Increased Antitrust Activity Shows Eye to Free Competiton

By Fatsis, Stefan | THE JOURNAL RECORD, August 26, 1993 | Go to article overview

Increased Antitrust Activity Shows Eye to Free Competiton


Fatsis, Stefan, THE JOURNAL RECORD


By Stefan Fatsis

Associated Press

NEW YORK _ The Justice Department takes over an antitrust probe of Microsoft Corp. AT T, split up by antitrust regulators in 1982, plans to merge with the nation's biggest cellular telephone company.

American Airlines and Wal-Mart are tangled in unfair pricing lawsuits. Baseball's 71-year-old antitrust exemption is challenged in court. Health care reform raises questions about hospital mergers.

Suddenly, antitrust is news.

Lawyers say the rash of recent cases is mostly coincidence. But it comes as the Clinton administration promises stricter enforcement of laws designed to promote free competition after 12 years of laissez-faire Republican rule.

"I think you're in a period of transition between the virtual non-enforcement of the Reagan years and what will certainly be much more active government regulation in the Clinton years," said Robert Pitofsky, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

"These may be very early signs but they're reliable signs," he said.

Among the strongest was a speech earlier this month to the American Bar Association by Clinton's new antitrust chief, Anne K. Bingaman, who promised to re-energize antitrust enforcement.

Bingaman, an assistant attorney general, has indicated the government will chart a new antitrust course in areas such as mergers, business conduct, price-fixing and foreign compliance with U.S. antitrust laws.

The Justice Department has acted already: taking over an investigation of Microsoft, the computer software powerhouse, and eliminating Reagan-era guidelines that allowed manufacturers to fix prices with distributors.

First, the department in July requested documents about Microsoft from the Federal Trade Commission, which shares antitrust oversight. The FTC examined alleged unfair business practices at Microsoft for three years but deadlocked over whether to sue the company.

Second, the department rescinded 1985 rules on "vertical pricing" that made it easy for suppliers to impose minimum retail prices, hurting discounters in industries such as consumer electronics and apparel. The government has brought just two price-fixing cases since 1980.

Any merger enforcement activity would mark a significant shift from the Reagan-Bush era, which saw the greatest rate of corporate combinations since the 19th century and what lawyers describe as lax enforcement. Several cases could receive close review. American Telephone Telegraph Co.'s planned $12.6 billion acquisition of McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. could challenge the regional Bell companies' local telephone business. AT T's monopoly over local and longdistance was broken up by the government in 1982.

"We don't believe that the merger with McCaw has any antitrust implications," AT T spokesman Walter Murphy said. Mattel Inc.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Increased Antitrust Activity Shows Eye to Free Competiton
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.