Moore v. New York Cotton Exchange, 200

Decision Date12 April 1926
Docket NumberNo. 200,200
Citation70 L.Ed. 750,46 S.Ct. 367,45 A. L. R. 1370,270 U.S. 593
CourtU.S. Supreme Court

Mr. John M. Coleman, of New York City (Mr. Oscar B. Bergstrom, of New York City, of counsel), for appellant.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 594-596 intentionally omitted] Messrs. George W. Wickersham, Henry W. Taft, and Francis Raymond Stark, all of New York City (Mr. George Coggill, of New York City, of counsel), for appellees.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 597-601 intentionally omitted] Mr. Justice SUTHERLAND delivered the opinion of the Court.

The Odd-Lot Cotton Exchange is an organization whose members make contracts for themselves and for customers for the future delivery of cotton in lots of not more than 100 nor less than 10 bales. The members of the New Cotton Exchange, which is organized under a special act of the New York Legislature (chapter 365, p. 724, Laws 1871), also make contracts for the purchase and sale of cotton for further delivery, either for themselves or for customers; such contracts being made only upon open viva voce bidding, between certain hours of the day and in the rooms of the exchange in New York City. Quotations of prices thus established are collected by the New York exchange, and, under the terms of a written agreement with that exchange, the Western Union company pays $27,500 annually for the privilege of receiving and distributing them throughout the United States, to such persons as the exchange approves. Applicants for such quotations must sign an application and agree not to use them in connection with a bucket shop or to give them out to other persons. The Gold & Stock Telegraph Company, a New York corporation and a subsidiary of, and controlled by, the Western Union, is engaged in disseminating quotations of cotton prices by means of ticker service, owned and operated by it, tickers being located in exchanges, brokerage houses, and elsewhere in the several states. The Odd-Lot Exchange made application to the two telegraph companies for this service in the form required by the contract with the New York exchange. It was refused; the New York exchange having declined to give its consent to the installation on the ground, among others, that, after investigation, it had ascertained that the Odd-Lot had succeeded another exchange, which had been convicted of conducting a bucket shop, and that the Odd-Lot had in its membership many members of the convicted exchange, and was organized as a cover to enable its members to engage in the same unlawful business.

Federal jurisdiction is invoked under the anti-trust laws of the United States. The bill avers that the contracts between members of the Odd-Lot are chiefly for producers of cotton and others located, resident and in business in other states than New York, and are made and effectuated by communications through the Western Union by wire; that such contracts concern and include deliveries of cotton from cotton-growing states to and into the state of New York, involving actual interstate shipment and transportation; that the New York exchange has a monopoly upon the receipt and dissemination of cotton price quotations, through which quotations and prices of cotton, both spot and for future delivery, are influenced, guided, and fixed in the exchanges and markets throughout the United States; that the contract with the Western Union is in restraint of interstate trade and commerce in cotton, and was entered into for the purpose of monopolizing and restraining that commerce. There is an attempt to allege unfair methods of competition, which may be put aside at once, since relief in such cases under the Trade Commission Act (Comp. St. §§ 8836a-8836k) must be afforded in the first instance by the commission.

The prayer is for a decree canceling the Western Union contract, adjudging the New York Cotton Exchange to be a monopoly, restraining appellees from refusing to install a ticker and furnish the Odd-Lot and its members, as they do others, with continuous cotton quotations, and for other relief.

The answer, in addition to denials and affirmative defensive matter, sets up a counterclaim to the effect that the Odd-Lot, though it had been refused permission to use the quotations of the New York exchange, was purloining them, or receiving them from some person who was purloining them, and giving them out to its members, who were distributing them to bucket ships, with the consequent impairment of the value of appellees' property therein. An injunction against the continuance of this practice was asked.

