Antitrust Policy an Economic and Legal Analysis

Antitrust Policy an Economic and Legal Analysis

Antitrust Policy an Economic and Legal Analysis

Antitrust Policy an Economic and Legal Analysis

Excerpt

This analysis of United States antitrust policy has two aims: the proposal of a strengthened antitrust policy, worked out in enough detail to indicate the changes in law and administration necessary to apply it; and a statement of the logic of the policy proposal -- in terms of the presumptions, factual judgments, and analytical reasoning on which it rests -- in such a way that it will be useful even to those who disagree with the value judgment inevitably involved in it. In this chapter we shall examine some general presumptions of antitrust policy, discuss the possible aims of such a policy, and indicate the organization of the whole essay.

SOME UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS

Certain broad propositions must be taken as true to warrant any antitrust policy. We make these explicit here, in part to indicate our justification of them, in part to set bounds to the scope of our discussion.

As the context of our discussion we take for granted the present mixed economy, in which the largest part is organized on the decentralized lines of private property and private enterprise. The market is thus the central institution regulating economic activity. The use to a significantly greater extent than at present of other methods of economic organization -- including nationalization, direct government control in detail of individual firms, consumer cooperation, or worker-manager guild organization -- is ruled out as a real policy alternative. Indeed, only in this context is it worth while to place much emphasis on antitrust policy.

Further, we assume that the sectors of the economy in which government monopoly, or private monopoly controlled in more or . . .

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