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Olympia Equipment Leasing Co. v. Western Union Telegraph Co.

797 F.2d 370 (1986)

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Olympia Equipment Leasing Co. v. Western Union Telegraph Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

797 F.2d 370 (1986)

Facts

Western Union Telegraph Co. (Western Union) (defendant) created the telex service. In addition to providing transmission services, over which it had a monopoly, Western Union also leased telex machines. After deciding to focus on transmission services, Western Union created a market for other companies to lease out telex machines. Western Union provided these companies with support services and gave their names to new subscribers. Olympia Equipment Leasing Co. (Olympia) (plaintiff) was one of the companies that began leasing telex machines. After a while, Western Union decided to withdraw its support services from the other terminal-leasing companies and focus on liquidating its own stock of telex machines. Without Western Union’s sales-force support, Olympia’s business failed. Olympia sued Western Union, alleging that Western Union had violated antitrust laws by withdrawing its support. At trial, the jury found Western Union in violation of § 2 of the Sherman Act. Western Union appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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