Community Communications Co., Inc. v. City of Boulder

455 U.S. 40, 102 S. Ct. 835, 70 L. Ed. 2d 810 (1982)

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Community Communications Co., Inc. v. City of Boulder

United States Supreme Court
455 U.S. 40, 102 S. Ct. 835, 70 L. Ed. 2d 810 (1982)

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Facts

Community Communications Co., Inc. (CCC) (plaintiff) was a cable-television provider with a 20-year permit to provide broadcasting services in the City of Boulder, Colorado (defendant). Due to geographic and technological limitations, CCC initially provided its services to just a segment of the Boulder area. Eventually, CCC announced that new advances allowed it to broadcast city-wide and sought a permit from Boulder to expand its reach. A second broadcasting company also requested a permit. Boulder’s city council issued an emergency ordinance prohibiting CCC from expanding its services for three months while Boulder worked to develop updated cable-broadcasting ordinances. Boulder expressed concern that allowing CCC, the incumbent, to proceed with its expansion immediately would discourage new competitors from entering the market. CCC sued, alleging that Boulder’s ordinance violated § 1 of the Sherman Act. Boulder argued that it had immunity from antitrust scrutiny under the state-action doctrine because Colorado’s constitution designated Boulder as a home-rule municipality, meaning Boulder had the right to exercise full self-government and that its ordinances superseded state law. The district court granted CCC’s motion for a preliminary injunction, which was reversed on appeal.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

Concurrence (Stevens, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

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