Both parties moved for interlocutory injunctions. The district court denied appellant's motion and granted that of appellees. 291 F. 681. Upon appeal, both orders were affirmed by the Circuit Court of Appeals. 296 F. 61. By stipulation of the parties authorizing such action, the Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the cause, with directions to the District Court to enter a final decree dismissing the bill and making permanent the injunction granted appellees. Since this left to the District Court only the ministerial duty of complying with the mandate, the decree below, for purposes of appeal, is final. Gulf Refining Co. v. United States, 46 S. Ct. 52, 269 U. S. 125, 136, 70 L. Ed. 195.

First. We are of opinion that upon the allegations of the bill no case is made under the federal anti-trust laws. The only possible ground on which the suit can be maintained rests in the claim that there is a violation of sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, c. 647, 26 Stat. 209 (Comp. St. §§ 8820, 8821), for which appellant is entitled to sue under section 16 of the Clayton Act, c. 323, 38 Stat. 737 (Comp. St. § 8835o). And whether this claim is tenable turns alone upon the effect of the contract between the New York exchange and the Western Union. Independent of that contract, there is no averment of fact in the bill upon which a violation of the Anti-Trust Act can be predicated. The New York exchange is engaged in a local business. Transactions between its members are purely local in their inception and in their execution. They consist of agreements made on the spot for the purchase and sale of cotton for future delivery, with a provision that such cotton must be represented by a warehouse receipt issued by a licensed ware-house in the Port of New York and be deliverable from such warehouse. Such agreements do not provide for, nor does it appear that they contemplate, the shipment of cotton from one state to another. If interstate shipments are actually made, it is not because of any contractual obligation to that effect; but it is a chance happening which cannot have the effect of converting these purely local agreements or the transactions to which they relate into subjects of interstate commerce. Ware & Leland Co. v. Mobile County, 28 S. Ct. 526, 209 U. S. 405, 412, 413, 52 L. Ed. 855, 14 Ann. Cas. 1031. The most that can be said is that the agreements are likely to give rise to interstate shipments. This is not enough. Engel v. O'Malley, 31 S. Ct. 190, 219 U. S. 128, 139, 55 L. Ed. 128. See also Hopkins v. United States, 19 S. Ct. 40, 171 U. S. 578, 588, 590, 43 L. Ed. 290; Anderson v. United States, 19 S. Ct. 50, 171 U. S. 604, 615, 616, 43 L. Ed. 300.

It is equally clear that the contract with the Western Union for the distribution of the quotations to such persons as the New York exchange shall approve does not fall within the reach of the Anti-Trust Act. Under that contract, the exchange at its own expense collects the quo- tations and delivers them to the telegraph company for distribution to such approved persons. The real distributor is the exchange; the telegraph company is an agency through which the distribution is made. In effect, the exchange hands over the quotations, as it might any other message, to the telegraph company for transmission, charges to be collected from the receivers. The payment which the telegraph company makes to the exchange is for the privilege of having the business. It does not alter the character of the service rendered.

In furnishing the quotations to one and refusing to furnish them to another, the exchange is but exercising the ordinary right of a private vendor of news or other property. As a common carrier of messages for hire, the telegraph company, of course, is bound to carry for alike. But it cannot be required-indeed, it is not permitted-to deliver messages to others than those designated by the sender. We fully agree with what is said upon similar facts by Judge Ingraham in Matter of Renville, 61 N. Y. S. 549, 554, 46 App. Div. 37, 43, 44:

'I cannot see that it makes any difference whether a dispatch is given to a telegraph company to be communicated to a single individual, or to be communicated to ten, a hundred or a thousand individuals. Under this agreement between the stock exchange and the respondents, certain information is given to the telegraph company to be communicated to individuals or corporations designated by the Stock Exchange. Whether we call this information a special dispatch or general information which the Stock Exchange desires to communicate, seems to me to be entirely immaterial. The fact that the telegraph company pays to the stock exchange a certain sum of money for the information which it receives to transmit is also immaterial. The substance is that those to whom this information is directed to be given by the stock exchange are willing to pay the Stock Exchange for such ...

