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Antitrust Policy & Regulation

Antitrust Policy & Regulation. A. Antitrust (anti-monopoly) laws 1. Sherman Act of 1890 2. Clayton Act of 1914 3. Federal Trade Commission Act. -- Monopolists tend to produce less and charge more.

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Antitrust Policy & Regulation

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  1. Antitrust Policy & Regulation
  2. A. Antitrust (anti-monopoly) laws 1. Sherman Act of 1890 2. Clayton Act of 1914 3. Federal Trade Commission Act -- Monopolists tend to produce less and charge more. -- Regulatory Agencies control economic behavior (Dept of Justice, Fed Trade Comm) -- Sherman Act outlawed collusive price fixing and monopolies. -- Strengthened the Sherman Act. -- FTC, with Justice Dept., to investigate unfair competitive practices.
  3. Sherman Antitrust Act 1890 – used in early 19000’s First government law to limit monopolies Gave federal gov’t power to investigate trusts and companies suspected of violating the Act “Antitrust” really means “competition law” Outlaws monopolies
  4. Trusts DEF: A combination of firms or corporations formed by a legal agreement Especially in order to reduce competition Standard Trust – came after Standard Oil
  5. Clayton Antitrust Act 1914 Strengthened Sherman Act Prohibit “anticompetitive practices” Mergers/Acquisitions that lessen competition One person being a director of competing companies
  6. B. Cases 1. Standard Oil case (1911) – broke-up. 2. U.S. Steel case (1920) – ‘rule of reason’ by Supreme Court that unreasonably restrain trade. John D. Rockefeller controlled nearly all trade for oil and gas. The Supreme Court used the Sherman Act to break up Standard Oil into 34 companies.
  7. Other cases…
  8. In an out-of-court settlement, AT&T divested itself into 22 regional phone-operating companies in 1982. AT&T’s deal to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion is shaping up to be a heated regulatory battle. It would create the nation’s largest cellular carrier. Lawmakers are already denouncing the deal, saying it will reduce competition in an already consolidated industry.
  9. Countries with Antitrust Laws shown in red
  10. C. Mergers 1. Horizontal 2. Vertical 3. Conglomerate -- Horizontal: merger of two competitors that sell similar products in the same geographic market. Examples are Chase & Chemical Bank, Exxon & Mobile. -- Vertical: firms at different stages of production process. Examples are PepsiCo with Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC. -- Conglomerate: not horizontal or vertical, different firms in different geographic areas. -- Merger Guidelines: The Federal gov’t has loose guidelines based on the Herfindahl Index (ch 23), measure of concentration is the sum of squared percentage market shares of firms within industry. -- Herfindahl Index: is there are four firms, each with 25% market share, the index # is 2,500 (252 + 252 + 252 + 252). A pure monopoly has index of 10,000 (1002)
  11. Effectiveness of Antitrust Laws Types of Mergers Blue Jeans Automobiles Conglomerate Merger Blue Jeans Autos E F B D C A Z Y X W U V T Glass Denim Fabric Vertical Merger Horizontal Merger -- Most Vertical mergers are approved by regulators.
  12. Top 10 M&A deals worldwide by value (in mil. USD) from 2000 to 2010:
  13. D. Industrial Regulation. 1. Natural Monopoly 2. X-inefficiency -- There are situations that are economically beneficial to have a monopoly. -- A natural monopoly occurs when ‘economies of scale’ are so extensive that a single firm can supply the entire market at a lower cost than competing firms could. They are rare, but conditions exist for public utilities. -- X-inefficiency is the failure to produce any specific output at the lowest average (and total) cost possible.
  14. E. Deregulation – started in 1970’s. F. Social Regulation Commission (Year Established) Jurisdiction * Food & Drug Safety & effectiveness Administration (1906) of food, drugs, & cosmetics * Equal Employment Hiring, promotion, & discharge Opportunity Comm (1964) of workers * Occupational Safety & Industrial Health & safety Health Admin (1971) * Environmental Protection Air, water, and noise pollution Agency (1972) The main Federal Regulatory Commissions providing social regulation -- “…deregulation of formerly regulated industries is contributing more than $50 billion annually to society’s well-being through lower prices, lower costs, and increased outputs. McConnell Brue, 2008 -- The textbook lists industries of airlines, railroads, and trucking, but not banking. -- “It is simply far too soon to declare deregulation either a success or failure.” McConnell Brue, 2008 -- California’s wholesale electricity prices were deregulated, but not retail rates, leading to the Enron debacle in 2001, prompting Governor Davis’ recall.
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