANY 258 U.S. 346
CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT.
No. 20. Argued January 25, 1921; restored to docket for reargument April 11, 1921; reargued January 16, 1922 -- Decided April 10, 1922
Certiorari to a decree of the Circuit Court of Appeals which affirmed a decree of the District Court dismissing a suit brought by the petitioner to restrain the respondent from violating a contract and for damages.
1. A contract for a term of two years from its date and from term to term thereafter until terminated by either party by giving three months' notice within thirty days after the expiration of any contract period, the contract to continue in effect during such three months, held, where notice was not given after the first two years, to have remained effective for two years longer and three months thereafter. P. 353.
2. A suit to restrain a violation of a contract does not become moot with the expiration of the contract if the bill also prays for damages capable of ascertainment. P. 353.
3. Under the General Laws of Massachusetts, c. 155 § 21, the existence of a corporation which has gone out of business and would up its affairs in continued for three years thereafter for the purpose of prosecuting and defending suits. P. 353.
4. A contract between a manufacturer and a retailer creating an "agency" for the retailing of goods made by the former but to be purchased by the latter, wth provisions for periodical exchange of old goods for new of less valuation, and for repurchase by the manufacturer of stock on hand at termination of the contract, held a contract of sale, within § 3 of the Clayton Act. P. 354.
5. In a contract between a manufacturer and a retailer granting the latter the "agency" for the sale at its store of goods bought by it from the former and stipulating that the retailer shall not assign or transfer the agency or remove it from its original location without the manufacturer's consent, a covenant of the retailer not to sell on its premises goods of the manufacturer's competitors during the term of the contract, held, a general restriction not confined to the particular shop. P. 354.
6. The Clayton Act was intended to supplement the Sherman and other antitrust acts, by reaching agreements in their incipiency. P. 355.
7. The purpose of § 3 of the Clayton Act in forbidding contracts of sale, made upon the agreement or understanding that the purchaser shall not deal in goods of the seller's competitors, which "may substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly", was not to prohibit the mere possibility of those consequences, but to prevent agreements which, in the circumstances, will probably lessen competition or create an actual tendency to monopoly. P. 356.
8. When the meaning of an act of Congress is plain on its face, there is no occasion to resort to the reports of congressional committees concerning it. P. 356.
259 Fed. 793, affirmed.
Mr. Justice Day delivered the opinion of the court.