Federal Antitrust Laws – Exclusive Dealing – Standards of Illegality Under Section 3 of the Clayton Act
In a recent treatment of exclusive dealing arrangements, Tampa Elec. Co. v. Nashville Coal Co., the Supreme Court enunciates with some care the standards to be applied in judging the legality of requirements contracts under section 3 of the Clayton Act. This comment analyzes the merits and the impact of this needed clarification of a controversial area of antitrust law.
Exclusive marketing arrangements manifest themselves in various forms, and it is not uncommon to find more than one variety in a given contract. This inquiry, however, will be restricted largely to full requirements contracts, obligating a buyer to purchase from a seller all that he may require of the latter’s product for a specified period of time, and to other exclusive dealing agreements the intended effect of which is to preclude the buyer from dealing in merchandise that competes with the seller’s product.