Ch9 - Ch9 Antitrust policy is an amalgam of social policy...

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Ch9 Antitrust policy is an amalgam of social policy, economics, law, and administrative practice; has its origins in populist movement of 1870s when # of states enacted statutes to regulate economic activity and control the exercise or economic powerFederal level it led to Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, which provided for federal regulation of interstate commerce, and the Sherman Act of 1890, the first federal antitruststatuteThese acts resulted from political pressure by farmers and other concerned about railroadcartels, railroads’ pricing practices, and distribution of pwr between farmers and railroadsLaw represent both social and economic policySocial policy: antitrust laws express concern about concentrations of economic power and potential for abuse inherent in that concentration; antitrust policy focuses on controlling economic powerAs economic policy, basic objective is to protect competition and by doing so to benefit consumersProtecting competition doesn’t mean protecting competitorsPrincipal federal statues are Sherman Act, Clayton Act of 1914, Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914; antitrust law is both statutory and interpretiveSubject of politics as interest grps, politicans, and public policy specialists attempt toinfluence lawAt federal level, public enforcement is provided by Antitrust Division of Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission
The antitrust laws, however, are enforced less by gov’t than by private litigants- often by one firm filing a lawsuit against another Consequently, decisions made by courts on cases brought by private litigants cause antitrust laws to evolve, even when there is no legislative or gov’t enforcement activityThree approaches to reasoning about antitrust

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