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Board of Trade of the City of Chicago v. Dow Jones & Co.

Supreme Court of Illinois
456 N.E.2d 84 (1983)


In 1982, the Board of Trade of the City of Chicago Co. (the Board) (plaintiff) sought permission from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to be designated as a contract market for stock market index futures contracts. Futures contracts allow investors to hedge against systemic stock market risk by binding parties to current stock market averages for a transaction at a specified future date. To obtain a license for trading futures contracts, the Board needed stock market averages based on respected and reliable stock market indexes. The Board already subscribed to a service offered by Dow Jones & Co. (Dow Jones) that allowed it to display averages from Dow Jones’s stock indexes in real time, and the Board used those indexes as a basis for their futures contracts in its application to the CFTC. Unsure of whether it could use the indexes under its existing contract with Dow Jones, the Board brought an action for declaratory judgment to determine its use was proper. The circuit court ruled in favor of the Board, but Dow Jones appealed, and the appellate court reversed the holding and found in its favor. The Board appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Illinois.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Goldenhersh, J.)

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