Nashville Milk Co. v. Carnation Co.,
Annotate this Case
355 U.S. 373 (1958)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Nashville Milk Co. v. Carnation Co., 355 U.S. 373 (1958)
Nashville Milk Co. v. Carnation Co.
Argued November 21, 1957
Decided January 20, 1958
355 U.S. 373
A private cause of action under §§ 4 and 16 of the Clayton Act, as amended, does not lie for sales at unreasonably low prices for the purpose of destroying competition or eliminating a competitor, which are forbidden only by § 3 of the Robinson-Patman Act. Pp. 355 U. S. 374-382.
(a) Sections 4 and 16 of the Clayton Act permit private actions only for injuries resulting from practices forbidden by the "antitrust laws," as defined in § 1 of that Act, and that definition, specifying certain Acts not including the Robinson-Patman Act, is exclusive. Pp. 355 U. S. 375-376.
(b) The Robinson-Patman Act shows on its face that § 3 does not amend the Clayton Act, but stands on its own footing and carries its own sanctions, which are penal in nature. Pp. 355 U. S. 376-380.
(c) Section 3 of the Robinson-Patman Act contains only penal sanctions for violation of its provisions, and, in the absence of a clear expression of congressional intent to the contrary, these sanctions should be considered exclusive, rather than supplemented by civil sanctions of a distinct statute. P. 355 U. S. 377.
(d) A different result is not required by the fact that there is a partial overlap between the price discrimination clauses of § 3 of the Robinson-Patman Act and those of § 2 of the Clayton Act, as amended by §1 of the Robinson-Patman Act. Pp. 355 U. S. 378-379.
(e) A different result is not required by the fact that the United States Code codifies § 3 of the Robinson-Patman Act as being among the "antitrust laws" embraced in § 1 of the Clayton Act, since there was a palpable error in the codification, and the underlying statutes must prevail. Pp. 355 U. S. 379-380.
(f) The conclusion here reached is supported by the legislative history of the Robinson-Patman Act. Pp. 355 U. S. 380-382.
238 F.2d 86, affirmed.