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 Definition a policy to limit or prevent the creation of monopoly power and to preserve competition by regulating business conduct. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories Law, Business and History [Categories OK]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant American English

Blue Sky Laws

I have removed this empty header from the article for now, as Blue Sky laws are generally focused on preventinf securities fraud, rather than serving any purpose which particularly serves the antitrust regime. They should really be the subject of their own article, in any event. Brian Dean Abramson 11:31, 12 May 2007 (CDT)

Sorry, rather silly laxness on my account. I'm actually in the middle of constructing courses on both antitrust and securities, and apparently was not paying too much attention to what I was doing when I stuck the headers in. You're absolutely right, it doesn't belong here at all. I've changed it so that it simply refers to state antitrust laws. Tony Cole 08:45, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

Some general suggestions

I am new to CZ, and I have no law qualifications, but I am an economist, and the author of a book on UK and European Union Competition Policy. And I have some suggestions.

My first suggestion is about the title. Antitrust is not a familiar term except to US readers, so I suggest either altering the title to Competition Policy or transfering the non-US material to a separate article. Which would you prefer?

My second suggestion is about tailoring the content to the needs of the likely readership. My guess is that the the readership will consist of:

  • businessmen,
  • legislators (and those who brief them,
  • practitioners of competition law, and,
  • economics students.

I suggest that none of those will be much interest in the ancient history of antitrust, but that most of them would appreciate more on its rationale - particularly rather more explanation of its economic basis and its limitations. What do you think?

My third suggestion is the addition of some brief notes on the business practices that are affected by antitrust (mergers, entry barriers, predatory pricing etc) they could be part of the article or separate article(s) linked to the main artice. Which do you think would be the better?

That's all for now. I feel that I should await your reactions to these suggestions before doing any editing.

Nick Gardner 00:55, 11 September 2007 (CDT) r

No quarrel with a different name. Being more of a legal academic, I find the history of the law to be fascinating, but I wouldn't mind relegating it to a "history of" article. Cheers! Brian Dean Abramson 18:19, 11 September 2007 (CDT)
Antitrust is one of those topics where the history is essential to understanding what is the purpose of the law. The main goal was not efficiency but to end corruption (the use ofeconomic power to achieve monopoly). Economists unaware of Standard Oil and all that will insert what they think the most efficient law should be. I wrote some of the Wikipedia history and will insert similar coverage here.Richard Jensen 17:45, 13 September 2007 (CDT)

I have now made a start upon an article entitled competition policy and I now suggest that in due course this article could deal with the questions of economic rationale and of the principles underlying the treatment of various business practices by links to that article. May I suggest, however, that this article would benefit from some references to the Clayton and Robinson-Patman Acts and from something further about the United States' treatment of mergers and anticompetitive practices? As an outsider I should be reluctant to do any drafting along those lines, but if no-one else wants to tackle it, I may try. Nick Gardner 06:17, 4 November 2007 (CST)

The "theoretical groundings" paragraph seems to me to be unhelpful. It does not,in my opinion, reflect accurately either the original intentions of the legislation or the intellectual basis for its present-day interpretation. I suggest replacing it with a succinct summary of its intellectual foundations taking due account of its historical development, with links to the article on competition policy and to a new article on the history of antitrust etc (to which some of the existing text could then be transferred). I will place a draft of what I propose on this page for comment before amending the existing text.

Here it is:

The term ‘antitrust ‘ originated from the nineteenth–century practice of placing the stock of a large number of formerly competing companies into the hands of trustees who were then able to exercise a very substantial degree of commercial and political influence. Public indignation at what were perceived as the consequent abuses by "big business" led in 1890 to the passing of legislation that made illegal any attempt to monopolise any part of trade or commerce. Supreme Court interpretations of that legislation attributed to it objectives which go beyond the pursuit of economic efficiency. In 1945 Judge Learned Hand attributed to its legislators the desire to put an end to great aggregations of capital because of the helplessness of the individual before them, and in 1962, the Court attributed to Congress the policy of protecting small businesses even at the expense of higher prices. The use of antitrust to attack big business and to protect small firms continued to be a feature of antitrust policy until appointees of the Reagan administration took steps to limit that use of the legislation. The 1890 legislation was at first unworkable because its prohibition was so general as to make criminal offences of a wide range of well-established and harmless business practices. Supreme Court interpretations eventually provided workable interpretations by introducing the rule of reason under which some forms of business behaviour could be judged, not solely by their form, but also by their effect upon consumers. The wording of the original antitrust legislation is exclusively concerned with competition and until 1977 it was interpreted to exclude the consideration of offsetting gains in productive efficiency, but in 1977 the Supreme Court ruled that gains in efficiency provided a valid defence for certain restrictive agreements.

Further information on its historical development is available in the article on the historical development of antitrust and a summary of its current rationale is available in the article on competition policy

Nick Gardner 16:53, 5 November 2007 (CST)

some good ideas--but also keep the history in the main article. --no one tries to understand antitrust without knowing the history. Richard Jensen 17:27, 5 November 2007 (CST)

Point taken, Richard. I have redrafted without deleting the existing references to the historical development of antitrust, and I hope to extend the paragraph to include something on the regulation of mergers and anti-competitive practices. Nick Gardner 10:12, 6 November 2007 (CST)

I have tried to reinstate American English, in line with CZ policy as the article was in that variant. Could an American check it over please? --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 12:40, 6 November 2007 (CST)


I have nothing further to add to this article. I hope that an American who is familiar with the subject will check it out and correct any inaccuracies.

(I hope that I have not removed any needed links)

Nick Gardner 04:06, 7 November 2007 (CST)