Associated Press v. United States
|Associated Press v. United States|
|Argued December 5–6, 1944
Decided June 18, 1945
|Full case name||Associated Press v. United States; Tribune Company v. United States; United States v. Associated Press|
|Citations||326 U.S. 1 (more)|
|Prior history||Certiorari to the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York|
|Majority||Black, joined by Douglas, Frankfurter, Reed, Rutledge|
|Dissent||Roberts, Stone, joined by Murphy|
|Jackson took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.|
The Associated Press (AP) had prohibited member newspapers from selling or providing news (whether that news was supplied by the AP, or was authored by the member newspaper - called "spontaneous" news) to nonmember organizations as well as making it very difficult for nonmember newspapers to join the AP.
Originally there were three separate cases (Associated Press et al. v. U.S., Tribune Company et al. v. U.S. and U.S. v. Associated Press et al.) that were joined into one when heard at the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court held that Associated Press had violated the Sherman Act. The bylaws of AP at that time, as written, constituted restraint of trade. The fact AP had not achieved a complete monopoly was irrelevant. The First Amendment did not excuse newspapers from violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. News, traded between states, counts as interstate commerce, and thus makes the issue relevant for the Sherman Antitrust Act. Finally, Freedom of the press from governmental interference under the First Amendment does not sanction repression of that freedom by private interests (326 U.S. 20).
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