The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Portland General Electric Co., could not invoke "state action immunity" as protection against antitrust charges in a case involving the division of the Portland, Ore., market into exclusive service territories.
Columbia Steel Casting Co., a large industrial consumer of electric power in the city, had sued Portland General and another local utility, Pacific Power & Light Co., charging both companies with dividing the city's electric users among them in violation of federal antitrust laws. Columbia was prevented from obtaining service from PP&L when Portland refused to wheel power over to its facilities. It dropped its suit against PP&L, however, after Portland belatedly began transmitting PP&L power to its casting plant.