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  • United States v. Continental Can Co.United States v. Continental Can Co.
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United States v. Continental Can Co.

United States Supreme Court
378 U.S. 441 (1964)


In 1956, Continental Can Company (Continental Can) (defendant) acquired Hazel-Atlas Glass Company (Hazel-Atlas) (defendant). Continental Can was the second-largest producer of metal containers, and Hazel-Atlas was the third-largest producer of glass containers. The United States (plaintiff) brought a complaint, alleging that the merger between Continental Can and Hazel-Atlas violated § 7 of the Clayton Act, and sought an order of divestiture. The district court determined that the proper product market was the market for metal and glass containers. However, with the exception of beer containers, the district court did not consider competition between metal and glass containers to be the type of competition relevant to consideration under the Clayton Act. The district court dismissed the complaint, finding that the government had failed to prove that the merger was likely to produce significant anticompetitive effects in the market for either metal or glass containers. The government appealed the district court’s determination of the relevant product market.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

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