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Monsanto Co. v. Spray-Rite Service Corp.

United States Supreme Court
465 U.S. 752 (1984)


Facts

Monsanto Company (Monsanto) (defendant) manufactured agricultural herbicides that were sold to distributors. Spray-Rite Service Corporation (Spray-Rite) (plaintiff) was one of Monsanto’s herbicide distributors. Spray-Rite generally purchased Monsanto’s herbicide products at a large volume and then sold the products at discount rates. In 1968, Monsanto decided to stop selling any herbicide products to Spray-Rite after complaints from other distributors about Spray-Rite’s discount pricing. Spray-Rite ceased operations as a herbicide distributor in 1972 and subsequently brought a lawsuit against Monsanto, alleging that Monsanto had violated § 1 of the Sherman Act by conspiring with distributors to fix the price of Monsanto’s herbicide products. In district court, a jury determined that Monsanto had conspired to fix prices and returned a verdict for Spray-Rite. The court of appeals affirmed the decision, finding that sufficient evidence had been provided to support the verdict. Monsanto appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Powell, 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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