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Antitrust Laws

Antitrust Laws were established to prevent monopolies and the restraint of trade. Three landmark statutes detail the laws. One statute, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890, prohibits acts or contracts created for the purpose of establishing a monopoly. The Act states "Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony..."

The Clayton Anti-Trust Act of 1914 was created as an amendment to the Sherman Act, and was designed to deal with more detailed and distinct types of monopolistic activity. The Clayton Act, named so after Alabama Congressman Henry De Lamar Clayton, covered corporate activities, labor disputes and remedies for reform. The Act also delved further into areas of restraint of trade.

Also in 1914, was the Federal Trade Commission Act, which gave birth to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is responsible for investigating and issuing orders to prevent unfair practices in interstate commerce and "seeks to ensure that the nation's markets function competitively, and are vigorous, efficient, and free of undue restrictions." The Commission is comprised of five Commissioners who are nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the senate.