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UNITED STATES v. SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY ET AL.

decided: May 29, 1922.

UNITED STATES
v.
SOUTHERN PACIFIC COMPANY ET AL.



APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH.

Author: Day

[ 259 U.S. Page 224]

 MR. JUSTICE DAY delivered the opinion of the court.

The United States on February 11, 1914, filed its bill in the District Court of the United States for the District of

[ 259 U.S. Page 225]

     Utah against the Southern Pacific Company, the Central Pacific Railway Company, the Union Trust Company of New York, and the directors and officials of the Southern Pacific Company. The charge of the petition is that the defendants restrain or attempt to monopolize, and do monopolize trade and commerce in violation of the Act of July 2, 1890, c. 647, 26 Stat. 209, known as the Sherman Act, and have also violated the provisions of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1862, c. 120, 12 Stat. 489. The prayer of the petition is that the lines of the Southern Pacific Company and those of the Central Pacific Railway Company be decreed to constitute competitive systems, and that the ownership acquired by the Southern Pacific Company of all or a controlling interest in the capital stock of the Central Pacific Railway Company, and its lease, control and operation of the lines thereof be declared violative of the Sherman Act; and that the Southern Pacific Company be required to dispose of such capital stock, and cancel and relinquish its lease, control, management and operation thereof; and that the control of the Central Pacific Railway Company by the Southern Pacific be decreed to be in violation of the Act of Congress of July 1, 1862, entitled "An Act to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean, and to secure to the Government the use of the same for postal, military, and other purposes;" and also violative of the act, supplemental to the Act of 1862, the Act of July 2, 1864, c. 216, 13 Stat. 356, and the Act of June 20, 1874, c. 331, 18 Stat. 111, the Government maintaining that the effect of such acts is to require the Central Pacific to maintain physical connection with the Union Pacific to make a through line to the coast, and to furnish equal advantages and facilities as to rates, time, and transportation over such through line.

An answer was filod by the defendants, much testimony was taken, and a decree was entered dismissing the petition,

[ 259 U.S. Page 226]

     one of the three Circuit Judges who heard the case dissenting. 239 Fed. 998.

The Central Pacific Racific Railroad Company of California was incorporated under the laws of California in 1861 for the purposes of constructing a railroad from Sacramento to the eastern boundary of California. In 1862 and 1864 Congress by proper legislation incorporated the Union Pacific Railroad Company to build from the Missouri River westward, and authorized the Central Pacific to builed eastwardly from the Pacific Coast, at or near San Francisco, to a common meeting-point with the Union Pacific. These acts of Congress authorized the issue of first mortgage bonds, and also second mortgage bonds, and made a land grant of public lands for each linear mile of railroad construction. These acts provided that these two railroads should be operated as one continuous line, and that neither should discriminate in favor of or against the other. Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, C.P. Huntington and Mark Hopkins acquired a large part of the capital stock of the Central Pacific Company. The Central Pacific assigned to the Western Pacific a portion of the construction, namely, that from Sacramento to San Jose, this with the approval of Congress. C. 88, ยง 2, 13 Stat. 504.

The Pacific Railroads were constructed from 1864 to 1869 from the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast; from Omaha to Ogden by the Union Pacific; from Ogden to Sacramento by the Central Pacific; from Sacramento to San Jose by the Western Pacific, afterwards consolidated with the Central Pacific. These are denominated in the defendants' brief as the "bond-aided lines." What they call the non-bond-aided lines of the Central Pacific system are those from Niles to Oakland, from Lathrop to Goshen, and from Roseville to Redding, which were constructed in the State of California from the years 1869 to 1872. In 1870 the Central Pacific absorbed in consolidation

[ 259 U.S. Page 227]

     the Western Pacific, which built from Sacramento to San Jose; the Alameda Company which built from Niles to Oakland; the San Joaquin, which built from Lathrop to Goshen; and the California and Oregon Company which built from Roseville north en route to the Oregon line.

The Southern Pacific Railroad Company was incorporated in 1865 under the laws of California for the purpose of constructing a railroad from San Francisco Bay by the way of San Diego to the eastern boundary of California. In 1866 Congress passed an act to incorporate the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad Company to construct a railroad near the 35th parallel of latitude from Springfield, Missouri, to the Pacific Ocean. This act authorized the Southern Pacific to connect with the Atlantic & Pacific near the eastern boundary of California, and both companies were granted public lands. In 1867 the Southern Pacific changed its route to the eastward so as not to go as far south as originally contemplated; this act was ratified by Congress and the legislature of California in 1870.

In 1871 Congress incorporated the Texas Pacific Railroad Company to build a line of railroad near the 32d parallel of latitude from Marshall, Texas, by the way of El Paso to the Pacific Ocean at San Diego, and to connect on the east with other railroads, and on the west with the Southern Pacific Railroad. The Southern Pacific was authorized to construct a railroad from Tehachapi Pass to a junction of the Texas Pacific Railroad at the eastern boundary of California. Land grants were made to both companies. In 1872 the Central Pacific had extended its lines to Goshen.

