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United States v. Trans-Missouri Freight Association

UNITED STATES V. TRANS-MISSOURI FREIGHT ASSOCIATION

UNITED STATES V. TRANS-MISSOURI FREIGHT ASSOCIATION, 166 U.S. 290 (1897), involved the attempt of eighteen western railroads to fix freight rates by mutual agreement. The government brought suit to dissolve the association under the Sherman Antitrust Act. By a 5 to 4 decision the Supreme Court held that the Sherman Act did apply to railroads and that it prohibited all contracts in restraint of interstate or foreign commerce, not merely those in which the restraint was unreasonable. Justice Edward Douglass White's dissenting opinion, that "reasonable" contracts do not contravene the act, became substantially the majority view fourteen years later in the Standard Oil and American Tobacco cases.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Kolko, Gabriel. Railroads and Regulation, 1877–1916. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1965.

Letwin, William. Law and Economic Policy in America: The Evolution of the Sherman Antitrust Act. New York: Random House, 1965.

Ransom E.NobleJr./a. r.

See alsoAddyston Pipe Company Case ; Antitrust Laws ; Commerce Clause ; Monopoly ; Pools, Railroad ; Standard Oil Company ; United States v. E. C. Knight Company .

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