SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
360 U.S. 55
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION v. SIMPLICITY PATTERN CO., INC.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT.
No. 406. Argued April 21, 1959. -- Decided June 8, 1959.
Together with No. 447, Simplicity Pattern Co., Inc., v. Federal Trade Commission, also on certiorari to the same Court.
In this case the Federal Trade Commission found that one of the Nation's largest manufacturers of dress patterns discriminated in favor of its larger customers by furnishing to them services and facilities not accorded to competing smaller customers on proportionally equal terms, in violation of § 2 (e) of the Clayton Act, as amended by the Robinson-Patman Act, and it ordered the manufacturer to cease and desist from doing so.
Held: The Commission's order is sustained. Pp. 56-71.
(a) Though the manufacturer's larger customers sold the patterns for a profit while its smaller customers sold them as an accommodation to purchasers of their fabrics, and no specific injury to competition in patterns was shown, the record justified the Commission's finding that they were competitors. Pp. 62-64.
(b) Given competition between the two classes of customers, neither absence of competitive injury nor the presence of "cost-justification" is available as a defense to a charge of violating § 2 (e) of the Act. Pp. 64-71.
103 U.S. App. D.C. 373, 258 F.2d 673, affirmed in part and reversed in part.
MR. JUSTICE CLARK delivered the opinion of the Court.