United States v. Yellow Cab Co. - 332 U.S. 218 (1947)
U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Yellow Cab Co., 332 U.S. 218 (1947)
United States v. Yellow Cab Co.
Argued May 7, 1947
Decided June 23, 1947
332 U.S. 218
1. Allegations of a complaint filed in a federal district court pursuant to § 4 of the Sherman Antitrust Act to prevent and restrain the defendants from violating §§ 1 and 2 of the Act, charging a combination and conspiracy to restrain and to monopolize interstate trade and commerce in the sale of motor vehicles for use as taxicabs to the principal cab operating companies in Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York City, and Minneapolis, held sufficient to state a claim upon which relief might be granted. Pp. 332 U. S. 220-228.
(a) A conspiracy to control the purchase of taxicabs by the principal operating companies in Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York City, and Minneapolis, whereby they purchase their cabs exclusively from a Michigan manufacturer and are prevented from purchasing from other manufacturers, is in restraint of interstate commerce. Pp. 332 U. S. 224-225, 332 U. S. 226.
(b) In determining whether the complaint charges a violation of § 1 or § 2 of the Sherman Act, it is enough if some appreciable part of interstate commerce is affected by the restraint or monopoly. P. 332 U. S. 225.
(c) Interstate purchases of replacements of some 5,000 licensed taxicabs in four cities is an appreciable amount of commerce. P. 332 U. S. 225.
(d) The importance of the interstate commerce affected in relation to the entire amount of that type of commerce in the United States is irrelevant. P. 332 U. S. 226.
(e) The complaint is not defective by reason of its failure to allege that the manufacturer involved has a monopoly with reference to the total number of taxicabs manufactured and sold in the United States. P. 332 U. S. 226.
(f) The fact that the corporate defendants, by virtue of affiliation and common ownership, constitute a "vertically integrated enterprise" does not necessarily render inapplicable the prohibitions of the Sherman Act. P. 332 U. S. 227.
2. Allegations of a conspiracy whereby two of the defendants will not compete with a third defendant for contracts with railroads or railroad terminal associations to transport passengers and their luggage between railroad stations in Chicago held sufficient to charge a violation of the Sherman Act. Pp. 332 U. S. 228-229.
(a) The transportation of passengers and their luggage between railroad stations in Chicago is a part of the stream of interstate commerce. P. 332 U. S. 228.
(b) When persons or goods move from a point of origin in one state to a point of destination in another, the fact that a part of that journey consists of transportation by an independent agency solely within the boundaries of one state does not make that portion of the trip any less interstate in character. P. 332 U. S. 228.
(c) Although exclusive contracts for the transportation service in question are not illegal, it is nevertheless a violation of the Sherman Act to conspire to eliminate competition in obtaining such contracts. P. 332 U. S. 229.
(d) The fact that the competition restrained is that between affiliated corporations does not negative the statutory violation where the affiliation itself is one of the means of effectuating the illegal conspiracy not to compete. P. 332 U. S. 229.
3. The service rendered by local taxicabs in conveying interstate passengers between their homes and railroad stations, in the normal course of their independent local service, is not an integral part of interstate transportation, and a restraint on or monopoly of that general local service, without more, is not proscribed by the Sherman Act. Pp. 332 U. S. 230-234.
69 F.Supp. 170, reversed.
A complaint filed by the United States to prevent and restrain alleged violations of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman
Antitrust Act was dismissed by the district court for failure to state a claim upon which relief might be granted. 69 F.Supp. 170. The United States appealed directly to this Court. Reversed and remanded, p. 332 U. S. 234.