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OHIO VALLEY ELEC. CORP. v. GE

August 31, 1965

Ohio Valley Electric Corporation, Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corporation
v.
General Electric; Westinghouse Electric Corporation


Feinberg, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: FEINBERG

FEINBERG, District Judge:

Criminal antitrust proceedings were brought in 1960 by the United States Government against electrical equipment manufacturers in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Thereafter, various purchasers of electrical equipment filed an unprecedented number of private antitrust actions against the manufacturers. *fn1" This case is the first of those suits to come to trial in this court. It grows out of the purchase of eleven steam turbine generators in 1952 by plaintiffs Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) and Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corporation (IKEC) from defendants General Electric Company (GE) and Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Westinghouse). Plaintiffs sue for treble damages under section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15, alleging a price fixing conspiracy among GE, Westinghouse and other manufacturers in violation of section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. After extensive national and local pre-trial discovery and conferences, the non-jury trial commenced on February 16, 1965, and ended approximately two months later. *fn2" There were thirty-six witnesses, many by deposition, over 5,200 pages of transcript, and over 690 exhibits.

 I

 The Parties

 OVEC is an Ohio corporation owned by various investor-owned electric utility companies in the Ohio River Valley. IKEC is an Indiana corporation and a wholly-owned subsidiary of OVEC. Both plaintiffs were incorporated in 1952 to construct and operate facilities required to provide an unusually large supply of electric power to a new plant of the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) near Portsmouth, Ohio. OVEC owns steam electric generating facilities in Ohio at its Kyger Creek plant, which contains five steam turbine generators known as Kyger Creek 1-5. OVEC is and has been engaged in the generation and transmission of electric energy in Ohio and the transmission of electric energy in Kentucky. IKEC owns steam electric generating facilities in Indiana at its Clifty Creek plant, which contains six steam turbine generators known as Clifty Creek 1-6. It is and has been engaged in the generation and transmission of electric energy in Indiana. The purchase of the Kyger Creek 1-5 and Clifty Creek 1-6 units gave rise to this suit. OVEC and IKEC provide power to the AEC and also to other utilities, including their sponsoring or participating companies. These companies agreed to purchase any surplus power available from the new facilities and not required by the AEC, including power made available through cancellation of the arrangements with the AEC. The utilities so agreeing, as well as those owning OVEC's capital stock, are as follows: % Participation Name of Company Equity Power American Gas and Electric Company *fn3" 37.8 Appalachian Electric Power Company 15.2 Indiana & Michigan Electric Company 7.6 Ohio Power Company 15.0 The Cincinnati Gas & Electric Company 9.0 9.0 Columbus and Southern Ohio Electric Company 4.3 4.3 The Dayton Power and Light Company 4.9 4.9 Kentucky Utilities Company 2.5 2.5 Louisville Gas and Electric Company 7.0 7.0 Ohio Edison Company 16.5 14.5 Pennsylvania Power Company 2.0 Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company 1.5 1.5 The Toledo Edison Company 4.0 4.0 The West Penn Electric Company 12.5 Monogahela Power Company 3.5 The Potomac Edison Company 2.0 West Penn Power Company *fn4" 7.0

 Defendant GE is a New York corporation with its principal place of business in Schenectady, New York. At all relevant times, it manufactured and sold steam turbine generators of varying sizes. It has maintained plants for the manufacture of such units at Schenectady, New York; West Lynn, Massachusetts; and Fitchburg, Massachusetts. IKEC's six units (Clifty Creek 1-6) and one of OVEC's units (Kyger Creek 1) were purchased from GE.

 Defendant Westinghouse is a Pennsylvania corporation with its principal place of business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At all relevant times, it manufactured and sold steam turbine generators of varying sizes. It has maintained plants for the manufacture of steam turbines at Lester, Pennsylvania and Sunnyvale, California, and a plant for the manufacture of generators at East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. OVEC purchased four of its units (Kyger Creek 2-5) from Westinghouse. Each defendant is an inhabitant of, or is found or transacts business in, the Southern District of New York.

 Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company (Allis) was also originally named as a party defendant. However, by stipulation just prior to trial, plaintiffs dismissed the action against Allis without prejudice, but amended the complaint to allege that Allis was a co-conspirator. *fn5" Allis is a Delaware corporation which, at all relevant times prior to 1963, was engaged in the manufacture and sale of steam turbine generators and maintained a plant for the manufacture of such units at West Allis, Wisconsin. At the time of the purchases sued upon, GE, Westinghouse and Allis were the three largest manufacturers and sellers of steam turbine generators in the United States. On January 1, 1963, Allis went out of the steam turbine generator business. Another co-conspirator named in the complaint was Elliott Company (Elliott), now a subsidiary of Carrier Corporation, a Delaware corporation. At all relevant times, Elliott was engaged in the manufacture of steam turbine generators.

 Theory of the Case

 Plaintiffs claim that, because of the alleged price-fixing conspiracy, they paid substantially more for the eleven steam turbine generator units purchased from defendants than they would have paid in a competitive (non-conspiratorial) market. To understand the contentions of the parties, some description of a steam turbine generator and the manner in which it is sold is necessary. A steam turbine generator unit is an assembly of a turbine and a generator used in the production or generation of electric energy on land by the use of steam. Steam turbine generators are complicated and frequently massive machines. They are made in a great variety of sizes, types and capabilities, with varying accessories and features, to perform under a number of operating conditions. For example, turbines differ according to the amount of kilowatts of electricity that can be generated, the type of fuel required, and the number of large shafts driving the generator. *fn6" Specifications are detailed and extensive. The time required for manufacture of a unit is generally two to three years after date of order and sometimes even longer.

 Steam turbine generators manufactured by both defendants have been sold and shipped in interstate commerce throughout the United States to investor-owned electric utilities and to federal, state and local governmental agencies for use in the generation of electricity. The pricing of these machines is complicated and requires the use of price books issued by the manufacturers. These books serve both as a technical manual and as a measure for comparing prices of machines made by different companies and of different types of machines made by the same company. From such a book, a price for a basic unit can be determined, after certain specifications have been assumed; e.g., electric output required. The prices contained in the price books are known to the trade as the "book" or "list" or "published" price. Similarly, the actual sale price or price agreed to be paid at the time of order for a steam turbine unit is known as the "order price."

 Plaintiffs assert that during the existence of the alleged conspiracy, sales were generally made at book prices or at prices close to the book price level, that order prices below the book level were frequently expressed as a percentage discount from the appropriate book price, or "discount off book," and that book prices over the years were essentially the same for all three manufacturers. Plaintiffs claim that defendants conspired to establish uniform book prices and to keep order prices as close as possible to book, and that the order prices in 1952 for the eleven OVEC and IKEC units were, therefore, unlawfully fixed. Plaintiffs claim damages of $8,167,773, trebled, based upon a discount off book theory, which will be set forth in greater detail below.

 Plaintiffs also suggest another theory of damages. In the manufacture of steam turbines, there is substantial delay between date of order and date of delivery and installation. Accordingly, in the 1950's, it was not uncommon for a manufacturer and a buyer to agree, as was done here, that the buyer would pay on the basis of the Price in Effect at the Time of Shipment of the unit (PETS escalation clause). This might result in substantial "escalation" of the total amount to be paid. Plaintiffs argue that the final billed price in 1954-1955 on the eleven units ordered in 1952 included an illegal overcharge attributable to escalation; that, had a truly competitive price been in effect at the time of shipment, the final billed price would have been substantially lower. This claimed overcharge because of "escalation" is $5,089,035, computed in a manner set forth in greater detail below.

