Essay on Major Federal Anti-trusth Laws in the United States

663 Words 3 Pages
The anti-trust laws were set in place to promote vigorous competition but also to protect the consumer from unfair mergers and business practices. The first antitrust law that was passed by Congress is called the Sherman Act and is a “comprehensive charter of economic liberty aimed at preserving free and unfettered competition as the rule of trade” according to www.FTC.gov . Later in 1914 Congress passed two more laws, one creating the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA) and then the Clayton Act, which now create the three core federal antitrust laws that are still active currently. Although they have changed over the last hundred years, they still have the same concept: “to protect the process of competition for the benefit of consumers, making sure there are strong incentives for businesses to operate efficiently, keep prices down, and keep quality up” as stated by the FTC.gov website on The Antitrust Laws.
The first of the three major Federal antitrust laws is the Sherman Act that was created in 1980. This act will not allow for competitors to set a fixed price on a good or allow for one company to become a monopoly. Breaking the Sherman Act can be punished normally as a criminal felony with individuals being fined up to $350,000, businesses being fined up to $10 million and corporations up to $100 million per offense. There is also jail time that can be served by each with the individual who can be sentenced up to three years in jail and a business up to ten years in…