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Brunswick Corp. v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat

United States Supreme Court
429 U.S. 477 (1977)


Facts

Brunswick Corp. (Brunswick) (defendant) was a manufacturer of bowling equipment. Brunswick sold equipment to bowling alleys on secured credit. The bowling industry went into a sharp decline in the early 1960’s, and Brunswick began acquiring and operating bowling centers that had defaulted on the security agreements. During a short period, Brunswick acquired 222 bowling centers and operated all but 54 of them. Brunswick therefore became the largest operator of bowling centers by a significant margin. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat (PB) (plaintiff) operated bowling centers in one of the markets where Brunswick acquired some bowling centers. PB sued Brunswick under the Clayton Act, alleging that Brunswick’s acquisition of these bowling centers might substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly. PB sought treble damages under the Clayton Act based on a loss of profits that PB would have realized if the bowling centers acquired by Brunswick would have closed. PB obtained a jury verdict of over $7 million dollars. Brunswick appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court based on an error in charging the jury and remanded back to the trial court. Brunswick and PB both petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, 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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