Antitrust Law Encourages Retail Sector To Play Fair.
Congress now appears to be on the verge of passing one or more bipartisan antitrust bills
FREMONT, CA: Antitrust law is currently having a renaissance. President Joe Biden issued an executive order last summer that included 72 commands and recommendations for his government to encourage competitiveness in the American economy. Congress now appears to be on the verge of passing one or more bipartisan antitrust bills. Legislators and regulators face a critical question as they seek to resurrect antitrust enforcement against large corporations to maintain and preserve a fair economy. False advertising, industrial sabotage, patent infringement, and giving sub-minimum wages have all been judged as unfair and illegal forms of competition. Lawmakers are more concerned about competition, rather than the type of competition they want to encourage. However, while Lawmakers seek to reduce widespread concentration and monopolization, they should consider the following factors as the concept is no longer popular.
For decades, antitrust dogma has understood antitrust laws as protecting competition, not competitors, and reduced legal concerns to price and output metrics–however the government should intervene when firms raise consumer prices and lower output. This approach, however, clashes with the antitrust rules that are currently in effect. It was previously a pillar of the Congress' antitrust policy to limit large firms' capacity to illegally undercut the prices they pay to suppliers, farmers, and other producers.
Looking back at the policy's beginnings, one can notice that the US was in a similar scenario to the one it's in now, where businesses wielded immense power over supply chains. Supermarket chains made significant inroads into the grocery market in the 1920s and 1930s. Corporations like the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company–often referred to as the A&P–were opening outlets all over the country and frequently offered lower pricing than their smaller competitors. These businesses together with new mail-order outfits provided fresh competition into local monopolies in many regions, particularly in the rural South, where white-owned country stores charged high prices to their mostly Black farmer and sharecropper clients. Similarly, now large players in the sector such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, and more are using their purchasing clout to extract discounts from suppliers which their smaller rivals cannot afford.
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