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Associated Press v. United States

United States Supreme Court
326 U.S. 1 (1945)


Facts

The Associated Press (AP) (defendant) was a membership corporation made up of publishers that were responsible for over 1,200 newspapers. The purpose of AP was to collect, assemble, and distribute news to its members. The members of AP agreed to follow a set of bylaws that prohibited all AP members from selling news to non-members and also authorized members to block non-members from obtaining AP membership. The federal government (plaintiff) believed that AP’s bylaws amounted to an unlawful restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Act and brought a legal suit against AP for antitrust violations. The district court found that AP’s bylaws were intended to restrain trade and created a competitive disadvantage that impeded the growth of non-member newspapers. AP appealed the decision.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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