UNITED STATES v. STANDARD OIL CO. OF CALIFORNIA
APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT
Decided January 24, 1972
Section 3 of the Sherman Act applies to the unorganized Territory of American Samoa. Cf. Puerto Rico v. Shell Co., 302 U.S. 253 .
330 F. Supp. 371, reversed.
The United States sought injunctive relief against appellee, alleging that appellee combined and conspired to restrain and monopolize the distribution and sale of petroleum products in American Samoa, in violation of 3 of the Sherman Act, 26 Stat. 209, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 3. 1 The District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction on the ground that American Samoa is not a "Territory of the United States" within the meaning of 3. 330 F. Supp. 371 (1971). The United States has appealed pursuant to the Expediting Act, 32 Stat. 823, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 29. We note probable jurisdiction and reverse.
American Samoa is a group of seven small islands in the South Pacific. Treaties with Great Britain and Germany [404 U.S. 558, 559] recognize the claims of the United States to the islands. 31 Stat. 1878, T. S. No. 314. By Act of Congress, 45 Stat. 1253, 48 U.S.C. 1661, powers to govern the islands are vested in the President, who has delegated the authority to the Secretary of the Interior, Exec. Order No. 10264, 16 Fed. Reg. 6417.
The District Court distinguished between "organized" and other Territories, holding that only the former are Territories within 3 and that American Samoa is not "organized." 2
Section 3 extends to "any Territory of the United States." Congress, of course, did not have Samoa in mind when it enacted the Sherman Act. Yet, as this Court pointed out in holding that Puerto Rico is within the coverage of 3, "that is not enough. It is necessary to go further and to say that if the acquisition of that insular dependency had been foreseen, Congress would have so varied its comprehensive language as to exclude it from the operation of the act." Puerto Rico v. Shell Co., 302 U.S. 253, 257 (1937). There is no more reason to think that Congress would have done so for Samoa than for Puerto Rico. The Court stressed in Puerto Rico that Congress intended by 3 "to exert all the power it possessed in respect of the subject matter - trade and commerce," and the Court therefore found it