Facts of the Case
Retailers of beer in California brought an action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California alleging that certain wholesalers of beer had violated 1 of the Sherman Act () when they abandoned their prior practice of extending credit to their retailers without interest up to the limits permitted by California law and thereafter agreed to refuse to sell to retailers unless the retailers made payment in cash either in advance or upon delivery. After the District Court denied the plaintiffs’ motion to declare the case one of per se illegality, the District Court certified to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit the question whether the alleged agreement among competitors fixing credit terms, if proven, was unlawful on its face. Granting permission to appeal, the Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court that a horizontal agreement among competitors to fix credit terms does not necessarily contravene the antitrust laws, the Court of Appeals suggesting that such an agreement might actually enhance competition by removing a barrier to sellers desiring to enter the market and by increasing the visibility of prices ().
Does a statute that effectively directs a particular result in a single pending case violate the separation of powers?
Citation: 446 US 643 (1980)
Decided: May 27, 1980
Case Brief: 1980