Mergers and the Clayton Act

By David Dale Martin | Go to book overview

5. Federal Trade Commission Administration of Section 7 Subsequent to Judicial Interpretation

During the period from the initial Supreme Court interpretation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act in 19261 until the amendment of the section in 1950,2 the Federal Trade Commission continued to inquire into the legality of corporate acquisitions, although the degree of activity of the commission in administering Section 7 was sharply curtailed after 1930. Table I indicates the approximate number of preliminary inquiries instituted, applications for complaints docketed, complaints issued, and cease and desist orders issued in each fiscal year for which such information was published by the commission in cases arising under Section 7.

In this second phase of administration of Section 7, the Federal Trade Commission no longer had the opportunity to render initial interpretation of a general statement of Congressional policy. The commission's function became that of administering the statute in conformity with its interpretation by the Supreme Court. The implications of that Supreme Court interpretation are

____________________
1
Federal Trade Commission v. Western Meat Co., Thatcher Manufacturing v. Federal Trade Commission, Swift & Co. v. Federal Trade Commission ( 1926), 272 U.S. 554. See pp. 109-112.
2
64 U.S. Stat. at L. 1125 ( 1950).

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