Washington Law Review




In 1961 Washington joined those states which have enacted comprehensive trade regulation statutes The Washington Supreme Court recently sustained the constitutionality of this statute in an opinion which suggests that the law will have an active future. The state Attorney General brought an action to enjoin alleged monopolization by certain motion picture distributors and theatre owners of second run feature films in the Seattle area. The trial court sustained defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter on grounds that Congress had preempted trade regulation of interstate commerce, that the Washington act would interfere with and burden interstate commerce, and that defendants were excluded from coverage by the act's own terms. On appeal, the Washington Supreme Court reversed. Held: Federal antitrust statutes do not preempt the field of trade regulation so as to prohibit state regulation of business activities having sufficient local impact to justify exercise of state police power, even though these activities are an incidental part of interstate commerce. Section 17 of the Consumer Protection Act does not exempt combined interstate and intrastate activities which are subject to regulation—but not in fact regulated by—a federal officer, and does not include operation under federal consent decrees within the meaning of "regulation." State v. Sterling Theatres Co., 64 Wn.2d 761, 394 P.2d 226 (1964).

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