Eastman Kodak Co. v. Southern Photo Materials Co. - 273 U.S. 359 (1927)
U.S. Supreme Court
Eastman Kodak Co. v. Southern Photo Materials Co., 273 U.S. 359 (1927)
Eastman Kodak Company of New York v.
Southern Photo Materials Company
Argued November 19, 1925
Decided February 21, 1927
273 U.S. 359
1. Under § 12 of the Clayton Act, a suit against a corporation for injuries sustained from violations of the Anti-Trust Act may be brought in a federal court in any district in which the corporation transacts business, although neither residing nor "found" there, and the process may be served in another district in which the corporation either resides or is "found." P. 273 U. S. 370.
2. A corporation is engaged in transacting business in a district, in the sense of this venue provision, if in fact, in the ordinary and usual sense, it "transacts business" therein of any substantial character. P. 273 U. S. 373.
3. A corporation is nonetheless engaged in transacting business in a district, within the meaning of this section, because of the fact that such business may be entirely interstate in character and be transacted by agents who do not reside within the district. P. 273 U. S. 373.
4. Congress may, in the exercise of its legislative discretion, fix the venue of a civil action in a federal court in one district, and authorize the process to be issued to another district in which the defendant resides or is found. P. 273 U. S. 374.
5. A corporation which, in a continuous course of business, was engaged not only in selling and shipping its goods to dealers within a certain district, but also in soliciting orders therein through its salesmen and promoting the demand for its goods through its demonstrators for the purpose of increasing its sales, was transacting
business in that district within the meaning of this venue provision of the Clayton Act. P. 273 U. S. 374.
6. That the intent of a defendant manufacturer in refusing to continue selling its goods to a plaintiff retailer at dealers' discounts was to perpetuate its monopoly in such goods may be inferred from circumstances. P. 273 U. S. 375.
7. Such refusal was not justified by the fact that the plaintiff retailer has previously undertaken to handle goods of another manufacturer under a preferential contract when it was not shown that the defendant knew of such contract at the time of the refusal. P. 273 U. S. 375.
8. In an action for injury to an established retail business due to a defendant manufacturer's monopoly of a line of the goods dealt in and to its refusal, in the interest of its monopoly, to continue supplying such goods to the plaintiff at retailers' discounts, the gross profits derived by the plaintiff from selling such goods during a period preceding the refusal, less the expense, additional to the general expenses of the business, which would have been incurred in handling them during the period in suit, may be used as a standard in measuring the damages, if the plaintiff had not been in pari delicto with the defendant in the monopoly, and the profits were not increased thereby, and if the other facts are such that the inference of the lost anticipated profits from the past profits is reasonable. P. 273 U. S. 376.
9. Damages are not uncertain because they cannot be calculated exactly. It is sufficient if a reasonable basis of computation is afforded, although the result be only approximate. P. 273 U. S. 378.
10. A defendant whose wrongful conduct has rendered difficult the ascertainment of the precise damages suffered by the plaintiff is not entitled to complain that they cannot be measured with the same exactness as would otherwise be possible. P 273 U. S. 379.
295 F. 98 affirmed.
Error to a judgment of the circuit court of appeals which affirmed a judgment of the district court in a suit brought to recover damages for injuries sustained through violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. See also 234 F. 955.