About 1870 the promoters of the Central Pacific obtained control of the Southern Pacific, and subsequently the latter was constructed from Goshen through Tehachapi Pass, with one fork to a junction with the Atlantic & Pacific at The Needles (near 35th parallel) on the Colorado River at the eastern boundary of the State, and the

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     other fork to the southeastern corner of the State (near 32d parallel), thence across Arizona and New Mexico to a junction in Texas with the Texas & Pacific, thence to a connection at El Paso with the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad. The sections of the Southern line were leased for a series of years to the Central. In 1881 the Southern Pacific made a junction with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe at Demming, New Mexico. In 1882 the Southern made a junction with the Texas & Pacific at Sierra Blanca, Texas. In 1883 the direct line of the Southern connection with the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio and its eastern connections was completed through to New Orleans. The same year it made its junction with the Atlantic & Pacific at The Needles.

The section from Mojave to Needles was leased to the Santa Fe in 1883, and sold to it in 1911. From 1883 to 1885 the Central Pacific was the lessee owner of a system of leases, and the system was known as the "Central Pacific Railroad and Leased Lines." In February, 1885, after the formation of the Southern Pacific Company (of Kentucky) that road became the lessee. We shall have occasion to deal more particularly with that lease later.

Without familiarity with the geography of the region described and the location of the points named, this description means little. The outstanding facts, and those essential to be considered in the view which we take of this branch of the case, are: The Central Pacific Railroad extends from the Bay of San Francisco to Ogden, Utah, with a branch extending north from Roseville in central California to the northern boundary of California; and to Kirk in Oregon; and a branch extending south from Lathrop in central California to Goshen, California; and a branch extending south from Hazen in Nevada to Mojave in California; and a branch from Fernley in Nevada to Susanville, California; and a short line in Oregon from Oakridge to Natron. At Ogden, the Central Pacific connects

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     with the Union Pacific, extending to Omaha, Nebraska, and to Kansas City, Missouri; connecting at Ogded with the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, and with other connecting roads eastwardly to the Missouri River; and from the Missouri River to the central and eastern parts of the United States.

The Southern Pacific system extends from San Francisco Bay by way of El Paso to Galveston, Texas, and to New Orleans, there connecting with steamship lines to New York City controlled by the Southern Pacific. At El Paso it connects with the Rock Island which runs to Omaha and Chicago; at New Orleans, it connects with roads extending to points in the central and eastern parts of the United States. It owns branches in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and many in California.

The Central Pacific with its eastern connection at Ogden forms one great system of transportation between the east and the west, and the Southern Pacific with its roads and connections, and steamboat lines, forms another great transcontinental system for transportation from coast to coast. The Central Pacific constitutes some 800 miles of the transcontinental line of which it is a part. The Southern Pacific system has practically its own line of railroads and steamboat connections to New York via Galveston and New Orleans.

Under principles settled in the Union Pacific Case, 226 U.S. 61, 86, the acquisition by the Southern Pacific Company of the stock of the Central Pacific Railway Company in 1899, unless justified by the special circumstances relied upon, to be hereinafter considered, constituted a combination in restraint of trade because it fetters the free and normal flow of competition in interstate traffic and tends to monopolization. In the Union Pacific Case this court held that the acquisition by the Union Pacific, which consituted about 1,000 miles of the trancontinental system, to which we have referred, of enough stock in the Southern

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     Pacific to dominate and control it, was violative of the Sherman Act. This case differs from that not at all in principle. These two great systems are normally competitive for the carrying trade in some parts from the east and middle west to the coast, and for the traffic moving to and from central and northern California, including a great volume of ocean-borne traffic which lands on the coast destined across the continent to the Atlantic Seaboard and intermediate western and eastern points, or is destined from the latter points to foreign ports via San Francisco or other Pacific Coast points.

Counsel for the defendants, evidently realizing this situation, make elaborate argument to distinguish the Union Pacific Case. The claim is made that the decision there rested only on the fact that a then existing competition was restrained through the purchase by the Union Pacific of the control of the Southern Pacific in 1901; but the principle of that decision and of the previous cases upon which it rested was broader than the mere effect upon existing competition between the two systems.

Such combinations, not the result of normal and natural growth and development, but springing from the formation of holding companies, or stock purchases, resulting in the unified control of different roads or systems, naturally competitive, constitute "a menace to, and a restraint upon, that freedom of commerce which Congress intended to recognize and protect, and which the public is entitled to have protected." Northern Securities Co. v. United States, 193 U.S. 197, 327. This principle was restated and applied in United States v. Union Pacific R.R. Co., surpra; it was reiterated and approved by the court as recently as the October Term, 1919, United States v. Reading Co., 253 U.S. 26, 57, 58, 59.

These cases, collectively, establish that one system of railroad transportation cannot acquire another, nor a substantial and vital ...


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