Allied-Signal, Inc. v. Director, Div. of Taxation, 504 U.S. 768, 14 (1992)

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Cite as: 504 U. S. 768 (1992)

Opinion of the Court

ASARCO here. It was one of four of Southern Peru's shareholders, owning 51.5% of its stock. Under an agreement with the other shareholders, ASARCO was prevented from dominating Southern Peru's board of directors. ASARCO had the right to appoint 6 of Southern Peru's 13 directors, while 8 votes were required for the passage of any resolution. Southern Peru was in the business of producing unrefined copper (a nonferrous ore), some of which it sold to its shareholders. ASARCO purchased approximately 35% of Southern Peru's output, at average representative trade prices quoted in a trade publication and over which neither Southern Peru nor ASARCO had any control. Id., at 320- 322. We concluded that "ASARCO's Idaho silver mining and Southern Peru's autonomous business [were] insufficiently connected to permit the two companies to be classified as a unitary business." Id., at 322.

On the same day we decided ASARCO, we decided Woolworth. In that case, the taxpayer company was domiciled in New York and operated a chain of retail variety stores in the United States. In the company's apportionable state tax base, New Mexico sought to include earnings from four subsidiaries operating in foreign countries. The subsidiaries also engaged in chainstore retailing. 458 U. S., at 356-357. We observed that although the parent company had the potential to operate the subsidiaries as integrated divisions of a single unitary business, that potential was not significant if the subsidiaries in fact comprise discrete business operations. Id., at 362. Following the indicia of a unitary business defined in Mobil Oil, we inquired whether any of the three objective factors were present. The factors were: (1) functional integration; (2) centralization of management; and (3) economies of scale. 458 U. S., at 364. We found that "[e]xcept for the type of occasional oversight—with respect to capital structure, major debt, and dividends—that any parent gives to an investment in a subsidiary," id., at 369,


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