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U.S. Supreme Court

Public Utilities Comm'n v. Landon, 249 U.S. 236 (1919)

Public Utilities Commission for the

State of Kansas v. Landon

Nos. 277, 329, 330, 353

Argued November 6, 1918

Decided March 17, 1919

249 U.S. 236


The district court, having extended its receivership under Jud.Code, § 56, over the entire business and property of a company engaged in interstate transportation and sale of gas in several states of the circuit, has jurisdiction of a dependent bill brought by the recervers to enjoin officials of those states from imposing rates alleged to be conflscatory and burdensome to the interstate business. P. 249 U. S. 244. See 234 F.1d 2, 155.

Interstate commerce is a practical conception, and what falls within it must be determined upon considerations of established facts and known commercial methods. P. 249 U. S. 245.

While the piping of natural gas from state to state and its sale and delivery to independent local gas companies is interstate commerce, the retailing of the gas by the local companies to their consumers is intrastate commerce, and is not a continuation of such interstate commerce, even though their mains are connected permanently chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 249 U. S. 237

with those of their vendor and their vendor's agreed compensation is a definite proportion of their gross receipts. Id.

In such case, regulation of the rates chargeable by the local companies has but an indirect effect upon the interstate business of the transporting and selling company; at least when the latter is in the hands of receivers who have not accepted or become bound by the contracts with the former, and such receivers, not being obliged to accept unremunerative prices, have no ground to complain that rates fixed for the local companies are confiscatory or are burdensome to the interstate business, even though that business consists exclusively in selling the gas to such local companies. P. 249 U. S. 246.

234 F.1d 2; 242 F.6d 8; 245 F.9d 0, reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 249 U. S. 242

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