Prepared by Sol Rothberg
Delivered to Quest Club on
November 10, 1961
RESTRAINT OF TRADE
In a consideration of the problems relating to restraint of
trade or the anti-trust laws as they are frequently referred to in the United
States, we must first recognize that it simply cannot be stated that these
sets of laws can be used in the conventional sense as rules by which men
may guide their conduct. A complete examination of the subject guides you
to the conclusion that the decisions and the statutes on which they are
based constitute a general, but sometimes conflicting, statement of articles of faith and economic philosophy. All of the decisions seem to be
based upon the economic and idealogical setting of the times.
The anti-trust laws of the United States of America are
unique In scope and content and rigor of enforcement. In no other country
Is there an equivalent body of statute law dealing with monopolies and restricted practices. It Is still looked upon as a strange phenomenon by
many foreign observers although some countries finally paid It the tribute
of Imitation. Canadian laws, perhaps the most effective, lack our prohibition of monopoly. No country has adopted so thorough a system of
laws against combinations and restraints of trade In Industry. The reason
for this Is apparent. It Is widely conceded that the United States Is preeminent In the power and drive of Its industry and commerce. It is
natural, therefore, to Infer some relationship between economic success and the existence of this special body of law.
Perhaps the first enactments In English law concerning re-
Istraint of trade were the Statutes of Monopoly, passed in England In 1624,
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