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Constructing Corporate AmericaHistory, Politics, Culture$
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Kenneth Lipartito and David B. Sicilia

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199251902

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251902.001.0001

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The Monopoly Enigma, the Reagan Administration's Antitrust Experiment, and the Global Economy

The Monopoly Enigma, the Reagan Administration's Antitrust Experiment, and the Global Economy

Chapter:
(p.149) CHAPTER 5 The Monopoly Enigma, the Reagan Administration's Antitrust Experiment, and the Global Economy
Source:
Constructing Corporate America
Author(s):

Louis Galambos

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199251902.003.0006

In the 1980s, the Reagan Administration drastically altered American antitrust policy, virtually eliminating Section 2 cases involving monopolies. This chapter provides a context for that decision by tracing the efforts that the federal government made since 1890 to reconcile an opposition to highly concentrated economic power with the even stronger enthusiasm Americans have always had for the economic success they associated with the nation's largest enterprises. In this setting, judges and government lawyers struggled over the years to come up with a clear concept of monopoly. In the global economy of the late 20th century, the Reagan policy innovation solved that problem and proved to be timely and significant. The new policy allowed American firms to get up to global scale, either through strategic alliances or through mergers that would not have been allowed under previous administrations.

Keywords:   corporation, business history, antitrust, monopoly, oligopoly, Sherman Antitrust Act, business competition, Justice Department, Reagan administration, regulation

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