United States v. Continental Can Co.
, , 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.