Promotion by Oil Company of TBA Products Held Violative of FTC Section 5–Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. FTC

The Atlantic Refining Company entered into an agreement with the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company which provided that Atlantic would receive a commission on all tires, batteries, and accessories (TBA) sold by Atlantic’s wholesale and retail dealers. This commission was to be paid Atlantic in consideration for assistance given in promoting Goodyear products to the independent Atlantic service station operators. After an investigation of these agreements the Federal Trade Commission issued a complaint against Goodyear and Atlantic charging them with violating section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Evidence introduced at a hearing before a Federal Trade Commission trial examiner showed that Atlantic had coerced its dealers into purchasing Goodyear TBA by implying that renewal of their dealers’ leases or equipment loans depended upon these purchases. The trial examiner found that through this coercion Atlantic implemented tacit tying arrangements in violation of section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, and he formulated a cease-and-desist order prohibiting Atlantic’s use of coercion on its dealers.