The statute being in terms limited to restraint of interstate or foreign trade or commerce, was at first held not to cover a combination of manufacturers; 3 but this holding was later disregarded, and if a combination of manufacturers is engaged in selling goods in interstate or foreign commerce it is affected by the prohibition of the statute.4 No liability exists for acts done in foreign territory and there lawful under local law, though done pursuant to a conspiracy formed in the United States.5 Furthermore though an agreement or combination tends to produce a monopoly, it is not obxnoious to the statute unless it relates to something which is the object of trade or commerce. Therefore, a monopoly to control the business of baseball playing,6 or to control the business of selling trading stamps,7 is not within the terms of the Act. The principal controversy has been as to the meaning of "restraint of trade" as used in the Act. It was at first held that these words included every restraint whether reasonable or not;8 but a construction
Section 8 defines person as including corporation.
3 United States v. E. C. Knight Co., 156 U. S. 1, 39 L. Ed. 325, 15 S. Ct. 249.
4 Montague v. Lowry, 193 U. S. 38, 48 L. Ed. 608, 24 S. Ct. 307; Standard Oil Go. v. United States, 221 U. 8. 1, 68, 69, 55 L. Ed. 619, 31 8. Ct. 502, Ann. Cas. 1912 D. 734; United States v. American Tobacco Co., 221 U. 8. 106, 55 L. Ed. 663, 31 S. Ct. 632.
5 American Banana Go. v. United Fruit Co., 213 U. 8. 347, 53 L. Ed. 826, 29 S. Ct. 511. For other decisions on the extent to which foreign commerce is covered by the statute, see United States v. Pacific, etc., Navigation Co., 228 U. 8.87, 57 L. Ed. 742,33 8. Ct. 443; United States v. Hamburg-Amerikanische Packet-Fahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft, 200 Fed. 806; United States v. Prince line, 220 Fed. 230.
6 American League Baseball Club of Chicago v. Chase, 86 N. Y. Misc. 441, 149 N. Y. S. 6.
7 Sperry Hutchinson Co. v. Fenster, 219 Fed. 755.
8 United States v. Trans-Missouri Freight Assoc., 166 U. 8. 290, 41 L. Ed. 1007, 17 8. Ct. 540, four justices dissented. In United States v. Joint Traffic Assoc, 171 U. 8. 505, 43 L. Ed. 259,19 8. Ct. 25, the sweeping language of the earlier case was somewhat modified, the court saying: "In Hopkins v. United States, decided at this term, post, 578, we say that the statute applies only to those contracts whose direct and immediate effect is a restraint upon interstate commerce, and that to treat the act as condemning all agreements under which, as a result, the cost of conducting an interstate commercial business may be increased, would enlarge the application of the act far beyond the fair meaning of the language used. The effect upon interstate commerce must not be indirect or incidental only. An agreement which, if actually applied, would have made it a criminal offence to sell the business and good will of any corporation, firm or person engaged in interstate commerce, could not well be persisted in; and in later decisions the court has adopted the test of the common law - that of reasonableness.* It may now entered into for the purpose of promoting the legitimate business of an individual or corporation, with' no purpose to thereby affect or restrain interstate commerce, and which does not directly restrain such commerce, is not, as we think, covered by the act, although the agreement may indirectly and remotely affect that commerce. We also repeat what is said in the case above cited, that 'the act of Congress must have a reasonable construction, or else there would scarcely be an agreement or contract among business men that could not be said to have, indirectly or remotely, some bearing upon interstate commerce, and possibly to restrain it.' To suppose, as is assumed by counsel, that the effect of the decision in the Trans-Missouri case is to render illegal most business contracts or combinations, however indispensable and necessary they may be, because, as they assert, they all restrain trade in some remote and indirect degree, is to make a most violent assumption and one not called for or justified by the decision memtioned, or by any other decision of this court."
9 Standard Oil Co. v. United States, 221 U. S. 1, 65 L. Ed. 619, 31 S. Ct. 502, Ann. Cas. 1912 D. 734; United States v. American Tobacco Co., 221 U. S. 106, 55 L. Ed. 663, 31 S. Ct. 632. In the latter case the court said (ppJl79, 180): "Applying the rule of reason to the construction of the statute, it was held in the Standard Oil Case that as the words 'restraint of trade' at common law and in the law of this country at the time of the adoption of the Antitrust Act only embraced acts or contracts or agreements or combinations which operated to the prejudice of the public interests by unduly restricting competition or unduly obstructing the due course of trade or which, either because of their inherent nature or effect or because of the evident purpose of the acts, etc., injuriously restrained trade, that the words as used in the statute were designed to have and did have but a like significance. It was therefore pointed out that the statute did not forbid or restrain the power to make normal and usual contracts to further trade by resorting to all normal methods, whether by agreement or otherwise, to accomplish such purpose. In other words, it was held, not that acts which the statute prohibited could be removed from the control of its prohibitions by a finding that they were reasonable, but that the duty to interpret which inevitably arose from the general character of the term restraint of trade required that the words restraint of trade should be given a meaning which would not destroy the individual right to contract and render difficult if not impossible any movement of trade in the channels of interstate commerce - the free movement of which it was the purpose of the statute to protect. The soundness of the rule that the statute should receive a reasonable construction, after further mature deliberation, we see no reason to doubt."