The Little Stick of Antitrust

The Reaganauts cast a more favorable eye toward mergers

When the U.S. Government began bashing business monopolies, or near monopolies, around the turn of the century, the targets were big, bad and mean, and they existed in almost every basic industry. Standard Oil controlled 84% of U.S. oil marketing, competitors to American Tobacco were mere puffs of smoke and United States Steel was an incredible amalgam of 148 companies that dwarfed runners-up. Washington's vigorous trustbusters lashed out against a variety of anticompetitive practices: Hollywood studios' control of movie theaters, Eastman Kodak's grip on...

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