United States v. Continental Can Co.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
United States v. Continental Can Co.
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued April 28, 1964
Decided June 22, 1964
Full case name United States v. Continental Can Co., et al.
Citations 378 U.S. 441 (more)
84 S. Ct. 1738; 12 L. Ed. 2d 953; 1964 U.S. LEXIS 2224; 1964 Trade Cas. (CCH) P71,146
Prior history Motion to dismiss granted, 217 F. Supp. 761 (S.D.N.Y. 1963)
Section 7 of the Clayton Act, which prohibits a corporation from acquiring another company when it results in a substantial reduction in competition, applies to competition between different industries for the same end user market. Southern District of New York reversed and remanded.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority White, joined by Warren, Black, Douglas, Clark, Brennan, Goldberg
Concurrence Goldberg
Dissent Harlan, joined by Stewart
Laws applied
15 U.S.C. § 18 (Clayton Act § 7)

United States v. Continental Can Co., 378 U.S. 441 (1964), was a U.S. Supreme Court case which addressed antitrust issues. One issue it addressed was how should a market segment be defined for purposes of reviewing a merger of companies which manufacture different but related products.


In 1956, Continental Can Company, the second largest producer of metal containers in the U.S., acquired the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company, the third largest producer of glass containers.

The government sought Continental Can's divestiture of the assets of Hazel-Atlas, arguing that the merger was a violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Antitrust Act. The government claimed ten product markets existed, including the can industry, the glass container industry, and various lines of commerce defined by the end use of the containers.


The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York found three product markets: metal containers, glass containers, and beer containers. The district court dismissed the case, holding that the government had failed to prove reasonable probability of lessening competition in the markets it had identified.

Supreme Court[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Text of United States v. Continental Can Co., 378 U.S. 441 (1964) is available from:  Findlaw  Justia