Business Electronics Corp. v. Sharp Electronics Corp.
United States Supreme Court
485 U.S. 717 (1988)
In 1972, Sharp Electronics Corporation (Sharp) (defendant) sold calculators to two retailers in the Houston, Texas area. The two retailers were Business Electronics Corporation (BEC) (plaintiff) and Gilbert Hartwell (Hartwell) (defendant). Sharp gave both BEC and Hartwell a list of suggested minimum retail prices. Both retailers frequently priced their calculators below Sharp’s recommended price. In 1973, Hartwell complained to Sharp that BEC was pricing its calculators too low. Hartwell threatened to stop selling Sharp products unless Sharp ended its relationship with BEC. Sharp gave in to Hartwell’s demand and terminated the BEC dealership. BEC sued Sharp and Hartwell, alleging that Sharp and Hartwell conspired to terminate BEC’s dealership in violation of the Sherman Act. The district court instructed the jury that an agreement between Sharp and Hartwell to terminate BEC for price-cutting was a per se violation of the Sherman Act. The jury returned a verdict for BEC. The appellate court reversed, holding that an agreement between a manufacturer and dealer to terminate another dealer is per se unlawful only if the manufacturer exercises control over the conspiring dealer’s prices. BEC petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.