Concentration and Control: A Solution of the Trust Problem in the United States

By Charles Hise R. Van | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
THE LAWS REGARDING COÖPERATION1

SECTION 1
ENGLAND

IN England, in the time of Edward VI, a very strict statute was passed by Parliament against "forestalling, enhancing, regrating, and engrossing." Without going into details the things prohibited by these laws were roughly as follows: Forestalling was the offense of going out on the road and buying merchandise which was coming to the market, with the intention of selling at a higher price upon its arrival. This applied especially to wheat, or as it is called in England, corn. Enhancing defines itself; it applied to buying a product, one of the necessities of life, with the intention of selling again at an increased price. Regrating was the offense of going into the market and buying products in a greater quantity than needed for consumption with the intention of selling in the same market at a higher price. Engrossing was buying corn growing, or any other corn, butter, cheese, fish, or other dead victual, with intent to sell the same again. Under these old laws transactions were prohibited which raised the price of an essential article. Many of the regulations went so far as to fix prices.

Early rigid statutes.

While at this time these offenses were made statutory, they apparently had been offenses against the common law at a much earlier date. Indeed, so far as we can ascertain, the common law in the Middle Ages was very strict against combinations in restraint of trade, as well as against regrating,

____________________
1
For full information concerning this part of the subject, see Eddy on Combinations, Callaghan & Co., 1901; Noyes on Intercorporate Relations, Little, Brown & Co., 1902; Wyman on Control of the Market, Moffat, Yard & Co., 1911, and Jenks Report of the Industrial Commission, Vol. II.

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