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UNITED STATES v. GE

November 21, 1950

UNITED STATES
v.
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO. et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FORMAN

Bond Electric Company is before the court on an amended petition in which it prays that it be granted leave to intervene in this case; to take testimony and present evidence in support of its amended petition and that it may be granted ad interim relief.

Save Electric Company has filed a petition for permission to be admitted as amicus curiae.

 Jewel Products, Incorporated, has petitioned to be permitted to intervene in this action or in the alternative to be admitted to appear as amicus curiae.

 Herzog Miniature Lamp Works, Inc., Solar Electric Corporation, Republic Company, Atlas Lamp Corporation, Dura Electric Lamp Co., Inc., Carlton Corporation and Pennsylvania Illuminating Corporation have filed petitions in which they incorporated by reference the petition of Jewel and prayed for the same relief.

 Jewel subsequently amended its petition so that it conformed in all respects with the amended petition by Bond Electric Company, above mentioned.

 The Rule of Procedure authorizing intervention is as follows:

 'Rule 24. Intervention

 '(a) Intervention of Right. Upon timely application anyone shall be permitted to intervene in an action: (1) when a statute of the United States confers an unconditional right to intervene; or (2) when the representation of the applicant's interest by existing parties is or may be inadequate and the applicant is or may be bound by a judgment in the action; or (3) when the applicant is so situated as to be adversely affected by a distribution or other disposition of property which is in the custody or subject to the control or disposition of the court or an officer thereof. * * *

 '(b) Permissive Intervention. Upon timely application anyone may be permitted to intervene in an action: (1) when a statute of the United States confers a conditional right to intervene; or (2) when an applicant's claim or defense and the main action have a question of law or fact in common. When a party to an action relies for ground of claim or defense upon any statute or executive order administered by a federal or state governmental officer or agency or upon any regulation, order, requirement or agreement issued or made pursuant to the statute or executive order, the officer or agency upon timely application may be permitted to intervene in the action. In exercising its discretion the court shall consider whether the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties. * * *

 '(c) Procedure. A person desiring to intervene shall serve a motion to intervene upon all parties affected thereby. The motion shall state the grounds therefor and shall be accompanied by a pleading setting forth the claim or defense for which intervention is sought. The same procedure shall be followed when a statute of the United States gives a right to intervene. When the constitutionality of an act of Congress affecting the public interest is drawn in question in any action to which the United States or an officer, agency, or employee thereof is not a party, the court shall notify the Attorney General of the United States as provided in Title 28, U.S.C. § 2403.' Fed.Rules Civ.Proc. rule 24, 28 U.S.C.A.

 Substantially all applicants for intervention contend that they are in competition with the General Electric Company and that their businesses will be affected adversely, or otherwise, depending upon the terms of the decree which will be entered in this case; that the representation of their interests by the Government is inadequate and that they can be of aid to the court in the framing and enforcement of a decree which will also protect the public.

 It is clear that the petitioners do not qualify for intervention as of right under the statutes and they themselves do not seriously press that contention.

 I emphatically disagree with the applicants when they urge that their interests have not been adequately represented in this case either as contemplated by Rule 24(a)(2) or under the permissive provision of the Rule. The Government has been charged with delay and lack of man power effectively to prosecute anti-trust litigation generally, and this suit in particular. Whatever basis there may be in the comment that anti-trust litigation in general is hampered by failure to supply sufficient man power to implement the administration and enforcement of the provisions of the anti-trust laws no such abstract characterization of the conduct of the Government in this case has merit. The seemingly long delays cannot be properly assessed without reflecting the enormous task involved in the preparation of the case, the obstacles to be ...


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