 Defendants vigorously dispute the essentials of plaintiffs' case; they claim that there was no conspiracy in effect at the time of plaintiffs' purchases and that, in any event, any conspiracy had absolutely no effect on the prices plaintiffs paid. Defendants contend that with or without conspiracy these prices were the result of the economic forces at work in the market; e.g., demand, supply, cost, individual bargaining. Defendants also assert that plaintiffs cannot recover, even if they were illegally overcharged, because (1) the claims are barred by the applicable four-year statute of limitations, section 4B of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 15b, and (2) plaintiffs suffered no legal damage because they were, or will be, able to "pass-on" the assumed overcharges to others, principally the AEC. Before considering these and other key issues in detail, a description of the actual transactions in suit will be helpful.

 Transactions in Suit

 In the second half of 1951, Philip Sporn, then chief executive officer of the American Gas and Electric utility system, became interested in the plans of the AEC to locate a new power station in the Ohio Valley. In early 1952, Sporn and other Ohio Valley utility company executives met with representatives of the AEC to obtain information and to discuss problems the utilities would face in supplying power to the new plant. The utilities were informed that 1,800,000 kilowatts of electrical demand with an annual consumption of 15 billion kilowatt hours would be required. *fn7" This was then twenty-five per cent more than the annual consumption of electric power by the eight million residents of New York City. *fn8" The entire operation had to be fully effective by mid-1956.

 Soon after this meeting with the AEC, the participating utilities agreed to organize separate corporate entities to erect two plants to supply the energy required. *fn9" Sporn was designated to negotiate the necessary contracts with the AEC and the manufacturers of steam turbines. OVEC and IKEC were incorporated on October 1, 1952; the United States, on October 15, 1952, entered into a contract with OVEC for the supply of electricity to the AEC. *fn10"

 Early in 1952, before the formal creation of OVEC and IKEC, Sporn began negotiations with GE for the purchase of steam turbine generators. In March 1952, it was decided that the machines were to be cross-compound units (instead of tandem-compound) of 2,000 pounds pressure, 1050 degrees initial steam and reheat temperature, with a maximum output rating of 217,260 kilowatts. *fn11" At that time, the contemplated machines represented the best of the industry's technology and were among the largest and most efficient units ever ordered. Moreover, the order for eleven units totalling over 2,350,000 kilowatts was a huge one, comprising over twenty-two per cent of total kilowatt generating capacity ordered in 1952 by customers of the manufacturers. *fn12" GE representatives quoted a handbook price for these units, which they characterized as two per cent too high due to an error in calculation. As a result of bargaining, GE also offered an additional 2.5 per cent discount for a total of 4.5 per cent off the published handbook price. *fn13" Further discussions between the parties resulted in GE's offering an additional 3.1 per cent more off handbook price if it were given an order for eight units. *fn14" This was later agreed to apply to seven units. Despite strenuous efforts by Sporn, GE refused to reduce its price any further, even if it received the entire order of eleven units. *fn15" GE was principally represented at the various bargaining sessions by G. B. Warren, General Manager, Turbine Division, and Robert S. Neblett, Manager of Marketing, Turbine Division. *fn16" Sporn and S. N. Fiala, AEP Chief Engineer, were the chief representatives of OVEC and IKEC.

 Sporn intended, if he could, to split the units to be purchased between GE and Westinghouse, both for reasons of national defense and because members of the OVEC and IKEC boards of directors desired it. *fn17" In October 1952, GE was given clearance on six units to be supplied to the Clifty Creek plant of IKEC. *fn18" By this time, Sporn and GE had agreed upon a unit price of $4,643,255. *fn19" An additional amount for special accessories was later agreed upon. *fn20"

 Meanwhile, Sporn had been sounding out Westinghouse and, in November 1952, received a Westinghouse proposed price for a similar unit about $200,000 higher than the GE unit price. *fn21" Thereafter, a series of discussions ensued between Sporn and various Westinghouse officials during which Sporn attempted to play off GE against Westinghouse to get the lowest price he could. Sporn, on November 29, 1952, finally persuaded Westinghouse to cut its price to $4,675,000 per unit for four machines which were to be supplied to the Kyger Creek plant of OVEC. *fn22" The price for special accessories was later agreed upon. *fn23" The eleventh unit (the fifth for the Kyger Creek plant) was purchased from GE. The principal negotiators for Westinghouse were Gwilym A. Price, Chief Executive Officer, and John K. Hodnette, Executive Vice President; *fn24" Sporn and Fiala again represented plaintiffs.

