Justice Brewer on Monopoly

February 18, 2006

There are two kinds of monopoly; one of law, the other of fact. The one exists when exclusive privileges are granted. Such a monopoly, the law which creates alone can break; and being the creation of law justifies legislative control. A monopoly of face any one can break, and there is no necessity for legislative interference. It exists where any one by his money and labor furnishes facilities for business which no one else has. A man puts up in a city the only building suitable for offices. He has therefore a monopoly of that business; but it is a monopoly of fact, which any one can break who, with like business courage puts his means into a similar building.

Budd v. New York, 143 U.S. 517, 550-551 (1892).

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