International Boxing Club of New York, Inc. v. United States

PETITIONER: International Boxing Club of New York, Inc.
RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Union Station

DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1958-1962)

CITATION: 358 US 242 (1959)
ARGUED: Nov 13, 1958
DECIDED: Jan 12, 1959

Facts of the case


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Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 13, 1958 (Part 2) in International Boxing Club of New York, Inc. v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 13, 1958 (Part 1) in International Boxing Club of New York, Inc. v. United States

Earl Warren:

Number 18, International Boxing Club of New York et al., Appellants, versus United States of America.

Mr. Royall.

Kenneth C. Royall:

May it please the Court.

This case involves boxing.

It's on appeal from the -- by defendants in the judgment -- judgment of the Southern District of New York in an action under Section 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.

The District Court found an actual monopoly, not an intent to monopolize and a relief was based on this finding.

Our firm represents the Madison Square Garden and New York I.B.C., International Boxing Club.

Mr. Charles Sawyer's firm represents the Chicago Stadium, the I.B.C.of Illinois and Mrs.Arthur Wirtz and James Norris.

I've been requested to present the case for all the defendants.

Now, the three of the usual questions proposed in this case to the championship bouts that is distinguished from all the professional box constitute in themselves a relevant market.

And second, if so, is there a violation shown of the antitrust law.

Finally, if both market and violation should be established, is -- are there relief provisions proper or are they punitive, oppressive, and unnecessary?

The period covered by the complaints from 1949 to 1953.

Prior to that time, boxing on a national scale had been largely dominated for some years by a tax record and later, from 1937 to 1948 or 1949 by Mike Jacobs who had a lease on the Madison Square Garden.

In 1948 or 1949, Jacobs held had failed and the he was completely enacted.

A smaller boxing organization, the Tournament of Champions had started early in 1948, had declined almost to the vanishing point, was seeking to get out of business and salvage something.

Joe Louis, who had held the center of the stage for a long time was quitting his heavyweight crown and trying to arrange a series of fights by others in order to obtain some revenue.

He was unable to find a backup.

Professional world boxing was it, its lowest have for many years and was facing a further decline.

Now, Madison Square Garden was worried about it.

While boxing represented only 6% of the Garden business and involved just a smaller amount of its personnel, yet it did provide income normally necessary for the Garden to operate with profit.

The garden had a large investment.

Its expenses were in one sense, enormous and it was necessary for it to schedule and present popular events covering a great majority of the time it had opened.

They want it and badly needed the boxing events to continue.

Now, in 1949 and since 1937, Mrs.Wirtz and Norris held a substantial block of Madison Square Garden stock.

In fact, Norris' father has been a stockholder for many, many years.

The Chicago Stadium owned by Mrs.Wirtz and Norris had a problem similar to the Garden's problem.

It had been operated in a substantial loss and was desperately trying to increase its revenues.

These two gentlemen also in the Detroit Arena and in an (Inaudible) St. Louis Arena.

Incidentally, before the decree in the case, the Detroit Arena had been sold and the boxing had been abandoned in the St.Louis Arena.