 The parties have stipulated that what they call the final order price for the six GE machines supplied to IKEC and the one to OVEC was $4,718,255 per unit and that the applicable GE book price was $5,308,000. *fn25" These stipulated figures produce a discount off book at which the GE units were purchased of 11.1 per cent. *fn26" Final order price is defined as the final price, excluding escalation for the base unit, but including standard accessories, supervision of erection and special accessories. The same stipulation provides that the final order price of the four Westinghouse machines supplied to OVEC was $4,750,000 per unit and that the applicable Westinghouse book price was $5,395,615. *fn27" Similarly, the discount off book at which these units were purchased was 11.97 per cent. *fn28" These final order price figures for GE and Westinghouse include $75,000 per unit as the agreed-to price for special accessories. In each case, the price for this item was a reduction from the original figure quoted by the manufacturers. *fn29"

 The contracts with GE and Westinghouse both contained the PETS escalation clause, subjecting the order price of the steam turbine generators to adjustment up to a maximum of twenty per cent, determined by application of the seller's published price in effect at the time of actual shipment. *fn30" At a meeting in late 1954, when the first two GE units were about ready for shipment, GE and Sporn agreed on a final billed price on the first five GE units of $5,200,000. *fn31" This represented about a ten per cent escalation upward from the final order price and was based upon the 1953 GE book price. *fn32" In January 1955, the parties similarly agreed upon a final billed price of $5,200,000 for the remaining two GE machines. *fn33" The amount of escalation applicable to the base unit, standard accessories, supervision of erection and special accessories, determined by subtracting the final order price from the final billed price paid to GE was as follows: $481,745 on each of Clifty Creek units 1, 4-6 (sold to IKEC) and Kyger Creek 1 (sold to OVEC), and $371,658 and $388,651, respectively, on Clifty Creek units 2 and 3 (sold to IKEC). *fn34" The total final order price for the units purchased from GE was $33,027,785, and the total final price after escalation was $36,196,819. *fn35" These units were actually shipped to plaintiffs over a period from November 1954 to January 1956. *fn36"

 In January 1955, Westinghouse and Sporn agreed that the final billed price for each of the four Westinghouse units would be $5,230,000. *fn37" This agreement was based upon an increase in the Westinghouse book price in April 1953. The amount of escalation on each unit was $480,000, similarly about ten per cent of the final order price. The total order price of the Westinghouse units was $19,000,000 and the final billed price after escalation was $20,920,000. *fn38" These units were actually shipped by Westinghouse to OVEC from April to October 1955. *fn39"

 Defendants contend that Sporn was an excellent negotiator who achieved remarkable results in the price negotiations. Thus, in addition to the concessions already referred to made in the course of bargaining, defendants point to the fact that the price for spare parts was negotiated downward by over $630,000 with GE *fn40" and over $800,000 with Westinghouse, *fn41" that the escalation imposed was less than it could have been under the formula in effect, and that various charges were absorbed by the manufacturers which, arguably, they could have refused to pay. *fn42" There is no doubt that defendants are correct in characterizing Sporn as an unusually able negotiator. The real question is whether the negotiations occurred within a framework of conspiratorial activity which so pervaded the basic price structure that no negotiator, even one with the herculean abilities attributed by defendants to Sporn, could press beyond certain limits. This, of course, raises the key issues of (1) was there a conspiracy to fix prices and (2) did this conspiracy affect the prices of the OVEC and IKEC units and, if so, to what extent?

