Albrecht v. Herald Co

In Albrecht v. Herald Co., 390 U.S. 145, 88 S.Ct. 869, 19 L.Ed.2d 998 (1968), the plaintiff was an independent newspaper carrier who purchased newspapers wholesale from the defendant, the Globe, and thereafter sold them at retail. The parties were operating pursuant to an exclusive territory arrangement which provided, in pertinent part, that if a carrier exceeded the maximum retail price advertised by defendant, his exclusive territory would be lost. In violation of this agreement the plaintiff began to sell its papers at a price above the maximum set by the defendant. Thereafter, defendant engaged the Milne Circulation Sales Corp. ("Milne") to solicit customers from within plaintiff's territory for delivery at defendant's maximum price. Eventually those customers wrested by Milne from within the plaintiff's territory, numbering about 300, were turned over to another independent carrier named Kroner. The Globe employed Kroner under the same maximum price agreement it had imposed upon the plaintiff. Moreover, Kroner knew that he might have to relinquish the 300 customers to the plaintiff when and if plaintiff ever decided to abide by the retail price standards set by the Globe. Sometime later Plaintiff was informed that his customers and exclusive territory would be returned if he agreed to abide by the retail price program. He refused and brought suit alleging a 1 conspiracy. The Globe argued that its conduct in terminating the plaintiff was wholly unilateral and there could be no conspiracy as a matter of law. The Supreme Court disagreed.