Albrecht v. Herald Company

PETITIONER: Albrecht
RESPONDENT: Herald Company
LOCATION: Congress

DOCKET NO.: 43
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1967-1969)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

CITATION: 390 US 145 (1968)
ARGUED: Nov 09, 1967
DECIDED: Mar 04, 1968

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Albrecht v. Herald Company

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 09, 1967 in Albrecht v. Herald Company

Earl Warren:

Number 43, Lester J. Albrecht, Petitioner, versus the Herald Company.

Mr. Dorsey.

Gray L. Dorsey:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This is a case of admitted resale price maintenance.

The only question is, whether this resale price maintenance is unlawful under Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

It involves the control of the retail price of the Globe-Democrat newspaper to home delivery customers on a suburban route in St.Louis.

The petitioner, Mr. Albrecht bought this Route Number 99 in 1956.

In 1961, the Globe-Democrat took the position that the home delivery carriers were not employees but were independent merchants and they took the position that they would not renew the collective bargaining agreement with the carrier's union when it expired in May of 1961.

It did expire, it was not renewed.

The policy statement of the newspaper expressly says that in its position, in its view, this home delivery carriers are independent merchants.

They're not employees.

Hugo L. Black:

Was that the newsboy?

That's the newsboy?

Gray L. Dorsey:

These -- Mr. Justice Black are news carriers, they are adults.

Mr. Albrecht was 42 years old when he bought this route after 20 years of experience at home delivery services with a bakery and with a milk company.

Hugo L. Black:

All of them?

Gray L. Dorsey:

I don't know whether all of them are but in general, these are adult carriers and they're -- they have in the neighborhood about 1200 customers.

They own a truck and deliver from a truck.

This is not a boy on a bicycle type of case.

Hugo L. Black:

We don't have them in submission.

Gray L. Dorsey:

I beg Your Honor?

Hugo L. Black:

We don't have them as the independent merchants here?

Gray L. Dorsey:

No.

No, these are adult men.

They buy their papers at price of course set by the newspaper.

They resale and they have to pay all their expenses out of the difference and anything that they make is -- has to come out of the difference between the price they sell at and the price that they buy.

Potter Stewart:

Did they have employees or do they do all the work themselves?

Gray L. Dorsey:

Mr. Albrecht is the only one of whom I know.

He had employees occasionally whom he paid and his wife helped him quite often with respect to clerical manners, people calling the house in order to make changes and that sort of thing.

Whenever he had employees, he paid this out of his proceeds, the difference between the prices that he paid and charged.