 II

 Conspiracy

 On the first issue, plaintiffs have clearly proved the existence of a price-fixing conspiracy in 1952, the time of the purchases in suit. There is testimony that specific meetings among defendants and other competitors began as early as 1939. The record shows that Neblett of GE met with representatives of Westinghouse in that year to discuss a steam turbine job lost by GE as a result of a large Westinghouse price cut. *fn43" At that time, Erben, GE's Manager of Apparatus Division, who "wasn't very happy" over the price cut, indicated to his competitors his preference for established prices in the industry. *fn44" Presumably toward this end, Neblett met with Westinghouse employees in 1940, "to again explain" GE's price sheets, *fn45" a practice which, thereafter, was habitually followed by some GE employees whenever a competitor made such a request. Competitors' meetings were held frequently during the ensuing decade. *fn46" Specifically, Ganschird, Westinghouse Large Turbine Section Sales Manager, was placed at competitors' meetings in the 1940's; *fn47" Whitescarver of GE testified to meetings from 1941 through 1957 and could not be sure whether there was any one year during this period in which he did not meet with competitors; *fn48" Mauntel, Westinghouse Sales Manager, Steam Division, recalled meetings in 1948; *fn49" Sellers, then Elliott's Turbine Generator Department Sales Manager, testified to meetings commencing in 1945, perhaps a dozen a year in some years thereafter. *fn50"

 It is fair to say, as a general proposition, that the topics discussed at these meetings were not properly the subjects of communication among competitors. *fn51" Significantly, in the years since 1946, the number of large steam turbine generator units sold annually was never so high that those in the business could not easily keep track of individual transactions; the total fluctuated from about a low of twelve in 1949 to 159 in 1950. *fn52"

 For present purposes, an early significant meeting took place in 1950 in New York City. In the fall of that year, Neblett of GE met with Mauntel and Eikner of Westinghouse and Miers of Allis after GE had just issued a new price book which made elaborate changes in the old book and included for the first time units similar in many respects to the units plaintiffs ultimately purchased. Neblett explained these changes to the other competitors, at their request, at a time when it is not clear whether Westinghouse and Allis had issued revised price books of their own, *fn53" although it is clear that by the end of 1950 the price books of the three companies were highly similar and incorporated a general ten per cent increase. *fn54" For all practical purposes, these price books substantially reflected the price levels in effect during the OVEC negotiations for an OVEC-type unit and were consulted when pricing these machines. *fn55" There is also some specific evidence of a meeting or meetings of competitors in 1952. *fn56"

 It is instructive to pause at this point to consider the stipulated evidence of uniform book price movements during the period from 1948 to 1952. *fn57" Effective December 27, 1948, GE increased handbook prices approximately ten per cent for turbines rated 20,000 kilowatts and above. Westinghouse, shortly thereafter, adopted a similar book price increase effective December 30, 1948; Allis followed suit with a book price increase effective January 3, 1949. In the fall of 1950, GE, Westinghouse and Allis all announced another ten per cent increase on units rated 20,000 kilowatts and above; the GE increase was effective on October 16, 1950; the Westinghouse and Allis increases were effective October 21, 1950 and October 30, 1950, respectively.

 Despite different authorizations from the Office of Price Stabilization ("OPS"), the next series of book price changes resulted in almost identical increases after a short period when the prices of the three major producers varied. The GE price increases effective December 21, 1951, averaged 3.37 per cent for turbines rated at 20,000 kilowatts and above and a 4.9 per cent increase for smaller units. The Westinghouse increases effective December 20, 1951 were similar. The increases for the larger units were less than the amount authorized by OPS. Allis initially increased all its prices by 10.52 per cent - the full amount of its OPS authorization - effective January 10, 1952. However, on March 21, 1952, Allis withdrew the 10.52 per cent price increase and announced a new price increase to conform with those previously announced by GE and Westinghouse - 3.37 per cent for units larger than 20,000 kilowatts and 4.9 per cent on smaller units.

