Clayton Antitrust Act

Clayton Antitrust Act, 1914, passed by the U.S. Congress as an amendment to clarify and supplement the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. It was drafted by Henry De Lamar Clayton. The act prohibited exclusive sales contracts, local price cutting to freeze out competitors, rebates, interlocking directorates in corporations capitalized at $1 million or more in the same field of business, and intercorporate stock holdings. Labor unions and agricultural cooperatives were excluded from the forbidden combinations in the restraint of trade. The act restricted the use of the injunction against labor, and it legalized peaceful strikes, picketing, and boycotts. It declared that "the labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce." Organized labor was as heartened by the act as it had been dejected by the doctrine of the Danbury Hatters' Case, but subsequent judicial construction weakened the act's labor provisions. The Clayton Antitrust Act was the basis for a great many important and much-publicized suits against large corporations. Later amendments to the act strengthened its provisions against unfair price cutting (1936) and intercorporate stock holdings (1950).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Clayton Antitrust Act: Selected full-text books and articles

Mergers and the Clayton Act
David Dale Martin.
University of California Press, 1959
Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law in the EU, UK, and USA
Clifford A. Jones.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "The Clayton Act" begins on p. 10
Competition Policy in America, 1888-1992: History, Rhetoric, Law
Rudolph J. R. Peritz.
Oxford University Press, 1996
Workers' Paradox: The Republican Origins of New Deal Labor Policy, 1886-1935
Ruth O'Brien.
University of North Carolina Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of the Clayton Antitrust Act begins on p. 157
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