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Antitrust: The Next One Hundred Years

NCJ Number
St. John's Law Review Volume: 70 Issue: 2 Dated: (Spring 1996) Pages: 189-207
J H Shenefield
Date Published
19 pages
This paper reviews the history of antitrust legislation and policy in the United States and assesses its effectiveness and value in the present and for the next 100 years.
America enters the second 100 years of antitrust, relying on a body of law with both economic and political content. Both are still relevant today to the law's implementation by enforcers and courts alike. Both are also still relevant today to the public support for those laws, without which they will be ineffective. For 100 years, through all kinds of economic phases, antitrust policy in the United States has remained consistent in condemning the most clearly offensive forms of collusion and monopolization. Although there have occasionally been broad swings in the aggression and passivity of enforcement, America's economy has survived and thrived, producing enormous wealth and distributing it widely, as firms have vied with one another to keep costs and prices down and to discover new products that might appeal to consumers. Significantly, America's smaller, more competitive companies have continued to thrive and to provide the energy for an enormous growth in jobs. Their ability to enter markets and compete with established firms is guaranteed by the antitrust laws. Firms that must be efficient to meet domestic competition are and will remain America's best representatives in an international arena. In short, the antitrust laws' preservation of competition has been an essential ingredient in the development of a technologically advanced, high-income, consumer- driven economy that remains today the envy of the world, as it will for the next 100 years, at least. 67 footnotes


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