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Antitrust laws

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Antitrust laws, legislation designed to protect competition among businesses. By preventing large firms from controlling the price or supply of goods and services, these laws work to ensure that smaller firms are not forced out of business. Congressional antitrust action includes the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890), which was used to end unfair restraint of trade practices of the Standard Oil Company and American Tobacco Company in the early 1900s. The Clayton Antitrust Act (1914) is a supplement to the Sherman Act which outlaws price discrimination, non-complete agreements, price cutting, and certain mergers. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was established in 1914 to enforce antitrust laws. In 1950 the Clayton Act was enhanced by the Celler-Kefauver Act. Antitrust legislation has recently been complicated by the growth of huge conglomerates that control businesses in many industries.

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