Atlantic Refining Co. v. Federal Trade Commission

In Atlantic Refining Co. v. Federal Trade Commission, 381 U.S. 357, 85 S.Ct. 1498, 14 L.Ed.2d 443 (1965), Atlantic, had a commission arrangement with a tire manufacturer, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Atlantic and Goodyear promoted the exclusive handling of Goodyear products by all of Atlantic's retail outlets. Atlantic employed coercive tactics to force its dealers into complying with the policy of selling only sponsored items. The Supreme Court held that this was not, per se, a tying arrangement. However, the court did treat the arrangement as a tying agreement because of the coercive tactics employed by Atlantic. Atlantic and Goodyear monitored the T.B.A. sales of each outlet and warned dealers if they sold unsponsored T.B.A. Some dealers were threatened with the loss of their leases if they did not comply. The record disclosed coercive acts, thus rendering it unnecessary for the Court to examine the economic impact of the arrangement on the competitive market. The Court made it clear, however, that it did not hold that commission arrangements are per se illegal.