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UNITED STATES V. GRIFFITH, 334 U. S. 100 (1948)

U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Griffith, 334 U.S. 100 (1948)

United States v. Griffith

No. 64

Argued December 15, 1947

Decided May 3, 1948

334 U.S. 100


1. Even in the absence of a specific intent to restrain or monopolize trade, it is violative of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act for four affiliated corporations operating motion picture theaters in numerous towns in three states and having no competitors in some of these towns to use the buying power of the entire circuit to obtain exclusive privileges from film distributors which prevent competitors from obtaining enough first- or second-run films to operate successfully. Pp. 334 U. S. 101-110.

(a) It is not always necessary to find a specific intent to restrain trade or to build a monopoly in order to find that §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act have been violated. It is sufficient that a restraint of trade or monopoly results as the consequence of the defendants' conduct or business arrangements. P. 334 U. S. 105.

(b) Specific intent in the sense in which the common law used the term is necessary only where the acts fall short of the results prohibited by the Sherman Act. P. 334 U. S. 105.

(c) The use of monopoly power, however lawfully acquired, to foreclose competition, to gain a competitive advantage, or to destroy a competitor, is unlawful. Pp. 334 U. S. 106-107.

(d) It is unlawful for the operator of a circuit of motion picture theaters to use his monopoly in towns in which he has no competitors to obtain exclusive rights to films for towns in which he has competitors. Pp. 334 U. S. 107-109.

(e) The exhibitors in this case having combined with each other and with the distributors to obtain monopoly rights, had formed a conspiracy in violation of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. P. 334 U. S. 109.

2. The District Court having erroneously dismissed the complaint in this case without making adequate findings as to the effect of the practices found by this Court to be unlawful, the case is remanded to the District Court for further findings and the fashioning of a decree which will undo as near as may be the wrongs that were done and prevent their recurrence in the future. Pp. 334 U. S. 109-110.

68 F.Supp. 180 reversed.

Page 334 U. S. 101

In a suit by the United States to restrain violations of §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, the District Court found that there was no violation of the Act and dismissed the complaint on the merits. 68 F.Supp. 180. On appeal to this Court, reversed and remanded, p. 334 U. S. 110.

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