Federal Trade Commission v. Curtis Pub Co, No. 86

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtMcREYNOLDS
Citation260 U.S. 568,67 L.Ed. 408,43 S.Ct. 210
PartiesFEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION v. CURTIS PUB. CO
Decision Date08 January 1923
Docket NumberNo. 86

260 U.S. 568
43 S.Ct. 210
67 L.Ed. 408
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

v.

CURTIS PUB. CO.

No. 86.
Argued Nov. 17, 1922.
Decided Jan. 8, 1923.

Page 569

Mr. Solicitor General Beck and Adrian F. Busick, both of Washington, D. C., for petitioner.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 569-572 intentionally omitted]

Page 572

Mr. John G. Milburn, of New York City, for respondent.

Page 573

Mr. Justice McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.

The court below entered a decree setting aside an order of the Trade Commission, dated July 21, 1919, which directed respondent Publishing Company to cease and desist from entering into or enforcing agreements prohibiting wholesalers from selling or distributing the magazines or newspapers of other publishers. (C. C. A.) 270 Fed. 881. And the cause is here by certiorari.

The commission issued an original complaint July 5, 1917, based mainly on a restrictive clause in existing contracts with so-called district agents. Thereafter respondent changed its agreement. An amended complaint followed, which amplified the original allegations and attacked the second contract and consequent conditions.

The first section of the amended complaint declares there is reason to believe that respondent has been and is using unfair methods of competition contrary to section 5, Act of Congress approved September 26, 1914, c. 311, 38 Stat. 717 (Comp. St. §§ 8836a-8836k),1 and specifically charges: That respondent, a

Page 574

Pennsylvania corporation with principal place of business at Philadelphia, has long engaged in publishing, selling and circulating weekly and monthly periodicals in interstate commerce. That with intent, purpose and effect of suppressing competition in the publication, sale and circulation of periodicals it now refuses and for some months past has refused to sell its publications to any dealer who will not agree to refrain from selling or distributing those of certain competitors to other dealers or distributors. That with the same intent, purpose and effect it is making and for several months last past has made contracts with numerous wholesalers to distribute its periodicals as agents, and not to distribute those of other publishers without permission. That wholesalers so restricted are the principal and often the only medium for proper distribution of weekly and

Page 575

monthly periodicals in various localities throughout the United States, and many of the so-called agents formerly operated under contracts with respondent which abridged their liberty of resale.

The second section declares there is reason to believe respondent is violating section 3, Act of Congress approved Octo er 15, 1914 (Clayton Act) c. 323, 38 Stat. 730,2 and

Page 576

specifically charges: That respondent publishes, sells and circulates weekly and monthly periodicals in interstate commerce. That for some months past, in such commerce, it has sold and is now selling and making contracts for the sale of its publications and periodicals for use and resale and is fixing the price charged on condition, agreement or understanding that the purchaser shall not sell other publications or periodicals, thereby substantially lessening competition and tending to create a monopoly.

Respondent replied to the notice to show cause why it should not be required to desist 'from the violations of law charged in this complaint.' It denied unlawful conduct and claimed that the parties contracted with as agents were such in fact; that their services were necessary for the maintenance of the plan originated by it of distributing publications through school boys, who require special superintendence; and further, that such agents had lawfully agreed to abstain from other connections and devote their time and attention to superintending the boys and to the general upbuilding of sales. Copies of respondent's first and second agreements with distributors accompanied the answer. The first had then been superseded and largely discontinued.

The second contract provides that upon requisition respondent will consign its publications to the agent as he may require, retaining title until they are sold; that the agent will supply the demand of boys and dealers at specified prices, and will use reasonable efforts and devote all nec-

Page 577

essary time to promoting the sales of such publications; 'that without the written consent of the publisher he will not display, deliver, or sell any copies of any one of said publications before the authorized publication date, as specified in the printed requisition blanks, or dispose of any copies of said publications in the territory of any other district agent or special agent of the publisher, or act as agent for or supply at wholesale rates any periodicals other than those published by the publisher, or directly or indirectly furnigh to any other publisher or agent the names and addresses of the persons to whom the publisher's publications are sold or delivered;' that subject to the principal's direction and control the agent shall train, instruct and supervise an adequate force of boys for distributing the publications; and that he will return unsold copies, their cover pages or headings.

After taking much testimony—2,500 pages—the commission made a brief and rather vague report of 2 pages, containing findings and conclusions based on the second contract with dealers and without direct reference to the earlier one. The substance of the report follows:

Paragraph 1. Respondent, a Pennsylvania corporation with principal place of business at Philadelphia, is engaged in publishing, selling and distributing weekly and monthly periodicals among the states.

