The Sherman Anti-Trust Act
The Sherman Antitrust Act is one of the first antitrust laws passed in the United States in 1890. This law’s main objective is to prohibit obstruction of free trade by combining companies, creating trust, and establishing a monopoly over a particular economic sphere (Duignan, 2020a). Thus, the law tries to limit the establishment of a monopoly or gain control over the market by artificially raising prices or restricting trade. Any combination or conspiracy of companies to obtain such power is illegal.
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The original wording of the law was too narrow, so it was difficult to track and punish monopolists with its help successfully. Therefore, two acts were issued in 1914, which clarified the provisions of the Sherman Act and made it possible to use it more widely (Duignan, 2020a). From that moment on, a detailed analysis of companies’ activities falling under suspicion became possible, and a circle of practices related to the monopoly was outlined. Thus, the law helped to prosecute companies that conspired to dominate others. However, this persecution did not apply to those people who have taken the lead in the market in an honest way, thanks to their intelligence and skills.
The Evolving Interpretation of the Commerce Clause
The Trade Regulations, which are part of the US Constitution (Article 1, Section 8), are intended to regulate commercial relations with other countries, between states, and Indian tribes. The traditional interpretation of this clause includes granting additional powers to Congress and prohibiting international trade discrimination through various kinds of regulations (Duignan, 2020b). This part of the Constitution is, in fact, the basis for government power in decision-making, especially concerning foreign commerce.
However, over time, various interpretations of the term commerce appeared, which influenced this part of the law’s perception. Although intrastate commerce was usually regulated exclusively by the state itself, Congress began to control such activities based on other acts, such as the Sherman Antitrust Act. Thus, the US government tried to prevent cases of commerce’s influence within one state on the entire economic system. After adopting the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this clause was used to combat racial segregation in the financial sector (Duignan, 2020b). Over time, it began to regulate many issues within the states by Congress based on their belonging to commercial activities. Including these issues have become related to important social and health topics such as the Affordable Care Act.
Duignan, B. (2020a). Commerce Clause. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web.
Duignan, B. (2020b). Sherman Antitrust Act. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web.