The question: Is insurance commerce? is now of prime importance to the $5.8 billion fire insurance industry. After 75 years of freedom from Federal regulation, the fire underwriters face an antitrust action, now before the U.S. Supreme Court, against which virtually their sole defense is that insurance is not interstate commerce.

Justice Attacks. The Justice Department's action is against the South Eastern Underwriters Association (196 stock companies, representing 80% of the fire insurance written in the U.S.). It charges that S.E.U.A. members: 1) fix standard, noncompetitive rates and contracts; 2) ban...

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