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FTC V. SUN OIL CO., 371 U. S. 505 (1963)

U.S. Supreme Court

FTC v. Sun Oil Co., 371 U.S. 505 (1963)

Federal Trade Commission v. Sun Oil Co.

No. 56

Argued November 15, 1962

Decided January 14, 1963

371 U.S. 505


Respondent, a refiner-supplier of its own branded gasoline, was charged with price discrimination in violation of § 2(a) of the Clayton Act, as amended by the Robinson-Patman Act, when it granted a reduction in price to one of its independently owned retail station customers, but not to others of its similarly owned station customers who were located nearby and who were shown to have been competitively harmed by the discriminatory reduction. The allowance to the favored station was given in order to enable it to meet the price reductions of a competing service station owned and operated by a retail chain selling a different brand of gasoline.

Held: Respondent is not entitled under § 2(b) of the Act to the defense that its discriminatory lower price was given "in good faith to meet the equally low price of a competitor," since the competing station is not a "competitor" of respondent within the meaning of § 2(b), which contemplates that a seller may meet the lower price of its own, and not its customer's, competitor. Pp. 371 U. S. 506-529.

294 F.2d 465 reversed.

Page 371 U. S. 506

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