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Antitrust Laws, Their History and Current Status

Introduction

Early in the 1800s, there existed some giant businessmen that took control of all business transactions. These famous businessmen were the monopolies in terms of production and sale of products; they gave no room for competition in the market. These monopolies gave no choice to small cropping businessmen on whom to buy from. Lack of competition led to them hiking prices of commodities regardless of the quality. The hiking of commodities prices resulted in hardship that intimidated the prosperity of America. (Wong, 2002).

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The continuity of prosperity of the rich businessmen at the cost of the poor individuals in the state offended the poor leading to their demand for the intrusion of the government to save them from oppression. The cry of these poor people made President Roosevelt enforce many trusts to protect consumers by encouraging rivalry in the marketplace. (Weistart & Lowell 1979).

The United States Congress also took part in passing more than a few laws to promote competition by barring unfair methods of competition. Among the acts passed that constitute the federal antitrust laws currently included the Clayton Act, the Sherman Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act. The Sherman Act discouraged an illegal coalition of competitors that would discourage competition. Whereas the Clayton Act protected American consumers from the effect of stifling competition by stopping mergers from hiking prices of commodities. On the other hand, the Federal Trade Commission Act discouraged unfair means of competition hence enhancing fair prices of the commodities to the consumers. (Cotten & Wolohan 2007).

Current status of Antitrust

The competition law currently recommends for an individual’s liberty, free from government interventions. This leads to the prosperity of the economic status of the U.S. The competitive laws also grant competitive atmospheres free from unnecessary economic rules enacted in the earlier times by the monopolies. (Weistart & Lowell 1979).

The enforcement of competition laws currently is carried out by both private and public parties. For instance, the attorney general currently has the responsibility of protecting the citizens from economic oppressions by enforcing federal and state antitrust laws. The attorney general apart from examining probable defiance, or also battle against illegal business practices, promote consumer protection and competition laws. In addition, currently, the attorney generals from different states work together in fighting against violators of state antitrust laws. (Harrington, 2008).

The government officials also take part in enacting the antitrust laws. They do this by taking civil actions against individuals and companies involved in violating antitrust laws. On the other hand, the private parties currently take part in enforcing antitrust laws. They do this by having access to taking action in courts when their rights as businessmen are violated against the antitrust laws. (Wong, 2002).

Just as in the early 1800s, the current antitrust laws discourage monopolization that affects the consumer negatively. However, unlike the earlier times, the effects of the practice of monopolization are currently considered before concluding monopoly as illegal. For instance, if the practice of monopolization has no negative effect on the consumers then the current antitrust laws consider it legal.

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Maintenance of the resale price initially was illegal however; the current antitrust laws give it a new view. According to the ruling of the antitrust laws currently, the maintenance of the resale price is only considered illegal when it affects the lifestyle of the consumer negatively.

Price fixing is also an illegal act practiced by businessmen. Though as per the current economy, antitrust laws legalizes price-fixing if the businessmen take no merge in fixing the prices of commodities they involve in selling.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the invention of antitrust laws led to competition in markets leading to the regulations of the prices of commodities. The antitrust laws also gave chance to the poor citizens to participate in business leading to the killing of the practice of monopolization. However, unlike earlier times the practice of monopolization, price hiking, and maintenance are considered legal if they are supported by the status of the current economy of a state. (Cozzillio, Levinstein, Dimino & Feldman 2007).

References

Cotten, D. & Wolohan, J. (2007). Law for Recreation and Sport Managers. Dubuque, IA: Kendall-Hunt Publishing.

Cozzillio, J., Levinstein, M., Dimino, M. & Feldman, A. (2007). Sports Law, Cases, and Materials. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

Harrington, E. (2008). “Antitrust Enforcement,” The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. New York: Hart Publishers.

Weistart J.C. & Lowell, C.M. (1979). The Law of Sports. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

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Wong, G.M. (2002). Essentials of Sports Law. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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