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Egt Task Iii Essay

898 words - 4 pages

The four major pieces of legislation collectively known as the Antitrust Laws are the Sherman Act (1890), Clayton Act (1914), Federal Trade Commission Act (1914) and the Cellar-Kefauver Act (1950). The Sherman Act was the first Anti-trust law put in place. It was designed to break up existing monopolies that were already in place. The act stated that it was illegal to contract inhibit trade. It also made it illegal to try and monopolize industries or to have a monopoly of an existing industry. While the intentions were admirable this act was extremely vague and had very little clarity. Both the legal system and businesses were unclear as to what was legal and what was illegal. In an effort ...view middle of the document...

This also made it illegal to buy out a competitor’s physical property in addition to its stock in order to reduce competition. Basically it prohibited companies from buying all its physical assets even if it did not buy out the company stocks.

B. The intended purpose of industrial regulation was to reduce the market power of monopolies and oligopolies. It was intended to prevent collusion and price fixing as well as increase overall competition within the market. In oligopolies this prevents 2 or more companies from conspiring to keep out additional competition as well as maintaining consumer choice and manageable prices as well as product innovation and more efficient use of society’s resources. There are also natural monopolies. These are companies that hold a monopoly perhaps in a local area such as your power company however it would be price prohibitive and non-beneficial to consumers for other companies to compete. In these cases industrial regulation price regulation that allows consumers to still reasonably afford the product or service and allows the company to operate at a margin in which the receive fair return price. While this does not result in the most efficient use of societies resources it maintains them better than a monopoly without regulation. The company also comprimises. It will not operate at a capacity in which it would realize profit maximization but it is able to operate at a point where it still receives a profit.

C. The major functions of the three prime regulatory agencies are to ensure that companies that have a natural monopoly do not charge monopoly prices, and that consumers are not harmed. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commision regulates power, gas, gas and oil pipelines as well as water-power sites. The Federal...

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