In a suit to restrain violations of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman
Act through a conspiracy to restrain and monopolize the sale of
taxicabs by control of the principal companies operating them in
certain states, the trial court carefully weighed the evidence,
found it insufficient to support the allegations of the complaint,
and entered judgment for defendants.
judgment affirmed. Pp. 338 U. S.
(a) For triers of fact totally to reject an opposed view
impeaches neither their impartiality nor the propriety of their
conclusions. Labor Board v. Pittsburgh Steamship Co.,
337 U. S. 656
338 U. S.
(b) Rule 52, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, applies to
appeals by the Government as well as to those by other litigants.
Pp. 338 U. S.
(c) Where the evidence would support a conclusion either way,
and the trial court has decided it to weigh more heavily for the
defendants, such a choice between two permissible views of the
weight of the evidence is not "clearly erroneous" within the
meaning of Rule 52. P. 338 U. S.
In a suit to enjoin alleged violations of §§ 1 and 2 of the
Sherman Act, the District Court found that the evidence did not
support the allegations of the complaint, and entered judgment for
defendants. 80 F. Supp.
. On appeal to this Court, affirmed,
338 U. S.
Page 338 U. S. 339
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON delivered the opinion of the Court.
This suit in equity, under §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15
U.S.C. §§ 1 and 2, originally included three charges of violation:
(1) conspiracy to restrain and monopolize transportation of
interstate travelers by taxicab between Chicago railroad stations
and their homes, offices, and hotels; (2) conspiracy to eliminate
competition for the business of transporting passengers between
different Chicago railroad stations, and (3) conspiracy to restrain
and monopolize the sale of taxicabs by control of the principal
companies operating them in Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh, and
Minneapolis. On a previous appeal, this Court held the first of the
charges not to state a case within the statute, and that charge no
longer concerns us. United States v. Yellow Cab Co.,
332 U. S. 218
court below found that the Government failed to prove the second
charge, and no appeal is taken from that part of the judgment, so
that charge has been eliminated. We have held that the residue of
the complaint, embodying the third charge, alleges a cause of
action within the statute, but only on the expressed assumption
that the facts alleged are true, United States v. Yellow Cab
at 332 U. S. 224
but the trial court has found that the Government, at the trial,
has failed on all the evidence to prove its case. 80 F. Supp.
. The cause is before us by a direct appeal under the
Expediting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 29, and not by an exercise of our
The first question proposed by the Government is whether the
evidence sustains the findings of fact by the District Court. This
is the basic issue, and the Government raises no question of law
that has an existence independent of it. This issue of fact does
not arise upon the trial court's disregard or misunderstanding of
Page 338 U. S. 340
and well established fact. It extends to almost every detail of
the decision, the Government saying that the trial court "ignored .
. . substantially all of the facts which the Government deemed
What the Government asks, in effect, is that we try the case
on the record, reject nearly all of the findings
of the trial court, and substitute contrary findings of our own.
Specifications of error which are fundamental to its case ask us to
reweigh the evidence and review findings that are almost entirely
concerned with imponderables, such as the intent of parties to
certain 1929 business transactions, whether corporate officers were
then acting in personal or official capacities, what was the design
and purpose and intent of those who carried out twenty-year-old
transactions, and whether they had legitimate business motives, or
were intending to restrain trade of their competitors in car
manufacture, such as General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and
These were the chief fact issues in a trial of three weeks'
duration. The government relied in large part on inferences from
its 485 exhibits, introduced by nine witnesses. The defendants
relied heavily on oral testimony to contradict those inferences.
The record is before us in 1,674 closely printed pages.
The Government suggests that the opinion of the trial court
"seems to reflect uncritical acceptance of defendants' evidence
and of defendants' views as to the facts to be given consideration
in passing upon the legal issues before the Court."
We see that it did indeed accept defendants' evidence, and
sustained defendants' view of the facts. But we are unable to
discover the slightest justification for the accusation that it did
so "uncritically." Also it rejected the inferences the Government
drew from its documents, but we find no justification for the
statement that it "ignored" them. The judgment below is supported
by an opinion, prepared with obvious care,
Page 338 U. S. 341
which analyzes the evidence and shows the reasons for the
findings. To us, it appears to represent the considered judgment of
an able trial judge, after patient hearing, that the Government's
evidence fell short of its allegations -- a not uncommon form of
litigation casualty, from which the Government is no more immune
Only last term, we accepted the view, then advanced by the
Government, that for triers of fact totally to reject an opposed
view impeaches neither their impartiality nor the propriety of
their conclusions. We said,
"We are constrained to reject the court's conclusion that an
objective finder of fact could not resolve all factual conflicts
arising in a legal proceeding in favor of one litigant. The
ordinary lawsuit, civil or criminal, normally depends for its
resolution on which version of the facts in dispute is accepted by
the triers of fact. . . ."
