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High Price for City Toll Bridge Does Not Violate Sherman Act
Description Appeals court affirmed dismissal of a suit brought against the City of Chicago for the high toll it charges for its toll bridge. The Sherman Act was not violated because the City did not have monopoly power over the route in question. Other roads are available. It has the right to charge a toll greater than is needed to pay for the bridge alone.
Topic Antitrust
Key Words Sherman Act; Monopoly Power; City Services
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts The City of Chicago owns a toll bridge, the Chicago Skyway. Payment of the bonds used to build the bridge and pay for its upkeep come from tolls charged to those who use the bridge. Per mile, it is the most expensive toll road in the state. From the tolls collected, the City has earned $52 million in excess of what is needed for the bridge; the extra funds go for other transportation projects. Endsley, a bridge user, brought a class action suit against the City, contending that the toll exploits the monopoly power of the bridge in violation of the Sherman Act. The district court dismissed the suit; Endsley appealed.
Decision Affirmed. "The facts do not suggest that the City has monopoly power in the relevant market (high-speed limited access routes connecting Chicago to Indiana). At least two alternate routes ... 'compete' with the Skyway. While the Skyway may be the more desirable route, it is not the only high-speed roadway between Chicago and the Indiana Tollway. ... The availability of those very viable options for a high-speed access route linking Chicago to Indiana indicates that the City does not have monopoly power over the relevant market." The fact that the City charges a toll greater than is needed to pay for the bridge is not, of itself, anti-competitive.
Citation Endsley v. City of Chicago, 2000 WL 1511709 (7th Cir., 2000)

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