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68 Antitrust L.J. 967 (2000-2001)
The 1975 Xerox Consent Decree: Ancient Artifacts and Current Tensions

handle is hein.journals/antil68 and id is 977 raw text is: THE 1975 XEROX CONSENT DECREE:
ANCIENT ARTIFACTS AND CURRENT TENSIONS
WILLARD K. ToM*
On July 29, 1975, the Federal Trade Commission entered a consent
order against Xerox Corp., resolving a complaint that the company had
monopolized the market for the sale and lease of office copiers in the
United States.' The conduct charged in the complaint2 related principally
to Xerox's accumulation and licensing of patents and its marketing
practices with respect to the products protected by those patents.' To
remedy this alleged misconduct, the order4 required Xerox to license
its patents for a small royalty and to abandon the challenged market-
ing practices.5
A quarter of a century later, the case has not lost its power to fascinate
and unsettle.
At the most superficial level, the Xerox case fascinates in the way that
a previously undiscovered ancient culture would draw the attention of
an anthropologist, or a car crash would attract that of a rubbernecker.
This is so, first, because so many of the practices alleged in the complaint
or prohibited by the order seem innocuous to modern eyes and thus
suggest an entirely foreign way of looking at the world, and second,
because the subsequentjudicial backlash in SCM Corp. v. Xerox Corp.6 led
to contortions in reasoning that were unnecessary and could impede
appropriate antitrust enforcement. More deeply, the case is unsettling
because, for all the case's flaws, the FTC's remedy actually seems to have
* Member of the Bar of the District of Columbia. I am grateful for editorial comments
from Jonathan B. Baker and Tara I. Koslov, as well as for research and writing assistance
from John F. Terzaken, III.
I See Xerox Corp., 86 F.T.C. 364 (1975).
2 See Complaint, Xerox Corp., Docket No. 8909, reprinted in Xerox Corp., 86 F.T.C. 364,
364-68 (1975) [hereinafter Complaint].
3 See id.    12-17.
1 See Decision & Order, Xerox Corp., Docket No. 8909, reprinted in Xerox Corp., 86
F.T.C. 364, 369-86 (1975) [hereinafter Order].
5 See id. Part W.A.
6463 F. Supp. 983 (D. Conn. 1978), remanded, 645 F.2d 1195, 1198-99 (2d Cir. 1981).

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