To continue reading

Request your trial
603 cases
  • Saunders v. New Capital for Small Businesses, Inc.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • 17 Diciembre 1964
    ...not so much upon the immediateness of their connection as upon their logical relationship.' (Moore v. New York Cotton Exchange (1926) 270 U.S. 593, 610, 46 S.Ct. 367, 371, 70 L.Ed. 750; in accord: U.S. for Use & Benefit of Pickard v. Southern Construction Co., Inc. (6th Cir. 1961) 293 F.2d ......
  • Federal Sav. and Loan Ins. Corp. v. Williams
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • 5 Diciembre 1984
    ...not so much on the immediateness of their connection as upon their logical relationship." Moore v. New York Cotton Exchange, 270 U.S. 593, 610, 46 S.Ct. 367, 371, 70 L.Ed. 750 (1926). See also Sue and Sum Manufacturing Co. v. B-L-S Construction Co., 538 F.2d 1048, 1051 (4th Cir.1976); Wrigh......
  • Palermo v. Letourneau Technologies, Inc.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Mississippi
    • 26 Marzo 2008
    ...related' events." See Mosley v. Gen. Motors Corp., 497 F.2d 1330, 1333 (8th Cir.1974) (citing Moore v. New York Cotton Exch., 270 U.S. 593, 610, 46 S.Ct. 367, 70 L.Ed. 750 (1926); 7 Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Mary Kay Kane, FEDERAL PRACTICE & PROCEDURE § 1653 at 270 (1972)); see ......
  • Feld Entm't, Inc. v. Am. Soc. for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 9 Julio 2012
    ...depending not so much upon the immediateness of their connection as upon their logical relationship.” Moore v. N.Y. Cotton Exch., 270 U.S. 593, 610, 46 S.Ct. 367, 70 L.Ed. 750 (1926). “This inquiry is flexible and attempts to analyze whether the essential facts of the various claims are so ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
2 firm's commentaries
10 books & journal articles
  • Ancillary Enforcement Jurisdiction: the Misinterpretation of Kokkonen and Expungement Petitions
    • United States
    • Emory University School of Law Emory Law Journal No. 69-6, 2020
    • Invalid date
    ...the principle case"); Great Lakes Rubber Corp. v. Herbert Cooper Co., 286 F.2d 631, 633 (3d Cir. 1961) (citing Moore v. N.Y. Cotton Exch., 270 U.S. 593, 607-09 (1926)).153. See, e.g., 13 Federal Practice & Procedure, supra note 92, § 3523 (noting that the Moore holding was a "major expansio......
  • Federal Law of Unfair Competition
    • United States
    • ABA Antitrust Library Business Torts and Unfair Competition Handbook Business tort law
    • 1 Enero 2014
    ...997 (D.C. Cir. 1973); see Amalgamated Util. Workers v. Consol. Edison Co., 309 U.S. 261, 268-69 (1940) (dictum); Moore v. NY Cotton Exch., 270 U.S. 593, 603 (1926); see also Jeter v. Credit Bureau, Inc., 754 F.2d 907, 912 n.5 (11th Cir.), on reh’g , 760 F.2d 1168, 1174 n.5 (11th Cir. 1985).......
  • In Search of the Transaction or Occurrence: Counterclaims
    • United States
    • University of Nebraska - Lincoln Nebraska Law Review No. 40, 2022
    • Invalid date
    ...See infra Part III(A). 11. See infra Part III(B). 12. See infra Part III(C). 13. See infra Part IV. 14. Moore v. New York Cotton Exch., 270 U.S. 593, 610 (1926). 15. The transaction-or-occurrence test is defined as itself: "A test used to determine whether, under Fed. R. Civ. P. 13(a), a pa......
  • Real-time Sports Data and the First Amendment
    • United States
    • University of Whashington School of Law Journal of Law, Technology & Arts No. 11-2, October 2015
    • Invalid date
    ...123. Id. at 1296. Citing two pre-Erie "ticker cases," Bd. of Trade v. Christie Grain, 198 U.S. 236 (1905) and Moore v. N.Y. Cotton Exch., 270 U.S. 593 (1926), the district court provided details on the underpinnings of finding a property right in the golf scores:The PGA Tour's property righ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT