Burke v. Ford,
389 U.S. 320 (1967)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Burke v. Ford, 389 U.S. 320 (1967)

Burke v. Ford

No. 632

Decided December 11, 1967

389 U.S. 320


Petitioners, Oklahoma liquor retailers, sued under § 1 of the Sherman Act to enjoin a statewide market division by territories and brands by the Oklahoma liquor wholesalers. There are no distilleries in Oklahoma. Out-of-state liquor is shipped in substantial volume to wholesalers' warehouses and held there until purchased by retailers. The District Court, finding, inter alia, that the liquor "came to rest" in the wholesalers' warehouses and that the Act's interstate commerce prerequisite was thus not satisfied, entered judgment for the wholesalers. The Court of Appeals affirmed, solely on the ground that the proof did not show that the activities complained of were in or adversely affected interstate commerce.

Held: Whether or not the lower courts' conclusion was valid that the market division did not occur in interstate commerce, it inevitably affected such commerce, and thus came within the Act, since the territorial division by reducing competition almost surely resulted in fewer sales to wholesalers by out-of-state distillers, and the brands division meant fewer wholesale outlets available to any one distiller.

Certiorari granted; 377 F. & 901, reversed.

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