In this civil antitrust action by the Government challenging
respondent's acquisition of the assets of another corporation as
being violative of § 7 of the Clayton Act, the affidavits, exhibits
and depositions before the District Court raised a genuine issue as
to ultimate facts material to the question whether the acquired
corporation was a "failing company" under the doctrine of
International Shoe Co. v. Federal Trade Comm'n,
280 U. S. 291
it was improper for the District Court to decide the applicability
of that doctrine and dismiss the case on a motion for summary
judgment. Pp. 369 U. S.
This is a civil antitrust suit by the Government challenging
Diebold's acquisition of the assets of the Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe
Company as being violative of § 7 of the Clayton Act. On motion of
Diebold, the District Court entered summary judgment against the
Government on the ground that the acquired firm was a "failing
company" under the doctrine of International Shoe Co. v.
Federal Trade Comm'n, 280 U. S. 291
(1930). The case is here on direct appeal. 368 U.S. 894.
Page 369 U. S. 655
In determining that the acquisition of the assets of
Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Company was not a violation of § 7, the
District Court acted upon its findings that "HHM was hopelessly
insolvent, and faced with imminent receivership," and that "Diebold
was the only bona fide
prospective purchaser for HHM's
business." The latter finding represents, at least in part, the
resolution of a head-on factual controversy as revealed by the
materials before the District Court of whether other offers for
HHM's assets or business were actually made. In any event, both
findings represent a choice of inferences to be drawn from the
subsidiary facts contained in the affidavits, attached exhibits,
and depositions submitted below. On summary judgment, the
inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts contained in such
materials must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party
opposing the motion. A study of the record in this light leads us
to believe that inferences contrary to those drawn by the trial
court might be permissible. The materials before the District Court
having thus raised a genuine issue as to ultimate facts material to
the rule of International Shoe Co. v. Federal Trade
it was improper for the District Court to decide the
applicability of the rule on a motion for summary judgment.
Fed.Rules Civ.Proc., 56(c).
Reversed and remanded.
MR. JUSTICE FRANKFURTER took no part in the consideration or
decision of this case.