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Supreme Court of the United States
April 24, 1931, Argued ; May 25, 1931, Decided
[*644] [**588] [***1327] MR. JUSTICE SUTHERLAND delivered the opinion of the Court.
Under § 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, c. 311, 38 Stat. 717, 719 (U. S. C., Title 15, § 45), the relevant parts of which are copied in the margin, 1 the [**589] Commission issued its complaint charging the respondent with using unfair methods of competition in interstate commerce.
[****4] Respondent manufactures a preparation for internal use, denominated [***1328] an "obesity cure." The complaint charges that this preparation is sold by respondent in and throughout the several States, generally to wholesalers who resell to retailer dealers, and these, in turn, to consumers; that it is offered for sale and sold in competition with other persons who are engaged "in offering for sale, [*645] and selling, printed professional advice, books of information and instruction, and other methods and means and certain remedies and appliances for dissolving or otherwise removing excess flesh of the human body"; that respondent advertises in newspapers, etc., circulated generally in the United States, and in printed labels, etc., that the preparation is the result of scientific research, knowledge and accuracy, that it is safe and effective and may be used without discomfort, inconvenience or danger of harmful results to health. Among the ingredients is "desiccated thyroid," which, it is alleged, cannot be prescribed to act with reasonable uniformity on the bodies of all users, or without impairing the health of a substantial portion of them, etc., or with safety, without [****5] previous consultation with, and continuing observation and advice of, a competent medical adviser. The complaint further avers that many persons are seeking obesity remedies, and respondent's advertisements are calculated to mislead and deceive the purchasing public into the belief that the preparation is safe, effective, dependable, and without danger of harmful results. By way of conclusion, it is said that "the acts and practices of the respondent are all to the prejudice of the public and of competitors of respondent, . . . and constitute unfair methods of competition."
[*646] Respondent answered and hearings were had before an examiner. The Commission found against respondent and issued a cease and desist order. The findings in general follow the language of the complaint. There was no finding of prejudice or injury to any competitor, but the conclusion was drawn from the findings of fact that the practice of respondent was to the prejudice of the public and respondent's competitors, and constituted an unfair method of competition.
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283 U.S. 643 *; 51 S. Ct. 587 **; 75 L. Ed. 1324 ***; 1931 U.S. LEXIS 173 ****; 79 A.L.R. 1191
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION v. RALADAM CO.
Prior History: [****1] CERTIORARI TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT.
CERTIORARI, 282 U.S. 829, to review a decree reversing an order of the Federal Trade Commission.
Disposition: 42 F.2d 430, affirmed.
competitors, unfair methods of competition, unfair, preparation, advertisements, words, commerce, remedies, wool, unfair competition, interest of the public, public interest, manufacturers, interstate, underwear, monopoly, obesity, advice, labels
Antitrust & Trade Law, Federal Trade Commission Act, General Overview, Regulated Practices, Trade Practices & Unfair Competition