United States v. Trenton Potteries Co.
United States Supreme Court
273 U.S. 392 (1927)
Trenton Potteries Company and 22 other corporations in the business of making pottery for use in bathrooms (the pottery companies) (defendants) coordinated to fix the prices of their products. Together, the pottery companies controlled 82 percent of the business for bathroom-pottery fixtures in the United States. The federal government (plaintiff) brought a complaint against the pottery companies, alleging that the companies had conspired to fix prices in violation of the Sherman Act. In district court, an instruction was submitted to the jury, stating that the jurors should find the pottery companies guilty if the companies had engaged in a price-fixing agreement, regardless of the reasonableness of the prices or the actual effect of the agreement on the prices. The jury returned a guilty verdict. The court of appeals overturned the verdict, holding that the jury instruction had misstated the law. The government appealed the decision.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stone, J.)
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