 Plaintiffs have not merely offered stipulated proof of identical book price movements during 1948-1952. They have also demonstrated, by reliable statistical evidence, that during this period sales of large steam turbine generators by all the competitors were made within the same low range of discounts off highly similar book prices. *fn58"

 If the foregoing were the sole evidence of conspiracy in this record, I would conclude, from these indications of price discussions among competitors followed by uniform price movements, that prior to and during 1952 defendants violated the Sherman Act. E.g., (all involving criminal convictions and, therefore, a greater burden of proof than applicable here) Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. v. United States, 260 F.2d 397, 400-01 (4th Cir. 1958), aff'd on other grounds, 360 U.S. 395, 3 L. Ed. 2d 1323, 79 S. Ct. 1237 (1959); Morton Salt Co. v. United States, 235 F.2d 573 (10th Cir. 1956); C-O-Two Fire Equip. Co. v. United States, 197 F.2d 489 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 344 U.S. 892, 73 S. Ct. 211, 97 L. Ed. 690 (1952); see Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. v. United States, 360 U.S. 395, 398, 3 L. Ed. 2d 1323, 79 S. Ct. 1237 (1959) ("While . . . [there] . . . was only [one] witness who characterized the outcome of the meetings as an 'agreement' on prices, no witness negatived this conclusion and the identical price lists that followed the meeting were little less than proof positive.").

 Additionally, there is an overwhelming amount of detailed evidence of meetings and discussions on a regular basis from this period until 1959, and there are strong indications that these later meetings typified the earlier ones. The following subjects discussed at post-1952 meetings were identified as being the same as those discussed in the earlier period: *fn59" prices; "position" (agreement as to who would present the lowest bid); terms and conditions of sale; *fn60" present and future book prices; *fn61" past and future bids; *fn62" escalation and progress payments; *fn63" discounts off book prices and maintenance and stabilization of order prices and market levels. *fn64" Moreover, the participants in these later meetings were either the original conspirators or their corporate successors. For example, Neblett of GE, who was present at the early 1939 and 1940 meetings, and out of the turbine business for a while, continued to participate again until at least late 1955. *fn65" It should be noted that Neblett was one of the chief negotiators for GE on the very units in suit and the GE representative who, although severely pressed, refused to lower GE's price to Sporn even if GE received all eleven units instead of just seven. *fn66" Neblett, who was Peters' superior, introduced Peters into the conspiracy in the early 1950's. When McLane replaced Neblett as GE's Acting Manager of Marketing Large Steam Turbine Generator Department, Peters brought him to competitors' meetings. Similarly, in July 1957, McLane introduced his replacement, Lilly, to the conspirators. *fn67" Mauntel's participation on behalf of Westinghouse, which began at least in 1948, lasted until 1959; Whitescarver of GE continually attended meetings with competitors from 1941 through 1957; Miers of Allis was placed at competitors' meetings from 1950 through 1958. *fn68"

 Notwithstanding this evidence, defendants seek to fragment the conspiracy into pre-1954 and post-1954 portions contending that even if the evidence establishes collusion in the latter period, plaintiffs have not proved conspiracy at the time of their purchases. Although this argument raises certain evidentiary problems (discussed below) it otherwise lacks significance. One cannot read the deposition testimony by the conspirators about their activities until 1959 without inferring that this was a single conspiracy in effect for many years before and after 1954 (the evidentiary cutoff period urged by defendants) or 1952 (the date of plaintiffs' purchases). To a large extent, defendants' argument rests on plaintiffs' failure to present as microcosmic an analysis of the earlier years as they did for the ensuing years. However, the details of the conspiracy, as it existed after 1952, so dovetail with what we know of the pre-1952 activities that it is most logical to infer that only the unavailability of many of the early conspirators and the faulty recollections of those who testified *fn69" prevented plaintiffs from painting a similarly detailed picture about the previous years. Equally unimpressive is defendants' contention that evidence of meetings involving employees connected with pricing of medium or small, rather than large, turbines is insignificant. *fn70" The record demonstrates, for example, that representatives of these different sizes of turbines frequently participated in the same meeting; more importantly, the high ranking conspirators - e.g., Warren, Ginn, Eikner, Miers - were, in their own companies, responsible for varying sizes of turbines. *fn71" The conspiracy cannot, therefore, be fragmented by kilowatts, and this evidence is probative of a conspiracy affecting large turbines.

