Federal Power Commission v. Conway Corporation

PETITIONER: Federal Power Commission
RESPONDENT: Conway Corporation
LOCATION: Georgia State Capitol

DOCKET NO.: 75-342
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 426 US 271 (1976)
ARGUED: Apr 21, 1976
DECIDED: Jun 07, 1976

ADVOCATES:
Allan Abbot Tuttle - for petitioner
Robert C. McDiarmid - for respondents

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Federal Power Commission v. Conway Corporation

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 21, 1976 in Federal Power Commission v. Conway Corporation

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 07, 1976 in Federal Power Commission v. Conway Corporation

Byron R. White:

The last case I have is 75-342, Federal Power Commission against Conway.

The question in this case, which also comes from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit, concerns the jurisdiction of the Federal Power Commission.

That agency has the authority to set rates which are charged by electric power companies in making interstate sales at wholesale.

It has no power to regulate the rates with respect to retail sales.

The respondent in this case, Conway Corporation, sells in both wholesale and retail and it competes at retail with it's wholesale customers who of course also sell it retail.

When Conway sought to raise it's wholesale rates, it's wholesale customers complained that the suggested new rates were discriminatory and anti-competitive.

The Commission held that while it had the power over wholesale rates, it had no power whatsoever over retail rates and also no authority to consider the relationship between wholesale and retail rates.

It hence rejected the position of the wholesale customers of Conway.

We disagree with the Court of Appeals.

In our view, although the Commission has no power to retail rates, it does have power over wholesale rates and then in considering whether the wholesale rates were just and reasonable, it not only may but must consider whether or not the rates are discriminatory and anti-competitive.

We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice White.