Competition Policy in the United States: Looking Ahead

by E. Grether



The article focuses on competition policy in the U.S. Competition policy has been explained and rationalized in various ways. The presumed benefits or rationale of competition have often been stated, explained and defended. One cannot understand competition policy in the U.S., or for that matter, in other countries, in these terms alone, because it represents an evolving, organic aspect of economic and other parts of the life of people. Market competition, or competition as the basic form of economic organization for the private sectors, in the U.S. can be understood only after taking a long backward look at the pathway followed. In the U.S., the dramatic economic and industrial developments beginning in the post-civil war period quickly outran the conditions of historical petty trade out of which the common law had emerged. Most significant, to begin with, were the transformations arising out of the realities of a truly national market created by the transcontinental railways, and means of communication, newspapers and magazines, the postal system, the telegraph and telephones.

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