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Northern Securities Co. v. United States

United States Supreme Court
193 U.S. 197 (1904)


Facts

The Great Northern Railway Company (Great Northern) and the Northern Pacific Railway Company (Northern Pacific) competed against one another in the market for rail services in the Northwestern United States. Northern Securities Company (Northern Securities) (defendant) was a holding company established to purchase both railways, such that a stockholder of Northern Securities effectively had a financial interest in both Great Northern and Northern Pacific. Believing that the formation of Northern Securities amounted to an antitrust violation, the United States (the government) (plaintiff) brought a suit against Northern Securities, alleging that the formation of a holding company to purchase two competing railways violated § 1 of the Sherman Act. The circuit court found in favor of the government, and Northern Pacific appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Harlan, 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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Dissent (Holmes, J.)

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