Regulation of Business – Boxing and Theater Now Within Scope of the Sherman Act

The United States instituted two civil antitrust actions under section 4 of the Sherman Act claiming that defendants were acting in restraint of trade in their respective fields. Defendant Shubert was engaged in the multistate business of producing, booking, and presenting legitimate theatrical attractions. Defendant International Boxing Club was engaged in the business of promoting professional boxing contests, also on a multistate basis, with an alleged 25 percent of its revenue being derived from the interstate sale of radio, television, and motion picture rights. The district court dismissed both complaints on the authority of Federal Baseball Club v. National League and Toolson v. New York Yankees, lnc., which had held that the business of professional baseball was not interstate trade or commerce within sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. On direct appeal to the Supreme Court, held, reversed, with two justices dissenting in the I.B.C. case. Both activities constitute interstate trade or commerce under the Sherman Act. The baseball cases apply only to that sport and afford no basis for a conclusion that all businesses built around live performances of local exhibitions are exempt from the antitrust laws. United States v. Shubert, 348 U.S. 222, 75 S.Ct. 277 (1955); United States v. International Boxing Club, 348 U.S. 236, 75 S.Ct. 259 (1955).