Why Is Antitrust Law Important In The 1800s

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In the 1800s, there were a lot of really big companies called “Trusts.” The dictionary defines a trust as “a large business with significant market power.” In the 1800s, these trusts controlled major sections of the economy such as railroads, sugar, oil, and steel. When one company controlled an entire industry of supplies, there was no competition and the trusts had complete control over every aspect of their product. This meant that they were fully in control of how much product they supplied and how much they priced the product for. Two of the more famous trusts were U.S. Steel and Standard Oil. These two trusts were monopolies, meaning they had “exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade.” Smaller businesses and individual people had no control whatsoever about who to buy from, or the prices they purchased product for. As the prices went higher, the quality stayed the same. The large business owners were getting more and more rich, and the American consumers were getting more and more angry. Eventually, the public demanded the the government take immediate action, and they did. President Roosevelt broke up many of these trusts and the United States enforced new laws, known as the Antitrust laws, to ensure that the unfair methods of production companies were destroyed. These Laws (or acts) are as follows: …show more content…

“ The nation’s oldest antitrust law. Passed in 1890, makes it illegal for competitors to make agreements with each other that would limit competition.” This means that companies cannot agree on fixed pricing for a product. This also meant that a company could no longer be a monopoly if they were being unfair or cheating. For the Sherman Act, any company owner who disobeyed could be heavily fined or sent to

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