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Palmer v. BRG of Georgia, Inc.

United States Supreme Court
498 U.S. 46 (1990)


During the period of 1977 to 1979, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Legal and Professional Publications (HBJ) and BRG of Georgia, Inc. (BRG) (defendants) were direct competitors in the market for bar-review courses in the State of Georgia. In 1980, HBJ gave BRG an exclusive license to use HBJ’s content and trademark within Georgia. In exchange, BRG would give HBJ a share of BRG’s revenue and a fee of $100 per enrollee. As part of the agreement, HBJ agreed not to compete with BRG within Georgia, and BRG agreed not to compete with HBJ outside of Georgia. After entering into this agreement, BRG raised its price from $150 to $400. Palmer (plaintiff) sued BRG and HBJ, alleging that the agreement not to compete was a violation of § 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. The district court denied Palmer’s motion for partial summary judgment on the § 1 claim, holding that the agreement not to compete was lawful. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. Palmer petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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