Moog Industries, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission

PETITIONER: Moog Industries, Inc.
RESPONDENT: Federal Trade Commission
LOCATION: Philadelphia Board of Public Education

DOCKET NO.: 77
DECIDED BY: Warren Court (1957-1958)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

CITATION: 355 US 411 (1958)
ARGUED: Jan 14, 1958
DECIDED: Jan 27, 1958

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Moog Industries, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 2: Moog Industries, Inc. v. FTC - January 14, 1958 (77) in Moog Industries, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, FTC v. C. E. Niehoff & Co. - January 14, 1958 (110) in Moog Industries, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument, Part 1: Moog Industries, Inc. v. FTC - January 14, 1958 (77) in Moog Industries, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission

Earl Warren:

Number 77, Moog Industries, Incorporated, Petitioner, versus Federal Trade Commission.

Mr. Frank.

Malcolm I. Frank:

May it please the Court.

This is the case on review from the Eighth Circuit to review the refusal of an order in a motion requested by the petitioner for the Court to exercise its equitable jurisdiction to stay in order to cease and desist issued by the Federal Trade Commission.

That's the sole issue in this case.

In 1949, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against the petitioner alleging that it had discriminated in prices along it's purchasers in violation of Section 2 (a) of the Robinson-Patman Act.

That discrimination consisted of offering volume discounts to all of its customers.

That discount being in the form of an annual discount based on the volume of purchases, 2000 to 3000, 3000 to 4000, 4000 to 6000 and so on.

It's set out in the record, each amount being a larger discount.

The record shows that that discount in some form or other, that volume discount is more or less standard practice in the Automotive Replacement Parts Industry.

The Automotive Replacement Parts Industry consists of many different things.

In the case of Moog Industries for the sake of convenience, they have leaf springs, chassis part, coil actions and piston rings.

They have three classifications.

Several thousand parts intervene the lowest various classifications adoptable to cars going back as far as 1937, the various types of car.

There's no question that these volume discounts were offered to all their customers.

There is no question that it is standard practice in the industry to offer those discounts.

The record shows that by testimony as we have referred to it in our brief in various places.

In addition to that, there are exhibits attached to the record which show contracts for volume discounts, McQUay Norris, Regal Tool and Manufacturing, Thompson Products as typical contract showing those exhibits.

Is this proof before the Commission?

Malcolm I. Frank:

All before the Commission.

William O. Douglas:

But we must assume there was a violation here.

We don't have a question of the merits.

Malcolm I. Frank:

The merits of this case and not before the Court.

William O. Douglas:

So we assume there's a violation.

Malcolm I. Frank:

The Circuit Court of Appeals sue Justice Whittaker on the Eighth Circuit at that time, affirmed the decision of the Federal Trade Commission that there had been a violation.

And in addition to that, notwithstanding the fact that the Commission has not sought an enforcement of the order, when they affirmed the decision, they ordered the petitioner to file its certificate of compliance within 60 days after the receipt of the order by the Federal Trade Commission.

When that order was entered, we filed our motion to state that order and for the Court to exercise its equitable jurisdiction and hold it in the bench until our competitors in that industry were subjected to like orders.

Otherwise, we would be placed at a severe competitive disadvantage.

William O. Douglas:

Were those competitors have been preceded against by the Commission at that time?

Malcolm I. Frank:

Out of the 18 or 20 that are named in the record, Justice Douglas.