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SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Syllabus

SCHWEGMANN BROTHERS ET AL. v. CALVERT DISTILLERS CORP.

341 U.S. 384

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT.

No. 442. Argued April 9-10, 1951 -- Decided May 21, 1951

The Miller-Tydings Act exempts from the operation of the Sherman Act "contracts or agreements prescribing minimum prices for the resale" of specified commodities when "contracts or agreements of that description are lawful as applied to intrastate transactions" under local law. Respondents, distributors of gin and whiskey in interstate commerce, have contracts or agreements with Louisiana retailers fixing minimum retail prices for respondents' products. Louisiana law authorizes enforcement of price fixing not only against parties to a "contract" but also against nonsigners. Petitioner, a retailer in New Orleans, refused to sign a price-fixing contract with respondents and sold respondents' products at cut-rate prices.

Held:

Respondents were not entitled by reason of the Miller-Tydings Act to enjoin petitioner from selling their products at less than the minimum prices fixed by their schedules. Pp. 385-395.

(a) Price fixing is unlawful per se under the Sherman Act. P. 386.

(b) The Miller-Tydings Act exempts "contracts or agreements prescribing minimum prices for the resale" of the articles purchased, not "contracts or agreements" respecting the practices of noncontracting competitors of the contracting retailers. Pp. 387-390.

(c) The history of the Miller-Tydings Act supports the construction here given it. Pp. 390-395.

184 F.2d 11, reversed.

MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS delivered the opinion of the Court.


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