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U.S. Supreme Court

Schwegmann Bros. v. Calvert Distillers Corp., 341 U.S. 384 (1951)

Schwegmann Brothers v. Calvert Distillers Corp.

Argued April 9-10,1951

Decided May 21, 1951*

341 U.S. 384


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. 341 U. S. 385-395.

(a) Price-fixing is unlawful per se under the Sherman Act. P. 341 U. S. 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. 341 U. S. 387-390.

(c) The history of the Miller-Tydings Act supports the construction here given it. Pp. 341 U. S. 390-395.

184 F.2d 11, reversed.

The District Court enjoined petitioner from alleged unlawful price-cutting. The Court of Appeals affirmed. 184 F.2d 11. This Court granted certiorari. 340 U.S. 928. Reversed, p. 341 U. S. 395.

Page 341 U. S. 385

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