'The distribution and allocation of motion pictures to theaters will always present a difficult and delicate problem. Courts should be hesitant to disrupt an established system of runs and clearances in absence of convincing proof that its genesis is the result of conspiratorial connivance, and that it is unreasonable.'
Under the circumstances, the Court concludes that the restraints imposed in the case at bar are valid.
There is still another approach to the fundamental issues in this case. A person engaged in the manufacture or sale of goods, or in rendering services, is under no obligation to sell to everyone who applies, or to serve everyone who desires to deal with him. The only exception relates to callings coupled with a public interest. Dealers and manufacturers may use their own judgment and discretion and select persons with whom they choose to do business as well as the time when they will enter into transactions with them. Thus, in United States v. Colgate & Co., 250 U.S. 300, 39 S. Ct. 465, 63 L. Ed. 992, it was stated that in the absence of any purpose to create or maintain monopoly, the Sherman Act does not restrict the long-recognized right of a trader or manufacturer engaged in an entirely private business, freely to exercise his own independent discretion as to parties with whom he will deal. A business concern may sell its product to one customer in preference to others, when acting without ulterior motives and free from compulsion. No person is required to sell to all comers, unless he is engaged in a business coupled with a public interest.
In Paramount Pictures Theatres Corp. v. Partmar Corp., D.C., 97 F.Supp. 552, at page 559, affirmed 9 Cir., 200 F.2d 561, affirmed 347 U.S. 89, 74 S. Ct. 414, 98 L. Ed. 532, it was said:
'We are not of the opinion that any theatre has the right, as a matter of law, to demand from a motion picture producer the right of prior runs, any more than the seller of automobiles has the right to demand of the manufacturer an agency within a restricted territory. If the automobile manufacturer has the right to establish an exclusive agency within a restricted area for the sale of its product and to refuse to license any other agency within that restricted area, it would seem to the Court that the motion picture distributor should have the same right and privilege.'
The illustration suggested in this quotation is an apt analogy to the situation presented in the case at bar. No automobile dealer may come forward and demand that any particular manufacturer sell its vehicles to him for resale at retail. The practice of automobile manufacturers to designate specified distributors and agents, in some communities on an exclusive basis and in others in a limited number, and of refusing to sell to any other dealer, is well established and is sanctioned by law.
It follows hence that the defendants had a right to refuse to lease any pictures to the plaintiff at all. A fortiori they had a right to refuse to rent to the plaintiff except after the expiration of certain waiting periods. The only limitation on this general principle is that the defendants may not conspire among themselves not to deal with the plaintiff. As previously indicated, the Court finds that no conspiracy has been established in this case.
Accordingly, the Court concludes that the plaintiff is not entitled to recover. Judgment will be rendered for the defendants dismissing the complaint on the merits. This opinion will constitute the findings of fact and conclusions of law, but counsel, if they so desire, may submit additional proposed findings and conclusions.