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United States v. E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. - 351 U.S. 377, 76 S. Ct. 994 (1956)

Rule:

Determination of the competitive market for commodities depends on how different from one another are the offered commodities in character or use, how far buyers will go to substitute one commodity for another.

Facts:

Plaintiff federal government brought suit against defendant for monopolizing, attempting to monopolize, and conspiracy to monopolize interstate commerce in violation of § 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 2. Defendant produced 75 percent of the cellophane sold in the United States, which constituted less than 20 percent of all flexible packaging material sales. The district court held in defendant's favor. The United States sought review.

Issue:

Is there sufficient evidence to establish that defendant has monopolized cellophane in violation of the Sherman Act?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The Court held that because the facts established that cellophane was functionally interchangeable with other flexible packaging materials, there was no cellophane market separate and distinct from other flexible packaging materials. Additionally, the facts disposed of any contention that competitors were excluded by defendant from the packaging material market.

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