Antitrust

The Antitrust laws are suppose to prevent monopolies from existing. Monopolies are characterized by shoddy products, high prices, and lack of innovation. Antitrust are useless, though. A monopoly is a company that is legally protected from competition. If the government wanted to get rid of monopolies, it could simply allow competition. Antitrust laws have never been used against a monopoly.

With the advent of antitrust laws, a new definition of monopoly was created. The new meaning is dominance in a market. Although this is a characteristic of real monopolies, it is a non-essential trait. The essential trait is the legal protection from competition. All of the bad qualities stem from this fact.

Antitrust laws are exclusively used to limit the effectiveness of a dominant company. The method of gaining dominance isn't questioned, though. The companies targeted are always the most successful because they have the best products at low prices. The opposite of the characteristics normally associated with monopolies.

Antitrust laws also happen to be contradictory. They make it illegal to charge more than your competitors, since this is a sign that you are a monopoly. They make it illegal to sell less than your competitors, since this means your trying to become a monopoly. And they make it illegal to sell at the same price as your competitors, since this might be collusion.

Antitrust laws are an attack on the best companies because they are the best. They benefit only the unsuccessful competitors, who often initiate the antitrust suits. The company is attacked, fined, hampered, and maligned. In the past the executives were thrown in jail for the crime of having the best products.

Antitrust is never targeted at real monopolies, since they exist through the favor of government. Instead of fixing the evil of government intervention, antitrust extends that evil. It destroys the successful for being successful.


Copyright 2001 by Jeff Landauer and Joseph Rowlands