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FTC V. GRATZ, 253 U. S. 421 (1920)

U.S. Supreme Court

FTC v. Gratz, 253 U.S. 421 (1920)

FTC v. Gratz

No. 492

Argued April 20, 21, 1920

Decided June 7, 1920

253 U.S. 421


Under the Federal Trade Commission Act (Sept. 26, 1914, c. 311, 38 Stat. 717), an order of the commission requiring parties to desist from a course of business as unfair competition must correspond with the complaint which the commission is required to issue and serve as the basis for the proceedings, and where the complaint, liberally construed, is plainly insufficient to show unfair competition, the order is without foundation and, when challenged, will be annulled by the court. P. 253 U. S. 427.

The commission's complaint alleged that some of the respondents were engaged in selling, in interstate commerce, directly to the trade or through their co respondents, steel ties, manufactured by a certain company, made and used for binding bales of cotton, and jute bagging, manufactured by another company, used to wrap bales of cotton; that the other respondents, as their agents, sold and distributed such ties and bagging, in interstate commerce, principally to jobbers and dealers who resold the same to retailers, cotton-ginners and farmers, and that, with the purpose, intent and effect of discouraging and stifling competition, all of the respondents refused, and for more than a year had refuged, to sell any such ties unless the prospective purchaser would also buy from them the bagging to be used with the number of ties proposed to be bought. Held plainly insufficient to show an unfair method of competition. Id.

258 F. 314 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

Page 253 U. S. 422

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