KLOR'S, INC. V. BROADWAY-HALE STORES, INC., 359 U. S. 207 (1959)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Klor's, Inc. v. Broadway-Hale Stores, Inc., 359 U.S. 207 (1959)

Klor's, Inc. v. Broadway-Hale Stores, Inc.

No. 76

Argued February 25-26, 1959

Decided April 6, 1959

359 U.S. 207


Petitioner, which operates a retail store selling radios, television sets, refrigerators, and other household appliances, brought this action for treble damages under § 4 of the Clayton Act against respondents, a chain of department stores and 10 national manufacturers and their distributors, alleging that the manufacturers and distributors conspired among themselves and with the chain of department stores either not to sell to petitioner or to do so only at discriminatory prices and highly unfavorable terms, in violation of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, and that this had seriously damaged petitioner. Respondents did not deny these allegations, but moved for summary judgment and dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. They filed affidavits that there were hundreds of other retailers selling the same and competing appliances in the same community, and contended that the controversy was a "purely private quarrel" between petitioner and the chain of department stores, which did not amount to a "public wrong" proscribed by the Sherman Act.

Held: Petitioner's allegations clearly showed a group boycott, which is forbidden by the Sherman Act, and respondents' affidavits provided no defense to the charges. Pp. 359 U. S. 208-214.

(a) A group boycott is not to be tolerated merely because the victim is only one merchant whose business is so small that his destruction makes little difference to the economy. P. 359 U. S. 213.

(b) Monopoly can as surely thrive by the elimination of small businessmen, one at a time, as it can by driving them out in large groups. P. 359 U. S. 213.

255 F.2d 214, reversed and cause remanded.

Page 359 U. S. 208

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