The Federal Trade Commission: An Experiment in the Control of Business

The Federal Trade Commission: An Experiment in the Control of Business

The Federal Trade Commission: An Experiment in the Control of Business

The Federal Trade Commission: An Experiment in the Control of Business

Excerpt

The development of the large business unit has been an outstanding characteristic of western society in the twentieth century. Business men with responsibilities for these units have used their energies to accelerate the growth of "big business." They have frowned on governmental interference except in so far as it has made their own powers more effective.

On the other hand numerous attempts have been made to hold back this flooding tide of concentration of control and ownership. Business men intimately related either with economic activities to which new machine and business technologies have not been applied, or with industries in which older technologies are dominant, have witnessed with foreboding the growing power of big business. In like manner the great mass of people as consumers have looked askance at the newer economic tendencies. Producers who are responsible for "small business" have endeavored to protect themselves against the superior power of the large corporations. In the course of their struggle they have used various weapons such as trade organizations, publicity, advertizing, and governmental force. It is this group in coöperation with the consuming public which has been primarily concerned with maintaining and strengthening the antitrust acts.

By the first decade of the twentieth century certain inherent difficulties with the Sherman Act had already become apparent. In order partially to remedy these weaknesses the Bureau of Corporations was established. The Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Act were further attempts to attain the same purpose. All of these acts were intended to preserve the . . .

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