Paragraph 2. 'That in the course of such commerce, the respondent has entered into contracts with certain persons, partnerships, or corporations to sell or distribute its magazines by the terms of which contracts, such persons, partnerships, or corporations, have agreed, among other things, not to 'act as agent for or supply at wholesale rates, any periodicals other than those published by the publisher'3—the respondent herein—without the written consent of such publisher, that of such persons,

Page 578

partnerships, or corporations, approximately, four hundered forty-seven (447), hereinafter referred to as 'dealers,' are and previous to entering into such contracts with respondent were regularly engaged in the business of wholesale dealers in newspapers or magazines, or both and as such are as aforesaid engaged in the sale or distribution of magazines, or newspapers, or both, of other publishers; that many of said four hundred forty-seven (447) dealers, and many others who have become such wholesale dealers since entering into such contracts, bound by said contract provisions as aforesaid, have requested respondent's permission to engage also in the sale or distribution of certain publications competing in the course of said commerce, with those of respondent, which permission as to said competing publications has been uniformly denied by respondent; that in enforcing said contract provision as to said dealers,...

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  • United States v. Richfield Oil Corp., No. 6896-Y.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • July 2, 1951
    ...v. United States, 1930, 282 U.S. 30, 44, 51 S.Ct. 42, 45, 75 L.Ed. 145. 36 Federal Trade Commission v. Curtis Publishing Company, 1923, 260 U.S. 568, 43 S.Ct. 210, 213, 67 L.Ed. 408. The scope of the case is so limited in Carter Carburetor Corp. v. Federal Trade Commission, 8 Cir., 1940, 11......
  • Xiao Xing Ni v. Gonzales, Docket No. 04-0042-AG.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 12, 2007
    ...removal. However, for the reasons explained below, we need not reach that question. 3. The Court relied on FTC v. Curtis Publishing Co., 260 U.S. 568, 580, 43 S.Ct. 210, 67 L.Ed. 408 (1923), in support of this proposition concerning orders of the Federal Trade Commission. See Ford Motor Co.......
  • United States v. Bausch Lomb Optical Co Lens Co v. United States, SOFT-LITE
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 10, 1944
    ...Refining Co., 261 U.S. 463, 475, 476, 43 S.Ct. 450, 453, 454, 67 L.Ed. 746; and Federal Trade Commission v. Curtis Publishing Co., 260 U.S. 568, 582, 43 S.Ct. 210, 213, 67 L.Ed. 408. None of these cases involve, as the present case does, an agreement between the seller and purchaser to main......
  • United States v. Columbia Steel Co, No. 461
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 7, 1948
    ...v. Bausch & Lomb Co., 321 U.S. 707, 728, 729, 64 S.Ct. 805, 816, 88 L.Ed. 1024. Compare Federal Trade Comm. v. Curtis Publishing Co., 260 U.S. 568, 43 S.Ct. 210, 67 L.Ed. 408. 24 334 U.S. 100, 68 S.Ct. 941, at page 945: 'Anyone who owns and operates the single theatre in a town, or who acqu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
78 cases
  • United States v. Richfield Oil Corp., No. 6896-Y.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • July 2, 1951
    ...v. United States, 1930, 282 U.S. 30, 44, 51 S.Ct. 42, 45, 75 L.Ed. 145. 36 Federal Trade Commission v. Curtis Publishing Company, 1923, 260 U.S. 568, 43 S.Ct. 210, 213, 67 L.Ed. 408. The scope of the case is so limited in Carter Carburetor Corp. v. Federal Trade Commission, 8 Cir., 1940, 11......
  • Xiao Xing Ni v. Gonzales, Docket No. 04-0042-AG.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • July 12, 2007
    ...removal. However, for the reasons explained below, we need not reach that question. 3. The Court relied on FTC v. Curtis Publishing Co., 260 U.S. 568, 580, 43 S.Ct. 210, 67 L.Ed. 408 (1923), in support of this proposition concerning orders of the Federal Trade Commission. See Ford Motor Co.......
  • United States v. Bausch Lomb Optical Co Lens Co v. United States, SOFT-LITE
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • April 10, 1944
    ...Refining Co., 261 U.S. 463, 475, 476, 43 S.Ct. 450, 453, 454, 67 L.Ed. 746; and Federal Trade Commission v. Curtis Publishing Co., 260 U.S. 568, 582, 43 S.Ct. 210, 213, 67 L.Ed. 408. None of these cases involve, as the present case does, an agreement between the seller and purchaser to main......
  • United States v. Columbia Steel Co, No. 461
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 7, 1948
    ...v. Bausch & Lomb Co., 321 U.S. 707, 728, 729, 64 S.Ct. 805, 816, 88 L.Ed. 1024. Compare Federal Trade Comm. v. Curtis Publishing Co., 260 U.S. 568, 43 S.Ct. 210, 67 L.Ed. 408. 24 334 U.S. 100, 68 S.Ct. 941, at page 945: 'Anyone who owns and operates the single theatre in a town, or who acqu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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