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A single newspaper, already enjoying a substantial monopoly in its area, violates the "attempt to monopolize" clause of § 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 2, when it uses its monopoly to destroy threatened competition.
For 15 years, The Lorain Journal Company, an Ohio corporation, publishing, daily except Sunday, in the City of Lorain, Ohio, a newspaper called “The Journal”, enjoyed a substantial monopoly of the mass dissemination of local and national news and advertising in its community, and 99% coverage of the community's families. After the establishment of a competing radio station, the publisher refused to accept local advertising from those who advertised over the radio station. The purpose of the publisher was to destroy the broadcasting company. Subsequently, appellee, the United States, filed a complaint against The Lorain Journal Company, alleging that the latter, together with its officials, had been engaging in a combination and conspiracy in restraint of interstate commerce and in an attempt to monopolize such commerce in violation of §§ 1 and 2 of the Act, 15 U.S.C.S. §§ 1 and 2. The Lorain Journal Company were found to have been engaging in such conduct and were enjoined from continuing such attempt. The Lorain Journal Company appealed.
Did The Lorain Journal Company’s conduct constitute an attempt to monopolize interstate commerce, justifying the injunction issued against it under §§ 2 and 4 of the Sherman Antitrust Act?
The Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court, finding that The Lorain Journal Company attempted to monopolize interstate commerce by refusing to accept local advertising from parties using a local radio station for advertising. Such conduct was aimed at forcing the station out of business. Because both the newspaper and the radio station were involved in the dissemination of both out-of-state news and out-of-state advertising, The Lorain Journal Company’s conduct was found to be an attempted monopolization of interstate commerce in violation of § 2 because it already enjoyed a substantial monopoly in its area and had attempted to use that monopoly to destroy threatened competition.