United States Alkali Export Assn., Inc. v. United States
325 U.S. 196 (1945)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States Alkali Export Assn., Inc. v. United States, 325 U.S. 196 (1945)

United States Alkali Export Association, Inc. v. United States

No. 1016

Argued May 1, 2, 1945

Decided May 21, 1945*

325 U.S. 196

Syllabus

1. An order of a district court in a suit brought by the United States under § 4 of the Sherman Act against export associations and members thereof to restrain violations of the Act, denying a motion of the defendants to dismiss, made on the ground that, under §§ 1, 2, and 5 of the Webb-Pomerene Act, exclusive jurisdiction of the matters charged in the complaint is vested in the first instance in the Federal Trade Commission, held reviewable here by certiorari under § 262 of the Judicial Code. P. 325 U. S. 201.

(a) Where the proceeding is one in respect of which this Court has exclusive appellate jurisdiction, an application for a common law writ in aid of appellate jurisdiction must be to this Court. P. 325 U. S. 202.

(b) The hardship which would be imposed on the defendants by a long postponed appellate review, coupled with the attendant infringement of the asserted Congressional policy of conferring primary jurisdiction on the Commission, together support the appeal to the discretion of this Court to exercise its power to review the ruling of the district court in advance of final judgment. P. 325 U. S. 204.

2. Exercise of the powers conferred on the Federal Trade Commission by § 5 of the Webb-Pomerene Act -- to investigate activities of any export association which are believed to be in violation of the Sherman Act, if violations are found, to make recommendations

Page 325 U. S. 197

to such association for readjustment of its business, and, upon failure of the association to comply, to refer its findings and recommendations to the Attorney General -- is not a prerequisite to a suit by the United States against an export association to restrain violations of the Sherman Act. P. 325 U. S. 205.

(a) The Webb-Pomerene Act's grant of power to the Commission would curtail the authority of the United States to conduct antitrust suits only if it were deemed an implied repeal pro tanto of § 4 of the Sherman Act. Repeals by implication are not favored. P. 325 U. S. 209.

(b) The principle that equity will not lend its aid to plaintiff who has not first exhausted his administrative remedies is inapplicable, since the function of the Commission under § 5 of the Webb-Pomerene Act is to investigate, recommend, and report. The Commission, under that Act, can give no remedy, it can make no controlling finding of law or fact, and its recommendation need not be followed by any court or administrative or executive officer. P. 325 U. S. 210.

58 F.Supp. 785 affirmed.

Certiorari, 324 U.S. 834, to review an order of a district court denying a motion of the defendants to dismiss a suit brought by the United States to restrain violations of the Sherman Act.

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