United States v. Borden Co.
347 U.S. 514 (1954)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Borden Co., 347 U.S. 514 (1954)

United States v. Borden Company

No. 464

Argued April 27, 1954

Decided May 17, 1954

347 U.S. 514

Syllabus

In a civil proceeding brought by the United States against several Chicago dairies, the complaint charged a conspiracy to restrain and monopolize the sale of fluid milk in the Chicago area, in violation of the Sherman Act, and price discrimination in violation of the Clayton Act. The District Court dismissed the complaint, holding that, as to the alleged Sherman Act violations, the evidence failed to establish the existence of a conspiracy, and that, though there was proof of price discrimination violative of the Clayton Act by certain of the defendants, a prior decree of that court in a private antitrust suit by a competitor enjoined the conduct in question and made it "useless" to award the Government an injunction.

Held:

1. Rulings by the district judge that certain evidence offered by the Government was inadmissible did not affect the substantial rights of the parties within the meaning of 28 U.S. C. § 2111, since it does not appear that admission of the evidence in question would have been sufficient to change the conclusion that the Government had not established a case under the Sherman Act, and, on that basis, the judgment of dismissal as to the Sherman Act allegations is affirmed. Pp. 347 U. S. 516-517.

2. In view of the difference in the respective interests sought to be vindicated by the Government and by private litigants in Clayton Act proceedings, the district judge abused his discretion in refusing the Government injunctive relief against price discrimination violative of the Clayton Act solely because of the existence of a prior decree entered in a private action. Pp. 347 U. S. 517-520.

111 F.Supp. 562 affirmed in part and remanded.

Page 347 U. S. 515

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