Labor Board v. Pittsburgh Steamship Co., 337 U.
, 337 U. S.
Rule 52, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, provides, among other
"Findings of fact shall not be set aside unless clearly
erroneous, and due regard shall be given to the opportunity of the
trial court to judge of the credibility of the witnesses."
Findings as to the design, motive, and intent with which men act
depend peculiarly upon the credit given to witnesses by those who
see and hear them. If defendants' witnesses spoke the truth, the
findings are admittedly justified. The trial court listened to and
observed the officers who had made the records from which the
Government would draw an inference of guilt, and concluded that
they bear a different meaning from that for which the Government
It ought to be unnecessary to say that Rule 52 applies to
appeals by the Government, as well as to those by other litigants.
There is no exception which permits it,
Page 338 U. S. 342
even in an antitrust case, to come to this Court for what
virtually amounts to a trial de novo
on the record of such
findings as intent, motive, and design. While, of course, it would
be our duty to correct clear error, even in findings of fact, the
Government has failed to establish any greater grievance here than
it might have in any case where the evidence would support a
conclusion either way, but where the trial court has decided it to
weigh more heavily for the defendants. Such a choice between two
permissible views of the weight of evidence is not "clearly
MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS and MR. JUSTICE CLARK took no part in the
consideration or decision of this case.
MR. JUSTICE BLACK, with whom MR. JUSTICE REED, concurs,
The evidence showed here without dispute that a manufacturer of
taxicabs, through a series of stock purchases, obtained 62% of the
stock of a corporation which itself had large stock interests in
local companies operating taxicabs. The man who was president,
general manager, director, and dominant stockholder in the taxicab
manufacturing company also held an important managerial position in
the corporate network that carried on the business of the local
taxicab operating companies. The findings of the District Court
were that the affiliated ownership, management, and control were
not the result of any deliberate or calculated purpose of the
manufacturing company to control the operating companies' purchases
of taxicabs, and that no compulsion had been exercised to control
such purchases. Consequently, the trial court held that, despite
the integration of corporate management, there was no violation of
the Sherman Act. I think
Page 338 U. S. 343
that the trial court erred in holding that a formed intent to
suppress competition is an indispensable element of violations of
the Sherman Act.
In United States v. Griffith, 334 U.
, 334 U. S.
-106, we said:
"It is, however, not always necessary to find a specific intent
to restrain trade or to build a monopoly in order to find that the
antitrust laws have been violated. It is sufficient that a
restraint of trade or monopoly results as the consequence of a
defendant's conduct or business arrangements. United States v.
Patten, 226 U. S. 525
, 226 U. S.
; United States v. Masonite Corp.,
316 U. S.
, 316 U. S. 275
. To require a
greater showing would cripple the Act. . . . [E]ven if we accept
the District Court's findings that appellees had no intent or
purpose unreasonably to restrain trade or to monopolize, we are
left with the question whether a necessary and direct result of the
master agreements was the restraining or monopolizing of trade
within the meaning of the Sherman Act."
Measured by this test, the findings of the trial court here fail
to support its legal conclusions that no violation of the Sherman
Act had been proven. Since the trial court went on the assumption
that subjective intent to suppress competition is an essential
ingredient of Sherman law violations, it did not make specific
findings as to whether the freedom of the taxicab companies to buy
taxicabs from other manufacturers had been hobbled by the
defendants' business arrangements, regardless of compulsion or
intent to destroy competition. There was much evidence tending to
show this hobbling of competition. I think that the allegations of
the complaint were sufficiently broad to present this issue for
adjudication by the court. Moreover, presentation of the issue was
emphasized by the
Page 338 U. S. 344
fact that a large amount of evidence to prove successful
accomplishment of monopoly or restraints of trade was admitted
without any objection by the defendants based on variance from the
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(b).
There is evidence in the record to the effect that, as a result
of the corporate arrangements here, the manufacturing company
obtained sufficient power to dictate the terms of purchases by the
local companies; there is also evidence that those companies did
thereafter limit their purchases of taxicabs almost exclusively to
those sold by the manufacturing defendant. Moreover, the evidence
shows that such taxicabs were, in some instances, bought by the
local company at prices above those paid by other taxicab companies
wholly free to buy taxicabs in a competitive market. This evidence,
if accepted, would support a finding of illegal restraint of trade
or monopoly under the Griffith
rule. I think the cause
should be remanded for the trial court to consider the evidence and
make findings on this aspect of the case.