The Sherman Anti-Trust Law: The Maricopa County Medical Society Case

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The Sherman Anti-trust Law was enacted in order to impose regulations on the booming industrial companies of the late 1800’s. It was very easy at the time for people of the same profession to band together or merge companies to create situations in which they could all maximize profit to the detriment of the average consumer. The Sherman law made conspiracies, monopolies and contracts illegal. One such contract is known as a trust, such as the one represented by the Maricopa County Medical Society. The Medical Society consists of over 70 percent of the doctor in our county and they decided that it would not be in violation of anti-trust laws to fix a price-ceiling. Fixing prices is expressly forbidden as it prevents effective competition which…show more content…
Maricopa County Medical Society case, The state of Arizona sued the medical county for a alleged price-fixing, which is a violation of section 1 of the Sherman Act. The Medical Society was created as an insurance administrators for the doctors that belong to the society, which include 70% of doctors in Arizona. The organization adopted a schedule of fees imposing a maximum amount that member doctors could charge, which set a price ceiling on a large part of the medical industry. With the medical field being an expensive industry already, the price ceiling seemed like a good idea so that consumers were not easily taken advantage of. What the price ceiling does is immediately lowers competition that could have benefited from setting their own pricing. By setting any prices with a minimum or maximum, that group foolishly compromises the entire infrastructure in exchange for profit. Because of this, I believe the court will favor for the State of Arizona because the Medical Society set the price cap in order to benefit the member doctors over the non-member doctors, giving its members the advantage. Also because the per se rule, which is applicable to restraints of trades that are considered inherently anti-competitive, the price ceiling violates Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which would make the Medical Society guilty of its
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