Antitrust refers to a series of laws enacted in the US and more recently in EEC to outlaw trusts and related monoplies. The purpose is to encourage fair competition for the benefit of consumers. Competition results in better quality, better service, and lower prices. The laws are administered by the Federal Trade Commission, who especially reviews mergers and acquisitions for potential to restrict competition.
In the US the basic law is the Sherman Antitrust Act enacted in 1890 in response to the numerous business cartels then popular. The best known was John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust which controlled the market for kerosene used in oil lamps. Standard Oil was broken up by the US Supreme Court in 1911.
Related Fool Articles
Recent Mentions on Fool.com
- What McDonald?s, Anheuser-Busch, and PepsiCo Investors Need to Know This Week
- Facebook Inc Loses Its "Safe Harbor" in Europe
- Good News for Qualcomm, Inc. Investors
- Google Inc Aims New Marketing Bazookas At Facebook Inc
- Google Inc's Android Gets Hit By An Antitrust Probe
- Apple Inc. Goes to the Supreme Court. But Should It?