History of antitrust law The antitrust laws comprise what the Suprem">

Antitrast law



The United States antitrust law is a body of laws <#"justify">History of antitrust law

The antitrust laws comprise what the Supreme Court calls a "charter of freedom", designed to protect the core republican values regarding free enterprise in America. 18 <#"justify">"We have here the problem of bigness. Its lesson should by now have been burned into our memory by Brandeis. The Curse of Bigness shows how size can become a menace--both industrial and social. It can be an industrial menace because it creates gross inequalities against existing or putative competitors. It can be a social menace...In final analysis, size in steel is the measure of the power of a handful of men over our economy...The philosophy of the Sherman Act is that it should not exist...Industrial power should be decentralized. It should be scattered into many hands so that the fortunes of the people will not be dependent on the whim or caprice, the political prejudices, the emotional stability of a few self-appointed men...That is the philosophy and the command of the Sherman Act. It is founded on a theory of hostility to the concentration in private hands of power so great that only a government of the people should have it." Dissenting opinion of Justice Douglas in United States v. Columbia Steel Co. <#"justify">Enforcement

The Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. <#"justify">In the United States, there are both state and federal antitrust laws. Enforcement of these laws takes three forms:governmentfederal government, via both the Antitrust Division <#"justify">Exemptions to the antitrust law

antitrust law enforcer government

The antitrust laws include several exemptions to their enforcement. These include labor unions <#"justify">Examples of antitrust law

I would like to discuss few major antitrust cases - AT&T, Kodak & Standard Oil - and the effects they had on US antitrust regulation.


The breakup of AT&T is a decision that has made impact on the everyday life of Americans. Challenged as a monopoly through the years by potential entrants into the telecommunications industry, AT&T was granted a natural monopoly status by the U.S. Government for years. In 1974, Attorney General Willam Saxbe filed suit against AT&T. Seven years and four Attorney Generals would pass before AT&T and the Department of Justice would enter into a stipulation settling the case between the two parties. AT&T would be split into seven companies, each of which would serve different regions of the United States. Today, of the seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (Baby Bells) that were formed, three are left - five have merged to become AT&T Incorporated, and the latter three are now known as Verizon and Qwest. The break-up of AT&T and the merger of the Baby Bells have opened up lingering questions and doubts about the effectiveness and practicality of past, present, and future antitrust enforcement.

In 1907, the Aluminum Company of America was founded. Formed on the foundation of a new industry, with protective patents in hand it soon found itself in a position of what it claimed to be was a natural monopoly. For years Alcoa was the one and only producer of aluminum in the United States. As part of its plan to keep that position, Alcoa began taking a series of steps that would allow it to remain dominant: First, it acquired exclusive rights to all of the bauxite mines in the United States. (Bauxite is the base material from which aluminum is refined). It then acquired land rights to build and own hydroelectric facilities in both the U.S. and Canada. By owning both the base materials and the only sites where refinement could take place all other entrants into aluminum market would be effectively barred. Alcoa would go on to create subsidiaries and other aluminum producing companies, such as Alcan, which would become the Canadian equivalent of Alcoa, and a major independent company. Not unnoticed by the Federal Government, in 1937 the Department of Justice would file suit against Alcoa. The suit would drag on until in 1944 Judge Learned Hand would write that in his landmark opinion that Congress did not condone good trusts and condemn bad ones, it forbad all. Whether or not Alcoa had attained monopoly status through a lawfully granted patent or offered good public benefit was relevant; what was relevant was the fact that under the Sherman Act, Hand had found evidence that Alcoa had taken measures to restrict trade and enter into monopoly. Though Alcoa was never technically divested and broken as Standard Oil was due to the emergence of competitors Reynolds and Kaiser following World War II, today Reynolds has been acquired by Alcoa. And Alcan, the subsidiary company founded by Alcoa, was the target of a failed takeover bid in 2007 by Alcoa. The history of Alcoa and the current status of aluminum-producing companies today points out a key history lesson: under antitrust code, the Department of Justice can and will go after companies that lead to anticompetitive practices: intentional or not, for either good or ill.


At one point in history, Kodak has controlled as much as 96% of the film and camera market in the United States. Through the years, Kodak has seen and weathered several antitrust suits and claims brought by both private and federal parties. The two suits that would shape and reinforce antitrust law in the United States were brought on by the U.S. Government In 1921 and in 1954 and would result in two consent decrees. In accordance with the 1921 decree, Kodak agreed to not sell private-label film - it was disbarred from selling film under any other label but its own. In 1954, following the development of its Kodacolor film, Kodaks became not only the only manufacturer and seller of Kodacolor, it was also the only company that knew how to process the film as well - and parlayed that into its business strategy. As part of the purchase cost of Kodacolor, Kodak included a fee that would allow the customer to send in the film for processing and delivery. Accused that the tying together of the film and the finished product constituted a violation of the Sherman Act, Kodak was forced to license the color finishing process to third parties. In 1994, citing changing international economic conditions, both consent decrees were terminated.

Standard Oil

The case of Standard Oil v. U.S., is a major one in antitrust case law for two simple reasons. First, it broke up a massively profitable and innovative corporation into 34 separate, competing companies. Secondly, the application and upholding of the Sherman Act by the Supreme Court created the vital precedent for all future cases to be prosecuted under. The Standard Oil verdict may have acted as an impetus for the drafting and creation of the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, which is seen by many as a vast improvement and refinement of U.S. antitrust law. (The Clayton Act is ten times larger than the Sherman Act in length!). Today, ExxonMobil can trace its existence as a direct descendant of Standard Oil, having merged with multiple Standard Oil descendants to become one the largest and richest corporations in the world. In the 2007 fiscal year, ExxonMobil reported an income of 40 billion USD.


Legislation enacted by the federal and various state governments to regulate trade and commerce by preventing unlawful restraints, price-fixing, and monopolies, to promote competition, and to encourage the production of quality goods and services at the lowest prices, with the primary goal of safeguarding public welfare by ensuring that consumer demands will be met by the manufacture and sale of goods at reasonable prices. law seeks to make businesses compete fairly. It has had a serious effect on business practices and the organization of U.S. industry. Premised on the belief that free trade benefits the economy, businesses, and consumers alike, the law forbids several types of restraint of trade and monopolization. These fall into four main areas: agreements between competitors, contractual arrangements between sellers and buyers, the pursuit or maintenance of monopoly power, and mergers. Anti-trust laws prohibit agreements in restraint of trade, monopolization and attempted monopolization, anticompetitive mergers and tie-in schemes, and, in some circumstances, price discrimination in the sale of commodities.oriented economists reject the goal of competition and instead argue that antitrust legislation should be changed to primarily benefit consumers. No Congress or administration has supported this position. These economists largely ignore the political issues that motivated the laws in the first place.competitive agreements among competitors, such as price fixing and customer and market allocation agreements, are typical types of restraints of trade proscribed by the antitrust laws. These type of conspiracies are considered pernicious to competition and are generally proscribed outright by the antitrust laws. Resale price maintenance <#"justify">Informational sources


Introduction The United States antitrust law is a body of laws <#"justify">History of antitrust law The antitrust laws comprise what the Suprem

Больше работ по теме:

Предмет: Основы права

Тип работы: Реферат

Новости образования


Скачать реферат © 2022 | Пользовательское соглашение

Скачать      Реферат