See Complaint Par. Equally meritless is Chrysler's contention that since the complaint was filed in it cannot be used to attack Chrysler's Rebate Plan in effect in subsequent years. Checker's complaint alleges a continuing course of illegal conduct on Chrysler's part, against which injunctive relief is sought.
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Complaint Pars. Defendants next assert that Rule 56, F. However, Rule 56 a authorizes a claimant to move for summary judgment in his favor upon all " or any part " thereof. In White Motor Co. United States, U. At least in a complex case involving a series of separate transactions, as distinguished from one involving part of a single transaction or a portion of damages claimed, plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment ought not be dismissed on the hyper-technical basis urged by Chrysler, since plaintiff's motion is not only designed to reach a quick judgment that is in the interest of the parties, but also undertakes to prevent the needless waste of judicial resources where it appears that the particular claim under judicial scrutiny involves no genuine issue of material fact.
And this is the very intent of Rule United States v. Sealy, Inc. General Motors, U. Socony-Vacuum Oil Co. Trenton Potteries Co. Regardless of the absence of agreement as to a specific or uniform price, a wide variety of horizontal and vertical arrangements have been classified as price-fixing agreements and therefore condemned as unlawful per se, e.
Joseph E. United Liquors Corp. United States, F. Gasoline Retailers Assn. However, an essential element is the competitor's surrender, express or implied, of some measure of pricing discretion. The evil of price-fixing agreements is that they. Conduct or agreements not restricting a competitor's pricing independence, on the other hand, falls short of illegal price fixing. For instance, in Susser v. Carvel Corp.
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In affirming the legality of the arrangement, Chief Judge Lumbard emphasized that "the franchise provisions explicitly reserved to the individual dealer the right to set whatever price he desired. On its face Chrysler's Rebate Plan does not curtail the dealer's pricing discretion. Each dealer is free 1 to raise retail taxicab prices, thus nullifying the effect of the rebate; 2 to keep his prices constant, and thus render Chrysler taxicab price competitive vis a vis General Motors, Ford, Checker and other automobile makers who grant similar rebates; or 3 to lower his prices still further in competition against both Chrysler and non-Chrysler dealers alike.
Certainly the marketplace is full of similar manufacturer-originated promotional sales "gimmicks," such as "free goods" in the grocery and drug trades, coupons entitling the holder to cash or discounts, and the like, which do not run afoul of the Sherman Act in the absence of a showing of impropriety. Thus there is a failure to show any provision of the plan, or any facts, indicating that the plan would tend to affect the exercise of competitive pricing discretion, or to affect or tamper with the range, level, scale, or amount of the price paid for Chrysler taxicabs, such as appears in price-fixing or distribution agreements that have been struck down as unreasonable without more.
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Hailing the Checker — The Makes That Didn't Make It
In the absence of proof that the Rebate Plan has a tendency to restrict the dealer's pricing independence, or has some pricing effect, it amounts to nothing more than a promotional device which cannot be labelled illegal per se. Having determined that it is inappropriate to condemn the plan as a per se unlawful price fixing arrangement on this motion for summary judgment, the question remains whether the Rebate Plan poses such a pernicious effect on competition that it must be condemned as violating the rule of reason.
White Motor Co. Here the moving papers fail to offer any proof to the effect that the Rebate Plan has had, or is likely to have, an adverse effect on competition in the sale of taxicabs. A more accurate source would probably be the actual sales of taxicabs during the relevant period. Sales figures made available to the Court for New York City for the period are as follows:. The above figures, however, fail to reflect a sharp drop in sales of Checker cabs into New York City as compared with earlier years, allegedly as a result of Chrysler's introduction of its Rebate Plan in Notwithstanding Checker's sharply declining share of the New York registrations, however, according to its own figures its nationwide sales have not declined quite as noticeably during the relevant period:.
Although Checker claims that the Rebate Plan has been a cause in the decline in Checker's sales, Chrysler sets out other reasons for its difficulty. First, in New York City a taxicab owner is required to have a medallion to operate a taxi vehicle. Prior to National Transportation Co. National , a Checker subsidiary, controlled in excess of 1, of the total of approximately 11, taxicab medallions, or franchises, authorized by the City of New York.
Chrysler contends that beginning in that year, under pressure from Government antitrust litigation, National began to systematically sell its medallions to various New York City taxicab fleet operators. However, as a condition to the sale of its medallions, Checker would require the medallion purchaser to replace its entire fleet for the year with its taxicabs. By , Checker had parted with the last of its 1, medallions with a resulting loss of this weapon for maintenance of its sales of taxicabs in New York.
Moreover, Chrysler points to facts indicating that Checker's president, Morris Markin, has contributed to the company's loss of New York City sales by antagonizing that city's taxicab fleet owners over the years through public statements in favor of higher wages for taxi drivers and against increases in cab fares.
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Even if it is assumed that the plan resulted in Chrysler dealers taking away sales from Checker, it is doubtful whether this is a permissible consideration, in the absence of a showing of predatory tactics, such as sales below cost or a scheme to squeeze Checker out of the market in order to destroy its competition and have it to themselves, since the purpose of the Sherman Act is to protect competition, not competitors. Ben Hur Coal Co. Wells, F. See United States v. The inevitable result of lawful price competition, particularly in an inelastic market with a fixed ceiling on the number of units that can be sold such as New York City, which limits taxicabs to approximately 12, , is that some sellers are going to take away business from others, unless all sell the identical product at the same price.
Even if we assume proof of Checker's market loss to be relevant as some evidence of injury to competition in a market where few sellers are involved, genuine issues are raised by opposing affidavits to the effect that Checker's losses are due not to Chrysler's conduct but to inferior design and workmanship in Checker cabs, purchasers' difficulties in obtaining proper service, higher operational costs to taxicab owners, the expiration of restrictions requiring purchasers of medallions from National Transportation to buy Checker cabs, and Markins' alleged antagonizing of New York taxicab buyers by his sponsorship of a law increasing the total number of New York City medallions and his opposition to fare increases.
Chrysler further contends that its Rebate Plan has had the effect of promoting competition among competing taxicab manufacturers rather than inhibiting such competition, and states that Ford and General Motors have put into effect subsidies, rebates, other cash inducements and depreciation plans to retail taxi purchasers that are the equivalent of Chrysler's plan. In response to Checker's contention that the Rebate Plan caused an unlawful "price discrimination," i. Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Decked-out Checker hits road
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Design Job. Object Culture. Furniture Design. Sustainable Design. Fashion Design. Core77's Design Directory. Most Popular. Popular Discussions. Join over , designers who stay up-to-date with the Core77 newsletter. Incorporated: as Checker Cab Manufacturing Co. Checker Motors Corp. For its first 60 years Checker was a leading maker of taxicabs, but it halted their production in due to declining sales. The company is headed by David Markin, the son of its founder.
tripethbicon.cf With one of nine brothers he helped bring to the United States , he expanded the operation into a trouser factory that won a lucrative contract to produce clothing for the U.