Western Union Tel. Co. v. Foster - 247 U.S. 105 (1918)
U.S. Supreme Court
Western Union Tel. Co. v. Foster, 247 U.S. 105 (1918)
Western Union Telegraph Company v. Foster
No. 274, 275, 419, 420
Argued April 29, 30, 1918
Decided May 20, 1918
247 U.S. 105
The New York Stock Exchange, for lump sums, contracted with telegraph companies to furnish them continuous stock quotations, to be furnished by them in turn to their subscribers by ticker service; each subscriber's application must be subject in terms to his being approved by the Exchange before it became effective, and must authorize the company to discontinue his service whenever so directed by the Exchange, the contract declaring that the Exchange reserved these rights to prevent improper use of the facts. Under this arrangement, the quotation, a received from the Exchange in New York, were wired in Morse code to Boston, where they were
decoded and wired to the tickers, the wire of other companies being in part used in the process. Held, that the transmission of the quotations remained interstate commerce until completed in the subscribers' offices, and that an order of a Massachusetts commission, requiring the companies to cease discriminating against a would-be subscriber whom the Exchange disapproved was a direct interference with such commerce not sanctioned under the police power of the state or its power over streets crossed by the telegraph which infringed the constitutional right of the companies and those of the Exchange.
224 Mass. 365 reversed.
The cases are stated in the opinion.