228 U.S. 87 (1913), 697, United States v. Pacific & Arctic

Docket Nº:No. 697
Citation:228 U.S. 87, 33 S.Ct. 443, 57 L.Ed. 742
Party Name:United States v. Pacific & Arctic
Case Date:April 07, 1913
Court:United States Supreme Court

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228 U.S. 87 (1913)

33 S.Ct. 443, 57 L.Ed. 742

United States


Pacific & Arctic

No. 697

United States Supreme Court

April 7, 1913

Railway and Navigation Company

Argued February 26, 1913




While, under the Interstate Commerce Act, a carrier may select its through route connections, agreements for such connections may constitute violations of the Anti-Trust Act if made not from natural trade reasons or on account of efficiency, but as a combination and conspiracy in restraint of interstate trade and for the purpose of obtaining a monopoly of traffic by refusing to establish routes with independent connecting carriers.

In reviewing the decision of the lower court sustaining a demurrer to an indictment charging a combination in violation of the Anti-Trust Act, this Court is not called upon to consider what the elements of the plan may be independently, or whether there is or is not a standard of reasonableness which juries may apply. If a criminal violation of the act is charged, the criminal courts have cognizance of it with power of decision in regard thereto.

A combination made in the United States between carriers to monopolize certain transportation partly within and partly without the United States is within the prohibition of the Anti-Trust Act, and

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also within the jurisdiction of the criminal and civil law of the United States even if one of the parties combining be a foreign corporation. While the United States may not control foreign citizens operating in foreign territory, it may control them when operating in the United States in the same manner as it may control citizens of this country. The purpose of the Interstate Commerce Act is to establish a tribunal to determine the relation of communities, shippers, and carriers and their respective rights and obligations dependent upon the act, and the conduct of carriers is not subject to judicial review in criminal or civil cases based on alleged violations of the act until submitted to and passed on by the Commission.

Quaere what the effect is of a finding by the Interstate Commerce Commission in such a case.

Where the district court holds that the averments of the indictment are not sufficient to connect certain defendants with the offense charged, it construes the indictment, and not the statute on which it is based, and this Court has no jurisdiction under the Criminal Appeals Act to review the decision.

An objection to the demurrer made by certain defendants and sustained as to one count, and not passed on as to other counts which were struck down by the district court but sustained by this Court, may be raied in the district court by such defendants in regard to such counts when the case is again before that court.

Indictment for alleged violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and of the Interstate Commerce Act.

The indictment contains six counts. The first and second counts charge violations of the antitrust law. The first, by the defendants engaging in a combination and conspiracy in restraint of trade and commerce with one another, to eliminate and destroy competition in the business of transportation in freight and passengers between various ports in the United States and British Columbia in the south, and the various cities in the valleys of the Yukon River and its tributaries, both in British and American territory, in the north, upon a line of traffic described, for the purpose and with the intention of monopolizing such trade and commerce. The second count charges the monopolization of trade and commerce in the

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same business and between the same ports. The manner of executing the alleged criminal purpose is charged to be the same in both counts.

The places of the incorporation of the corporate defendants are alleged, and the following facts: the Pacific Coast Steamship Company and the Alaska Steamship Company operate, respectively, lines of steamships as common carriers of freight and passengers running in regular route between Seattle, State of Washington, and Skagway, Alaska. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company is a like carrier, and operates a line of steamships between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Skagway. During the time mentioned in the indictment, the Pacific & Arctic Railway & Navigation Company owned and operated a railroad from tidewater at Skagway to the summit of White Pass, a distance of about 20 miles to the boundary line between Alaska and British Columbia at which latter point it connected with a railroad owned and operated by the British Columbia Yukon Railway Company. The latter road extended from the summit of White Pass to the east shore of Lake Bennett and the boundary line between British Columbia and Yukon district of Canada, a distance of about 25 miles, at which point it connected with another railroad, owned and operated by the British Yukon Railway Company, which extends to White Horse on the headwaters of the Yukon River, in Yukon district of Canada. During all the times mentioned, there was a line of steamers plying upon the Yukon River and the headwaters thereof between White Horse and Dawson, owned and operated by the British Yukon Navigation [33 S.Ct. 445] Company. The four corporations last above mentioned and their stocks and bonds were owned and controlled by the same persons and individuals, and the said three lines of railroads and their lines of steamers were under one and the same management, and were operated as one continuous line

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of common carriers of freight and passengers between the towns of Skagway and Dawson and waypoints, under the name and style of the White Pass & Yukon Route, referred to as "the railroad," and had the sole and exclusive monopoly of the transportation business between Lynn Canal and the navigable waters of the Yukon River. A general trade and commerce was carried on between British Columbia and Puget Sound ports and the Yukon Valley, both in American and British territory, over the designated routes and to the various places on the routes, and the shortest and most natural route for such trade and commerce was, has been, and is by watercraft from said southern ports to Skagway, and thence over Moore's Wharf, so called, to the points of destination. Trade and commerce from White Horse and Dawson to said southern ports would naturally, when left untrammeled by unlawful interference, move up the Yukon to the headwaters of that river, and thence, by the way of said railroad, to Skagway, Alaska, thence over said Moore's Wharf, and thence by steamship or other watercraft to the said southern ports.

The North Pacific Wharves & Trading Company was the owner and in exclusive possession and control of all of the wharves at Skagway at which steamships or other water crafts could take and discharge, or load cargo, that company having a complete and absolute monopoly of the...

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