 The following is an outline of the workings of the conspiracy after 1952 until its end in 1959. In early 1953, GE published a new price book which raised prices by ten per cent and introduced complex adjustments in pricing methods. Thereafter, Neblett and Peters of GE met with Mauntel and Eikner of Westinghouse and Miers of Allis to explain the new book. *fn72" Although defendants minimize the significance of this meeting by characterizing it merely as an explanation of certain handbook terminology, Eikner testified that the information was necessary to enable Westinghouse to "determine the same book prices that GE would determine from that price book." *fn73"

 The next significant meeting took place in New York City in early 1955. In the latter part of 1954, turbine generator sales had been made at increasingly large discounts off book - during what has been referred to in this case as the "white sale." Neblett explained how this meeting among competitors brought about increased prices:

 
It was very simple. The meeting was arranged and Mr. Warren made the statement to Mr. Mauntel and everybody present that we were going, or rather we had gone and were going to maintain prices very close to the handbook.

 When asked how representatives of the other companies reacted to this announcement of GE, Neblett replied: "To the best of my knowledge, . . . they said 'Thank God'." *fn74"

 There were other competitors' meetings in this year at which time the competitors discussed bids on upcoming TVA jobs. The anti-competitive effect of such prebid discussion is indicated by Eikner's testimony, even though couched in competitive terms, about why Westinghouse wanted these meetings:

 
We were very much interested in trying to get the order for those machines. There were, as I recall, some questions in the interpretation of the specifications. We felt we could improve our chances of being competitive on the job if we could review book prices with the General Electric Company. *fn75"

 On one occasion Neblett told his competitors that GE intended to bid about two per cent off book on the TVA-Johnsonville job. *fn76" It was agreed that GE would get "position" on this job and, in fact, GE eventually got the order. *fn77"

 There were several meetings during 1956 on the subject of price increases. *fn78" In March 1956, Peters and Neblett of GE met with Mauntel and Eikner of Westinghouse and representatives of Allis to debate the amount of a proposed price increase - Neblett of GE favoring a ten per cent increase, Westinghouse favoring a rise of only five per cent. *fn79" Thereafter, GE did institute a ten per cent increase in April 1956, and Westinghouse and Allis did likewise immediately thereafter. *fn80"

 There were many meetings during 1957, and the record discloses a great deal of discussion that year of individual jobs; *fn81" there was also some discussion about standardizing price books in terms of equalizing cost to the customer of large and small turbines. *fn82" Meetings in 1958 and early 1959 followed a similar pattern with general price levels and individual transactions the subjects of discussion. *fn83"

 As in earlier years, these meetings and price discussions were accompanied by uniform price book movements. Effective March 30, 1953, GE increased handbook prices approximately ten per cent. Westinghouse put a similar increase into effect on April 10, 1953. Allis, in April 1953, instituted what it thought was the same increase, but later realized that its flat ten per cent price raise was not the same as its competitors' selective increases. So, on June 30, 1953, Allis made effective new price sheets sent out August 25, 1953, to adjust its prices in the same manner and amounts specified in the GE price sheets.

 Effective January 3, 1955, GE adjusted handbook prices on large steam turbine generators in varying amounts averaging approximately two per cent. Following this GE book price change, Westinghouse made adjustments in book prices for various units effective February 10, 1955, consisting of increases and decreases of approximately two per cent or less; Allis did the same effective May 15, 1955. This pattern continued until the conspiracy ended. *fn84" It is sufficient to indicate that on at least seven later occasions, GE book price changes were closely followed by identical or highly similar changes in the price books of Westinghouse and Allis. *fn85"

 The record is replete with admissions by the conspirators that their purpose in going to competitors' meetings was to stabilize prices as close as feasible to the published book prices. *fn86" For example, Jenkins of Westinghouse testified: "That was what I went to every meeting for . . . to try to bring order prices closer to book prices. I tried to sell turbines the best I could." *fn87" The testimony of Peters of GE, covering meetings from 1956 on, is equally illustrative:

 
Q. [In] substance, in principle, your objective was to keep order prices as close to ...

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