THE HEAVY ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT
ANTITRUST CASES OF 1961
An inadvertent bit of humor by a defense attorney provided one of the major criminological motifs for "the most serious violations of the antitrust laws since the time of their passage at the turn of the century." 1 The defendants, including several vice presidents of the General Electric Corporation and the Westinghouse Electric Corporation--the two largest companies in the heavy electrical equipment industry--stood somberly in a federal courtroom in Philadelphia on February 6, 1961. They were aptly described by a newspaper reporter as "middle-class men in Ivy League suits--typical businessmen in appearance, men who would never be taken for lawbreakers." Several were deacons or vestrymen of their churches. One was president of his local chamber of commerce; another, a hospital board member; another, chief fund raiser for the Community Chest; another, a bank director; another, director of the taxpayer's association; another, organizer of the local Little League.
The attorney for a General Electric executive attacked the government's demand for a jail sentence for his client, calling it "cold-blooded."____________________